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Justice League: The Snyder Cut Movement Explained

Batman V Superman - Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill

Will the Snyder Cut Ever Be Released?

With the amount of energy behind the Snyder Cut movement, it's hard to believe it won't come out eventually. A number of popular belated director's cuts have come out over the years, such as Blade Runner: The Final Cut, or Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (which probably has the most similarity to Snyder's situation), both of which required additional work to be released, and neither of those had this kind of grassroots movement behind them.

Related: Justice League: Everything Blocking The Release of Snyder's Cut

Warner Bros. holds all the cards when it comes to distribution rights, so it can't happen without them giving the green light. The big question is just when they will acquiesce. Maybe it will go under the new non-canon DC Black/DC Dark/Elseworlds movie label or get released via the DC Universe streaming platform. As long as Warner Bros. is trying to build the current iteration of the DCEU, it's understandable that they'd be resistant to the idea since it exposes the breadth of their mishandling of the issue and challenges the continuity of the other films. That's not to say it can't get a release in the next year or two, but it could also take years for Warner Bros. to come around on the idea. But one thing is for sure: so long as Zack Snyder keeps showing interest in it coming out (which his Vero activity would suggest), and fans keep pushing for it, Warner Bros. will be less and less able to sweep it under the rug.

It probably won't see a wide theatrical release (or any theatrical release at all), it may not get a marketing push, and it might not even get any money put into finishing any incomplete VFX scenes, but it's fair to say that A Snyder Cut of some kind will eventually be released.

Will the Snyder Cut Be Better Than the Theatrical Cut?

Zack Snyder movies have almost always been polarizing, so it's difficult to make an absolute statement regarding the hypothetical reception since there would obviously be a number of people who dislike it merely because of his association. The safe statement would be to say that if you liked Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, or were on the fence and needed to see more payoff to existing character arcs (particularly Superman's), then the Snyder Cut may have been the movie for you.

If, however, you didn't like Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's doubtful you would have been a big fan of the Snyder Cut either. However, some detractors have pointed out that a strong directorial vision - even if it's one they don't appreciate - could have made Justice League a more enjoyable experience.

Related: The DC Movie Universe is Worse Without Zack Snyder

Could the Snyder Cut take all the negative reviews and flip them around, resulting in a fresh score on review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes? Probably not. It's abundantly clear by this point that Snyder's movies strongly appeal to a specific segment of audiences and turn off the rest. While that might bring great satisfaction to some, it's the kind of movie that suffers the most from the mechanics of review aggregators.

What's Next for the Snyder Cut Movement?

If the Snyder Cut is released, the controversy will presumably die down, Zack Snyder will continue with his next project, and the fans will have what they want. The community that formed around the cause likely won't disappear altogether like most communities of its nature, but it will get smaller without an immediate rallying cry, and they will move on to other passions like the upcoming DCEU slate and/or future Snyder projects.

More recently, Snyder Cut fans have also begun campaigning for other movies that saw the directorial vision hampered, such as  Suicide Squad, asking for "the Ayer Cut," and while it's certainly a distant possibility, the behind the scenes situation with that movie is a little different, and there may not even be a "pure Ayer Cut" to simply be released and that could be a matter of re-editing the entire project. Fortunately,  earned a lot more money than Justice League, and didn't even get a release in China, so long term it may actually be easier to entice Warner Bros. to return to that well.

If the Snyder Cut isn't released in the near future, the movement will likely also stick around. At this point, an actual subculture has formed around the campaign, including fan art, fan edits of Justice League, and a full scale forensic examination of the film and any behind the scenes material available to piece together together a rough idea of what the Snyder Cut was supposed to be, aided occasionally by a new revelation from Snyder himself on the Vero social platform.

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While the whole situation may be odd, it might actually become a more common occurrence moving forward, especially if the Snyder Cut is actually released. In the age of the internet and social media, fans are more plugged in and organized than ever before. If the same situation had played out just a decade ago, fans wouldn't have known or connected as easily, and Snyder may not have had such an activated group of fans to root to see his vision. Snyder and Warner Bros. seem to have both learned their lesson and will approach future projects a little differently, but succeed or fail, the movement to release the Snyder Cut could have more of a lasting impact on the film industry than people realize.

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Key Release Dates
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  • Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
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