When Zack Snyder left the production of Justice League, everyone close to production claimed Joss Whedon was merely completing the film Snyder started, but it turns ot the movie saw significant changes in reshoots, overhauling the movie’s story and appearance. While many of these changes were readily apparent in the movie itself, which has been dubbed a “franksenstein project,” a number of leaks and other reveals in the year since have revealed that the changes were even more significant.
A conservative estimate says 30 minutes of Justice League’s theatrical cut is a product of Whedon’s reshoots. Assuming a rumored runtime of around 3 hours for Zack Snyder’s original cut, that means over an hour and a half of Snyder’s original movie is entirely missing, and even more was tweaked and altered to a new context. It shouldn’t be a surprise fans are calling for a Snyder Cut of the movie.
There’s been much debate over whether or not a Snyder Cut exists, but Snyder completed 100% of principal photography before he left and storyboard artist Jay Oliva and Cyborg actor Ray Fisher both say he got all the footage he needed for a complete cut, meaning the question of the Snyder Cut’s level of completion is dependent on how far into post-production he was.
Regardless, Warner Bros. currently has no plans to release the movie, so fans could have to wait a few years for the Snyder Cut to finally be completed and released, like the Donner Cut of Superman II or the Blade Runner Final Cut.
In the meantime, here’s all the confirmed changes to the movie. Numerous minor tweaks, snips, dialogue inserts, and other little changes have been made, and countless more have been speculated or rumored, so it’ll be almost impossible to chronicle every single tiny difference. The focus here will be on the more significant changes, revealing what Zack Snyder’s Justice League was supposed to look like, sound like, and be about.
- This Page: Junkie XL and Steppenwolf's Design
- Page 2: Parademons, Lex Luthor, and Superman
- Page 3: Darkseid, Flash, and Cyborg
- Page 4: Aquaman, the Knightmare. and Lois and Martha
- Page 5: The Kent Farm, The Batcave, and S.T.A.R. Labs
- Page 6: Silas Stone's Death and Superman's Return
- Page 7: The Final Battle, Closing Monologue, and Post-Credits
Junkie XL Was Replaced by Danny Elfman
The first sign of trouble after Whedon took over Justice League was the departure of the film’s original composer, Tom Holkenborg, AKA Junkie XL. After collaborating with Hans Zimmer on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Junkie was all set to take the reigns for Justice League.
His work is known for bearing a strong electronic influence with heavy drums. He was replaced by Danny Elfman, whose music is more whimsical strings. While Elfman brought back some classic DC themes for Batman and Superman, his score lacked the gravitas that defined the previous movies in the franchise.
Junkie XL said he planned to record the soundtrack in July, and he was fired in June, so there was likely significant work completed, but it wouldn’t have been 100% completed or polished before he left.
Steppenwolf's Design Was Changed From The One in Batman v Superman
One of the most notable changes happened during pre-production, and that’s the overall re-design of Steppenwolf. As many fans have noticed, the version of Steppenwolf glimpsed in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ultimate Edition is drastically different than the version in Justice League. While there’s some early pre-viz of some scenes with the old Steppenwolf designes, those aren’t actually for use in the film, they’re basically digital storyboards to help visualize action scenes in pre-production. The actual VFX made for the end product starts from scratch again.
There’s behind the scenes footage from during pre-production where concept art for the new version can be glimpsed on the wall. The change in design likely happened early enough that it was before the release of Batman v Superman, and it could have been early enough to influence in the decision to cut the Steppenwolf scene in that movie.
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