Movies & TV

Zack Snyder Isn't Getting Paid For the Snyder Cut-In Exchange For Complete Creative Control

Creative control comes at a price.

The highly anticipated Zack Snyder’s Justice League is just weeks away from its worldwide release, and new revelations are coming to light about the true story behind the Snyder Cut.

Here’s a quick refresher: Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Man of Steel) was the original director of the 2017 Justice League, but after the unexpected death of his daughter, Snyder dropped out of the film to focus on his family. At that point, Justice League had completed filming and brought in Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron) to finish post-production. Suffice to say, fans were not pleased with Whedon’s version of Justice League, which some fellow DCEU directors don’t even consider as canon. Whedon’s cut only used a fraction of Snyder’s shots, with plenty of reshoots replacing the original scenes.

The chaos that ensued proved one thing to Warner Bros.: Don’t piss off the DCEU fans. A movement was made to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, and after years of rallying, Warner Bros. acquiesced.

Not Getting Paid a Dime

It took almost four years, but the Snyder Cut is finally here. And for complete creative control over the project, Snyder forwent his entire pay. That’s right. According to Snyder’s Vanity Fair interview, Warner Bros. won’t be paying him anything for the Snyder Cut. And it’s a decision he’s come to terms with if it means doing the DCEU justice.

“I’m not getting paid,” said Snyder. “I didn’t want to be beholden to anyone, and it allowed me to keep my negotiating powers with these people pretty strong.”


The architect of the DC film universe, Snyder has butted heads with Warner Bros. countless times, before and after the disaster that was Whedon’s Justice League. He was the one who cast Gal Gadot as the world’s Wonder Woman and fought for Jason Momoa, a Pacific islander, to be cast as the originally Caucasian Aquaman.

Now Snyder is back, and without pay, he can do whatever he wants with the DC film universe he built. From the trailer alone, we already know this Justice League will be darker than before (despite studio objections), and he’s even added Joker to the mix.

Photo by HBO Max.

Snyder’s Thoughts on Whedon’s Version? He Has None

The first Justice League was released years ago, but Snyder has never seen it at all. It was his wife, Deborah, and friend, executive producer Christopher Nolan, who “protected” Snyder from Whedon’s version of his vision.

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The two told him, “You can never see that movie.”

According to his wife, they cautioned him “because I knew it would break his heart.”

For Autumn

At the heart of the Snyder Cut is Autumn, Zack and Deborah Snyder’s daughter who passed away in 2017. Of all their children, it was Autumn who shared Zack’s love for superheroes, and her memory is sprinkled throughout the Snyder Cut, according to Zack.

“For Autumn” will be the last words that appear in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. “Without her, this absolutely would not have happened.”

The four-hour film will premiere on HBO Go on March 18, and proceeds will go toward suicide prevention programs in honor of Autumn.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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