Justice League cinematographer Fabian Wagner has joined a growing list of people who want director Zack Snyder’s original cut of the film to be released. The long-awaited gathering of some of DC’s biggest superheroes finally happened last week, but much to the chagrin of Warner Bros., Justice League didn’t perform nearly as well as anticipated. The film at one point was projected to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $110 million to $120 million domestically in its opening frame, but instead made $94 million – the worst opening for a DC Extended Universe film to date.
While the film earned a respectable score of B+ from audience members surveyed by CinemaScore, there are still fans who wanted much more than the film offered in its relatively short two hour runtime. Some fans are pointing at replacement director Joss Whedon for the film’s change in tone from Snyder’s last DCEU movie, 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which had far less humor and far more footage with a 2 hour, 31 minute runtime.
Speaking to THR, Wagner – who was director of photography on the Snyder-filmed portion of Justice League but had to defer to 2nd unit photographer Jean-Philippe Gossart for the reshoots because of scheduling conflicts – says that he prefers the time that Snyder takes to tell his stories. Of Justice League, he says:
“This one was even shorter than I expected, so there are scenes that aren’t in there. I really hope we get to see a director’s cut, which will give us everything that we shot that didn’t make it in. What I love about his [Snyder’s] director’s cuts is they are long, but he takes his time to tell the story. I’ve never watched any of his directors cut and thought ‘This is long.” Whether they are three hours long, or three hours and ten minutes, they always seemed to go quick.”
While some of his shots didn’t make the theatrical cut of Justice League, Wagner is still supportive of what Gossart did because of their working relationship:
“(Gossart) and I had been talking about what we’ve been doing, and he knew some of the style we’ve been going for. It was great to have someone I know and who knew the film beforehand and could come in and give it continuity.”
Figuring Snyder had a lot more to offer Justice League before he stepped aside from his director’s chores to deal with a family tragedy, there’s a groundswell of support growing for the release of Snyder’s cut of the film. A Change.org petition started by fans to see the Snyder cut passed 75,000 signatures Tuesday, and even Ben Affleck’s Batman stunt double, Richard Cetrone, linked to the petition from his Facebook page.
Only time will tell if a Justice League director’s cut from Snyder is ever actually released. If indeed Snyder did shoot enough footage to assemble an entire film by himself, in all likelihood there’s enough footage there to go the way of Batman V Superman and release an Ultimate Edition, which ran a total of 3 hours, 2 minutes. Given the underwhelming reception to Justice League, perhaps this would be the best way for Warner Bros. to get fans excited for the film all over again.
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