Why Do People Say The Snyder Cut Doesn't Exist?
If the cut exists, and it's so well documented that it exists, why do so many people claim it doesn't? There's a combination of factors at play here. Some people that haven't followed the topic very closely assume that because Snyder was off the project nearly a year before release means he was a lot farther behind than he actually was, but the issue is only exacerbated by the fact that there's no clear definition as to what anyone actually means when they say "the Snyder cut."
When it comes to most media sources, the line is that "the Snyder Cut doesn't exist." This may be true that there's not a cut that's finished and ready for theaters (although some people would say the same of the actual theatrical cut of Justice League), but thanks to reporting from many of these very same sources, we know that there is a Snyder cut, so we can only assume that when they say it "doesn't exist," they simply mean "a 100% completed and ready to distribute Snyder cut doesn't exist."
But that still leaves a big question. If there is a cut, but it's not a 100% complete cut, just how far along is it?
How Complete is the Snyder Cut?
We know that there is a cut, but it's not clear how much of it is completed. Fortunately, thanks to some behind the scenes info and a trail of breadcrumbs left by Snyder on social media, we have a pretty good understanding of just how complete it was prior to Snyder's exit.
First, we know Snyder completed 100% of principal photography. That's not contested.
Second, we know Snyder presented a cut of the movie to WB executives. There's been some debate over whether or not it was an "assembly cut," but given it was being screened, it was likely further along than that, probably closer to a director's cut with unfinished VFX, temp music, and incomplete audio mixing.
Third, Snyder posted a video of an Aquaman VFX shot from Scanline VFX with the label "for final approval" and a February 2017 date stamp. This hardly speaks to the status of the VFX as a whole, but at least some scenes had 100% completed VFX work.
Fourth, Snyder posted an image of him working on a shot of Batman with Stefan Sonnenfeld of Company 3, who does digital intermediary, AKA color timing. This stage of post-production is typically one of the last steps in the process, and at the very least is usually done after "picture lock" is achieved, meaning he had a complete edit of all the scenes he intended to include in the theatrical cut.
Fifth, Snyder posted an image of Gal Gadot doing ADR (automated dialogue replacement), meaning, again, picture lock had been achieved and sound mixing was taking place, which is typically one of the last stages of post-production.
So, we don't know exactly how far along he was, but we do know he was conducting a lot of activities normally reserved for the very end of post-production.
The other part that's not clear is the status of original composer Tom Holkenborg, AKA Junkie XL's soundtrack. He'd spoken about it in ways that suggested it was being worked on, and even collaborated on the "Come Together" cover with Gary Clark Jr., but there's no evidence one way or the other showing how far along he was with the actual soundtrack recording.
Then, of course, there are rumors that Snyder has continued work on the cut in private. These rumors are difficult to substantiate, but it's safe to say the cut has been on Snyder's mind a lot since he's consistently posted images (including deleted scenes) to his Vero account. It's certainly a possibility, but he would need to have a collaborator to finish any incomplete VFX. Outside of that, there's no solid evidence to prove this rumor, and, if true, Snyder will probably keep it that way until he has something official to reveal.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017