On May 22nd, 2017, it was announced that Zack Sndyer was stepping down as the director of Justice League. While Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had been met with a mixed reaction from both fans and critics, there was a great deal of excitement surrounding what the filmmaker would bring to the table with his team-up, especially after some jaw-dropping trailers.
Rather than the typical “creative differences” we hear so much about when a parting of the ways like this happens, it was a story mired in tragedy due to the fact Zack’s daughter, Autumn, had tragically died by suicide two months before. In a statement, the director explained that he had hoped returning to work would be “cathartic,” but he acknowledged that taking time off was for the best (a decision it’s hard not to wonder might have been influenced by Warner Bros. pushing a series of rewritten scenes from Joss Whedon on him which completely changed the entire film).
While it was said that the studio had offered to delay Justice League‘s release, Snyder declined, and Whedon was brought on to also direct those reshoots. At the time, many fans actually responded positively to that part of the news. After all, he’s a filmmaker who had successfully brought The Avengers to the big screen, directed a great sequel in the form of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and a well-known DC Comics fan after once trying to make a Wonder Woman movie.
We didn’t know at the time just how much Justice League would change in his hands, and the eventual theatrical release – a Frankenstein-ed movie with two clashing visions merged into one – was met with an overwhelmingly negative response. In the months that followed, an online campaign started which saw fans asking Warner Bros. to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut.
That gained momentum as time passed, with Times Square billboards, A-List supporters, and over $150,000 raised for a suicide prevention charity. As you’ll now no doubt be well aware, it paid off with the announcement this week that Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be released on HBO Max in 2021. Featuring finished visual effects and Snyder’s original plans for the film, excitement is quickly building, and good or bad, it’s downright amazing that the director’s work will now be seen, as intended.
It’s important to remember what led to Snyder deciding to step down from Justice League, though, and he recently Tweeted out some information which may be of use to you, or those you know.
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) May 22, 2020