This past weekend, I devoted 4hrs to watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League. This is not just another director’s cut. It is a completely different movie.
From a writer’s perspective, the 2017 theatrical release of the movie is like the first draft of a story. Generally, it’s not good. There is much work needed on character motivation’s, continuity, and overall story, but this is all fixed when you do your successive revisions.
The Snyder Cut, to continue this analogy, is the revised work that fills in character motivations, flushes out the scenes, and delivers a story that is ready to be consumed. It doesn’t mean that the story is perfect, it means that the story is serviceable.
So, why did Joss Whedon cut and change so much?
Whedon cut entire story arcs and removed character reasoning. Unnecessary dialogue changes were made. Scenes were changed against the wishes of the actors—the sexualized Wonder Woman & Flash scene—or added to drive a pointless sub-plot.
I think any creative can learn from this. Yes, it was two different director’s working on a single project, but creatives can end up in the same predicament working solo. Sometimes what you originally crafted works and just need some molding to make it function. And other times, you can cut too deep and leave your final creation devoid of any personality and riddled with inadequacies.
The Snyder Cut is an entirely different movie. Yes, it hits the same story beats, but how it gets there, and what motivates the characters are different. After seeing what was left on the cutting room floor, the theatrical release no longer exists in my mind.
Now if we could just get a fix for the rest of DCEU and their future plans.