Zack Snyder keeps revealing details about a particular Justice League scene, and based on everything else we know about the movie, it looks like it was meant to be a Cyborg origin story reminiscent of Doctor Manhattan's origin in Watchmen. The scene in question, marked "sc. 132" on his storyboards, has seen more leaks than almost anything else, with Snyder himself revealing a number of storyboards, in addition to a deleted scene that was leaked shortly after Justice League hit theaters.
For over a year, fans have been clamoring for a "Snyder Cut" of Justice League after it was revealed that Joss Whedon's reshoots of the movie weren't merely completing Snyder's vision as promised by producers, but they were actually overhauling the entire story and tone, resulting in a far different movie than fans expected.
While the movie wasn't 100% done, it was deep in post-production when Snyder was replaced, so a lot of things were already pretty far along, and it's been hard for Warner Bros. to keep it all under wraps. Piece by piece, story details and other plans for the original version have continued to trickle out. Thanks to a new storyboard from Snyder, we can connect a few more dots on "the Mother Box scene" and what was probably Cyborg's origin story and one of the most important scenes in the whole movie
- This Page: How Reshoots Changed Snyder's Technical Approach
- Page 2: How Reshoots Removed Cyborg's Origin Story
Changes to the Technique
A recent post from Snyder reveals major differences with the construction of the scene of the League in the Wayne Aerospace hangar (or, as the theatrical cut would have you believe, the Batcave). While the theatrical version was mostly static wide shots, the version Snyder constructed had far more complicated cinematography, and some technical wizardry to accomplish it.
The director's Vero post says he wanted a "constant moving camera," so he "came up with 8 camera beam splitter rig" for use in this scene. The accompanying storyboard is far more complex from art we've seen by the director in the past as well. Normally his storyboards are images with some arrows to indicate camera motion, but these boards include color-coded blocking instructions for both actors and camera, with technical diagrams of the camera setup, combined use of 35mm and 75mm through a "beam splitter."
If this isn't already interesting, the use of a beam splitter is what makes it even more fascinating. A beam splitter is a device that uses mirrors so that two cameras are arranged with one shooting straight forward, and the other shooting vertically at a 45-degree angle to the first camera. The mirror is used to line up the two shots from slightly different angles. In the designs posted by Snyder, the camera pointing forward was to be the 35mm camera and the 75mm would have been the vertical one.
The weird part is how atypical this is from the rest of Justice League. Beam splitting rigs are usually used to shoot in 3D, but no other scenes in Justice League were shot in this way that we know of. The fact that he's using both 35mm and 75mm cameras in the beam splitter means that he's likely actually shooting identical shots, but at different depths of field, allowing him to keep the camera in motion (per his description) while still being able to zoom and make other manipulations seamlessly in post-production.
Since this scene was totally removed, in favor of one comprised of mostly static camera shots, we don't know exactly what the finished product would look like, but a portion of a leaked deleted scene of Cyborg could give a bit of a hint, showing the camera simultaneously panning and zooming, and it's definitely more visually interesting.
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