Will The Snyder Cut Be Good? (Understanding Snyder's Style & Original DC Plan)

What we have is a unique situation. Usually, a Director’s Cut is just an extended version of a movie. It will be a few minutes long, extended scenes or adding in previously deleted scenes. Sometimes it can be enough to change how certain parts of a movie are viewed, if not an entire film. The most popular example of this is of course “Blade Runner”. But we aren’t talking about seeing an extended version of the massively reshoot Joss Whedon film. This is a four hour movie from Zack Snyder, a man who could be considered Whedon’s opposite in terms of directing style. I felt it was important to look at what exactly Snyder’s style is, what his original DC movie plan was, and give people a clearer idea of what to expect from the Snyder Cut.

While Zack might not have a super long filmography, his movies contain a lot of recognizable and unique traits. His films contain slow motion shots, including various action sequences while also zooming in as it unfolds. This is often used to show off either the fighting choreography. But it is also used to create striking visuals of his movies. It is often why regardless of which Snyder film you watch, it always leaves you thinking of various scenes. Another thing regarding Zack’s films that often leaves an impression is the dialogue. It’s a little hard to describe exactly what it’s like. While it is never completely devoid of humor, the dialogue of a Snyder film usually carries some sort of weight to it. This can be seen as being serious to a certain extent. But while humor isn’t completely absent, that’s not where the focus is. Dialogue in Zack’s films is supposed to put emphasis on the bigger picture and meaning that is trying to be conveyed, and it is often put with various memorable images. That’s why people tends to remember his films, he wants them to feel impacted and to ponder on them. It should be noted that Zack often has intriguing ideas, but sometimes needs something to ground him. Most of his movies are adaptations of pre-existing material. This helps him focus some of the more bold and out there ideas he wants to try out. Because even though Snyder is someone who wants to try new things and be bold, that doesn’t necessarily mean he knows the best way to portray it. Which is why it has helped with certain movies that he is using pre-existing source material to jump off from. It helps him stay focused. And even though his films often deal with big action, superheroes, or fantasy elements, Zack often approaches them from a more grounded or realistic angle. Meaning they can be dark and even brutal. But that doesn’t necessarily mean his movies are violent for the sake of it. It can be used to bring attention to a certain aspect of the story or character. And finally, let’s discuss how certain characters can be portrayed in his movies. A lot of gay jokes have been made about “300” and how the movie seems to exploit the bodies of the Spartan warriors. And jokes have been made regarding the sex scene from “Watchmen”. Let’s also not forget some of the criticisms of “Sucker Punch”, the one film he seemed to have the most creative freedom with. While an argument could be made about the sexualization of some of his characters, it should be noted that he doesn’t do it with one gender. For Zack, it doesn’t really matter if the attractive character is male or female. In fact, some of Snyder’s more interesting and complex characters are female. At the end of the day, Zack Snyder’s films will more often than not be divisive. But they will always leave an impact on those who watch them. And when compared to some other directors currently working, that kind of makes Snyder a more successful director. Because at least people will always pay attention to his work and have a strong reaction.

Now this brings us to what his original plan was for the DCEU. I’m sure most of us have already become familiar, so I will try and just hit the main points. Zack Snyder had a very specific story that was supposed to span over a total of 5 movies, the majority of it unfolding over 3 Justice League movies. The focus was on Superman, a version that was struggling to find his place on Earth. The Batman of this world was older and darker, one who had almost lost all of his humanity. And other heroes that would end up joining him were more or less brand new heroes, with the exception of Wonder Woman. The ultimate threat was Darkseid, who would launch an invasion of Earth that would lead to the Anti-Life Equation being unleashed on Earth, and a resurrected and emotionally destroyed Superman falling victim to it. Batman would lead a small resistance that will try to go back in time and alter events, which will result in Batman sacrificing himself in order to help Superman and the rest of the league prevail. The story would end with Superman becoming the bright and hope inspiring hero many fans know him for.

When the first couple of movies came out, a lot of comparisons were being made to the MCU and how DC was rushing things. But here is the thing…when “Man of Steel” came out, it was 2013, only 1 year after “The Avengers”. Meaning there really wasn’t enough time for the studio to realize there might be something to a cinematic universe before releasing their Superman reboot. But I will admit, that topic must have come up in between MoS and “Dawn of Justice”. Shortly before the release of the latter in 2016, it was revealed that Snyder’s 5 film plan was shortened to 4 and that he would help leave room for other DC movies to fit in, which is where the real copying of the MCU took place. Snyder had no intention of creating a cinematic universe in the same style as Marvel’s. From a certain perspective, you can argue that Zack has a better understanding of franchises than Marvel. If you have a franchise that just continues putting out movie after movie where they all deeply connect to each other, it becomes very difficult to attract new audiences. And the people behind the scenes are less willing to take risks and try something new. Zack’s plan had a clear beginning, middle, and end. A story that - while most likely being divisive and cause arguments among some comic books fans in terms of character portrayal - had something to say that would leave people coming back to it. So no, Zack Snyder wasn’t the one trying to copy the MCU with his core story. But the studio arguably was when they started green lighting other movies that did have vague connections to Snyder’s films, but mainly only to establish they take place in the same cinematic universe. The studio and Zack often found themselves against each other. The theatrical version of “Dawn of Justice” ended up cutting out half an hour of admittedly important and essential footage, and the negative reception from critics forced the studio to try and over-correct… First with “Suicide Squad”, and later on with “Justice League”. Once again, the length of Snyder’s story was cut down. Instead of a two part Justice League story, it was going to be only the one film. And they tried to force other restrictions like having it be under 2 hours. Considering Snyder’s films take their time to tell their story, often resulting in running times well over 2 hours, it became clear that Snyder and the studio had two completely different goals in mind. Unfortunately, following a tragic event in Snyder’s family, Zack stepped down following filming for Justice League. Often viewed by some as an unofficial firing of Snyder, the studio brought in a vastly different director - one that just so happened to create hit movies for Marvel - in order to rush through post-production and reshoots that ended up being far more extensive than initially marketed.

In the end, it is the classic yet still sad story of an artist’s vision going up against the vision and goal of a corporate business. If Zack was allowed to follow through on his original 5 film plan, or even 4 film plan, would it have been good? Well, fan reception to “Man of Steel” and “Dawn of Justice” was divisive, showing that a lot of people were definitely expecting those films to come out a certain way. A drastically different way than what was in the films. So it is hard to tell what the initial response would be like to each film as well as the overall reception following the series’s conclusion. But as mentioned before, it would have been a story that nonetheless left an impression on everyone. A story that the director could claim is truly his. But…reception to his other films show that Zack’s dark, gritty style isn’t for everyone.

Which finally brings us back to the ultimate question. Will the Snyder Cut be a genuinely good film? Well…as you can gather, it is really dependent on how you feel about some of his other movies. If you like Snyder’s films, and always enjoyed MoS and BvS, then there is no doubt you will love it. But if you never really liked those 2 films, you might not be into it that much. If you are someone who ended up coming around on those 2 films to a certain extent, you can at the very least appreciate the fact that some version of Snyder’s true vision will finally be released. I know that might not seem to be a definitive answer, but it is at least an honest one.

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“Will The Snyder Cut Be Good?”

Interesting question. I have a few of my own but I’ll save those for later. I’ll start this by saying I’m a fan of Zack Snyder’s directing style and I feel that the Director’s Cut of ‘Watchmen’ is one of the best “superhero” movies I’ve ever seen. I’m very much looking forward to this and have no doubt I will love it. In fact, I’d be gobsmacked if I didn’t love it. I believe my reaction will either be love or hate, though, and it’s most unlikely that I’ll walk away from this indifferent or just so-so. It’s going to be love or hate and since I love the DC characters, the story and his filmmaking it’s almost assuredly going to be love.

You mentioned dialogue in his movies and it made me think - dialogue is like an unseen character in his films. The words don’t so much as tell the story as set a mood, emphasize a point or enhance what you’re seeing. There’s a band I like called Live and their singer, Ed Kowalczyk, has a great voice but his songwriting can be forced at points and I look at his voice as just another instrument in the band rather than the vocals of the song. I view dialogue in Snyder films much the same way - the lines are harmonious to what we’re seeing/feeling rather than explanatory or revealing.

I wish that we could have seen Zack get to do the films he wanted but I also understand the studio has their role to play in the filmmaking process. Writing someone a huge check and letting them do whatever they want because “it’s their vision” is how we ended up with the Star Wars prequels and those are abominations. Had the studio been involved in the process beyond grinning like idiots we might have ended up with movies more like the original trilogy but I digress.

Fans and the media will always compare DC movies to Marvel movies, and DC comics to Marvel comics. It’s what we do. But the success and tone of the Marvel movies worked against Snyder in that he wants to make more grounded or realistic films while also exploring and doing justice to the impossible and fantasy that the genre demands. People went to see Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman expecting to see a movie like Thor, or Iron Man, or Captain America and what they got instead was a movie that was taking a realistic look at what would happen if these superheroes did exist and what would their lives be like when they weren’t saving people? I love the darker worlds that DC has created in their films - the Dark Knight Trilogy, Watchmen, The Joker, The Kitchen, A History of Violence, Road to Perdition, V for Vendetta…all incredible films that had a heft to them and a grit that you simply don’t see in Marvel movies. I’m hoping to see that in spades in the Snyder Cut and I believe we will.

I hope this is a huge success for HBO Max, for DC Comics and for Zack Snyder. I’m thrilled that we get to see his vision for the film and for the universe he created and I hope it sparks more exploration of these characters and this direction for the DC Cinematic Universe.

My questions:

  1. Is anyone re-watching Man of Steel and/or Batman vs. Superman in the days leading up to the 18th? :00_superman1: :batman:
  2. Are you going to re-watch the Joss Whedon Justice League in the days leading up to the 18th to have it fresh in your mind to compare the two? :00_justice_league3:
  3. Are you going to try and watch the #SnyderCut in one sitting or broken up into chunks? If the latter, two two-hour chunks or four one-hour chunks?
  4. Who is the most underrated DC character and why is it Hawkman? :00_hawkman:
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  1. No

  2. No.

  3. Not watching until probably 2023.

  4. Hawkman!

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I think for the most part, whether or not you like it will come down to whether or not you enjoyed his previous DC movies. He just has a pretty unique style that’s obviously not for everyone, and considering this cut will allow him to completely indulge in that style, I fully expect it to be as polarizing as Man of Steel and BvS have been. I’m in the camp that’s mostly loved his DC movies so far, so I’m definitely expecting to love this as well, flaws and all

Already re-watched Man of Steel and BvS, and I’m planning to re-watch the theatrical version of Justice League next weekend as well. I definitely wanna be able to better compare all the differences between the 2 versions

Aside from an occasional bathroom break, I’m gonna watch this in 1 sitting. I’m always that way the 1st time I watch a movie, no matter how long it is

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I hope so, the fans kept asking for it. In all seriousness, when I had heard about the initial ideas and even some of the takeout ideas from BvS, I knew that if they were a part of the DCEU movies like they originally were intended to, fans would lose their absolute minds. But now that its on HBOmax, I don’t really feel that way, because now there is the uncertainty if it’s going to be a part of the DCEU canon or not. No matter how good it is, or how bad it is, the fans asked for it. I wouldn’t say “excited” is the word to describe how I feel it’s moreso open to watching it, and for the first time ever in my life, I’ll actively seek out reviews, because remember, the fans asked for it.

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Pretty much what @arkhamassassin said. Can copy & paste their response and that would describe me perfectly. I’m pretty excited for this movie.

Planning to watch it on the 18th. Will probably watch the other two movies leading up to it. Gonna try to watch JL in one sitting. I have 3 kids… will probably take me 6 hours to finish this thing.

Underrated? Gonna have to go with Cyborg. I believe he can do a lot, I only ever see him as a the side character “tech” guy in the comics I read. Would definitely check out a solo comic if they ever did a new one.

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I just re-watched Batman vs Superman. And I plan on re-watching Justice League in the next week. Most of my roommates haven’t seen either movie so it’s fun to see them see it for the first time. But I know they aren’t going to like the 4 hour Snyder Cut, even though I hope to.

I’m going to watch it in one sitting, with probably snack breaks or exercise breaks. I can only sit in one spot for so long. :laughing:

It’s funny because I remember not liking Batman vs Superman the first time. But I liked it this time I watched it. :woman_shrugging:

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  1. Yes, I will re-watch Man of Steel the night before, and then re-watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition in the new 1.43:1 aspect ratio the day of and before watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

I believe Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be available at 2 AM EST on March 18th, so presumably BVS in the new aspect ratio will also be available then too.

So I’ll go to sleep early, get up at 2 AM, watch everything, then go back to sleep and get in a quick forty winks or whatever. Then get up again, go for my run, and then get my work done for the day – working at home this past year has it’s benefits, I’m not sure if I ever want to go back to normal; well I do know… and I don’t want to, I like how it is now. (Ha!)

  1. No, I’m not going to re-watch the Joss Whedon Justice League. The last time I watched that it was in 2018, or late 2017, whenever it came to HBO. That was enough. [insert smiley face]

  2. Since it’s broken up into six chapters…

…I’ll watch it that way. Watch a chapter, take a brake, then watch the next chapter and so on. And whatever the duration of the chapters are…

  1. Bring on Ava DuVerny’s “New Gods.”
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It won’t be great, but it won’t be nearly as bad as the critics make it out to be.

  1. No
  2. Maybe - want to see if there are errors in what was commonly accepted to be Whedon footage
  3. If I don’t finish it in one sitting, that won’t be a good sign.
  4. Booster Gold, and I can’t understand why people can’t see it’s Hawkman

How it that we have four watchalongs for the Psychology of Supervillains and no watchalongs set for the Snyder Cut?

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I think it will. The characters are certainly going to have more depth. It won’t be for everyone, but with the diversification of media consumption and DC content (HBO Max series and movies, theatrical, CW), I don’t think it has to be anymore.

Mostly, I’m just really excited to see Henry in the role again without the CGI face!

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I think both BvS and MoS improve with each viewing!

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As to will the Snyder Cut be good…

Well, of course if you liked his previous DC movies then you will most likely consider the Snyder Cut good too. And if you didn’t, and at risk of stating the obvious, then it’s a good chance that you probably won’t.

A few thoughts on the MCU:

I’m a lifelong DC guy, going back to being a little kid watching the Super Friends every Saturday morning back in the 70s on ABC.

I liked Spider-Man too, but that was it for Marvel. Everyone else was kind of corny to me.

And later on after I knew who Jimmy Olsen was, I started looking at Spider-Man and Peter Parker as basically Jimmy Olsen with “spider-powers” and personal problems, but that’s neither here nor there. [insert smiley face]

For MCU movies, I’ve only seen Black Panther and that’s it. And that was just to show support for diversity, the character doesn’t really interest me at all. But I’m glad it made over a billion dollars.

Now it’s your turn, DC and Warner Bros.

So John Stewart, Icon… I guess a Black Superman is what they decided to go with. Okay. I never would have guessed they would do that, but since it looks like that’s what they’re doing, then do it well.

Make it the best Superman movie you’ve ever made if you’re going to do it. Because if it fails… oh boy.

And it doesn’t matter if some or the majority of hardcore Superman fans (or DC fans or comic book movie fans) want it or not. Don’t make it for them, because most of them probably they don’t want it, and you’re never going to please all of them anyway. Make it for someone else, make it for everyone else. And make it for me, of course. [insert smiley face]

Back to the MCU though… yeah, I am baffled to this day at the popularity, and the longevity of that popularity, of those movies.

Then again, Batman has been more popular than Superman for the last 30-odd years too, so the whole world is messed up. (Ha!)

And it’s only been this way for that short amount of time, but it seems like it’s been forever and has always been so, but no… Once upon a time Superman was the Man, and Batman was just Batman. That’s how it was. What happened?

But yeah, everyone likes what they like. Some people really dig what Zack Snyder’s doing and like the Marvel movies too. Some just like the Marvel movies. And there’s some like me who think the Marvel movies look cheesy as hell and loves Zack Snyder’s style. And there’s those in-between all of these.

So you get all kinds… at risk of stating the obvious.

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@Isaac.Lawrence said:

Yes, I will re-watch Man of Steel the night before, and then re-watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition in the new 1.43:1 aspect ratio the day of and before watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League

I completely missed that this was a thing but now I must see it! Looking at the example Zack posted that looks great - the new coloring and added details look like they’ll be worth watching. I only see it available for pre-order right now and only in 4K even though Zach specifically said it would be available on Blu-Ray. Did you see any mentions that the new aspect ratio for Batman v Superman would be available on HBO Max?

@zontarr.26192 said:

How it that we have four watchalongs for the Psychology of Supervillains and no watchalongs set for the Snyder Cut?

Yes! I 100% agree! There’s gotta be a watchalong set up for this, right? If so then sign me up!

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I’ll start this by saying that I’m happy it’s coming out so people who are fans of it get what they want. I’m not just hating on Snyder’s vision for the sake of gatekeeping. As we all know, the circumstances of him walking from the original project are tragic and I’m glad to hear it’s being set right.

All that said, the more I hear about this movie and his original trilogy plan the more I think it sounds like garbage tbh. Zack is a director who has an incredible eye for cinematography, but is frankly just not a good writer. I don’t think I’ve seen a single one of his films where I felt the story was done well or fully fleshed out.

The trilogy he supposedly planned just doesn’t seem to work at all on a story level. The ideas are weird and don’t seem to have much purpose. I think the reason most people are confused by stuff like Bruce and Lois having a kid isn’t due to the fact it’s wildly uncharacteristic, but because it literally adds nothing to the plot until the very end.

Zack is the kind of guy to think of really neat moments but just can not envision a full story. He seems to get extremely excited about a few select scenes and then rushes through underdeveloped, filler scenes in between to get him to the parts he likes. And while that may seem like a weird and bad faith take considering we are literally talking about his proposed JL trilogy, but I think his “vision” as it has been presented by the media so far seems to back this up.

All of the things we’ve heard sound like intriguing concepts/moments but have absolutely zero through line. They don’t build on one another to create a compelling narrative and character arc. Nothing I’ve read talks about how he wanted the characters to change and evolve over this trilogy. Just that he had these wild ideas/twists. His writing just lacks substance and development to the point that it’s hard to get excited about it.

Not to mention weird directing choices like insisting on a black and white cut of his JL for HBO Max. Like… why? I have nothing against BW superhero films/films in general. I thought the BW cut of Logan was better than the original. But stylistic choices like that need to serve a purpose and have narrative relevance. It works in Logan because the entire style of that film is reminiscent of the classic westerns of the 50s and 60s. Nothing we’ve seen of JL or read about his larger narrative showcases a reason why it builds upon the story he’s attempting to tell (though I guess that makes sense given my issues with his story above).

Not to mention that properly filming for black and white requires a lot of specific set-up and development during production that he didn’t do. We know this cause we’ve seen the fact that most of this film was shot on a green screen from the start. The lighting rigs used to create a compelling black and white shot simply don’t work for getting clean and usable green screen footage. I’m not saying it’s going to be this simple, but his black and white version is basically just going to be a glorified filter he slaps over the whole thing. Which means even if he had a narrative purpose for using the black and white style, he literally didn’t set up any compelling visual use of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just some dork typing on a comic web forum. I’m not saying I know everything or that I could possibly understand everything that goes into making a film of this nature or that I could do it better. But as a fan of film first and comics at a close second, I really struggle to understand what Zack is really attempting to do with his films. They’re just poorly made on a narrative level mixed with some pretty visuals every once and a while. His films and plans come across as rushed and underdeveloped at best or pretentious at worst.

All that said, if you enjoy these films, please don’t take this as a personal attack. Its totally cool to disagree and enjoy these things. I’m actual jealous of you cause there’s honestly nothing I want more than to love these movies. I hope you realize that this post was really attempting to point out some genuine criticisms of these films and not just hating on comic fans who like different styles than me. Peace and love to all.


Edit: Something else just came to my mind about the Black and White version that also feels very counter-intuitive and doesn’t make sense is how it strips the characters of their visual recognition and iconicity. I’m not talking about the BW suit for Superman cause that obviously makes sense give the character’s mental state, but it really doesn’t work for the rest of the characters. The color schemes are some of the most iconic and important aspects of these characters and allows for a visual cue of the internal contrasts between each member of the team. It’s the same reason we criticize the early X-Men films for taking the team’s uniform and putting them into black leather suits. Seeing Barry’s flashy suit (pun intended, I don’t care it’s funny lol) compared to Bruce’s grim and dark suit helps cue the audience into each character’s emotional state and general personality. These suits are the external representation of the character’s personality. So stripping the film of all it’s color (and therefor these suits) is really doing a disservice. Especially since these films are really the first proper look for many of these characters on the big screen. Just a thought I had and wanted to include.

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i think it will be fun and I plan on watching it all at once with time for bathroom/snack breaks. I enjoy /am content with marvel movies but respect Snyder for trying/working create his own thing and Im happy for him to be able to complete it and get this catharsis. as for snyder movies I dislike his lighting, color pallette but his movies are pretty to look at. I think i’ll watch BVS afterwards cause then things might make more sense, but I want to go into it kinda blind same way I did for Justice league so I can compare them on equal ground(since I didn’t rewatch everything for that one and i want to be fair for the enevitable comparison.)

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When it comes to simply hearing what Snyder’s original plan was, I think I understand where you are coming from. There are a number of movies where, if you simply hear what the general story was or only had an outline to look at, they wouldn’t exactly be considered great or even good films. But often times, the directing of a film and the quality of the acting performances can elevate the overall quality of a film. I think that’s why some people still aren’t too keen on Zack’s original plan. Sure, they have HEARD about it, the general beats and some slightly more specific details of certain hypothetical scenes. But it would be noticeably different if it was actually filmed and we can actually SEE how it would have played out

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My criticisms apply to all of Snyder’s films (especially his DCEU run). I establish that here:

I then keep a lot of my initial discussion and criticisms to be broadly applied to his films:

All that said, yeah we don’t know every detail about his trilogy, but once again the things we’ve heard don’t do any job at establishing a well thought out narrative and character arc as I say here:

I also think it’s unfair and inaccurate to say it’s not possible to summarize and pitch a full narrative and well thought out arc of a film in a short amount of time. It 100% is. That is literally the first thing any filmmaker does. They need to be able to efficiently summarize their plan and narrative to studios to get their films funded. Zack’s summary, once again, lacks any through line or character development. Just weird and slightly interesting moments (consistent with the way his films feel overall when it comes to his writing). Maybe he can’t go into every little detail, but that’s really not a problem. He should be able to give a summary of a well-paced narrative with a consistent and compelling through-line. He has not provided that though. His summary is extremely telling and reflective to the issues I have with his writing and establish in my initial response. Hope that clears things up. :slight_smile:

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A few things that were interesting to me…

I’ve of course seen this critique, and the only response is…

Aside from the obvious that that’s part of the overall story that Zack Snyder wanted to tell: Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane having a child together. But in the end… yes, you set up something in your story, and reveal it’s reason when it serves the purpose of the story that you want to tell.

So naturally it’s an imaginary story… like all of them are. And it makes total sense in the story that he wanted to tell.

So that criticism to me seems as though, for some (many?), and in the general sense, that these characters can only be one thing and one thing only. Or they’re only allowed to be protrayed within this specific parameter and anything other than that is wrong.

That just seems so weird to me. In this particular imaginary story thus is so, and in another imaginary story there’s another scenario.

It’s like having Batman use “Shark Repellent Bat Spray!” or something. In that particular scenario, in that imaginary story, it makes sense. In another imaginary story it would be stupid.

And ultimately, what it seems as though what you’re saying, that what Zack Snyder wanted to set up with Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane having a child, and that the reason behind doing this doesn’t pay off until the end of the story, that this is somehow “wrong” and doesn’t seem to have much purpose?

If that’s what you’re saying, then when would you have it pay off? Mid-way through the final film. Three-quarters of the way through? At the beginning of the final film, and that’s what the final film would be about?

So, y’know, it’s like what are we talking about here… what’s the real criticism here?

Not to mention weird directing choices like insisting on a black and white cut of his JL for HBO Max. Like… why? I have nothing against BW superhero films/films in general. I thought the BW cut of Logan was better than the original. But stylistic choices like that need to surve a purpose and have narrative relevance. It works in Logan because the entire style of that film is reminiscent of the classic westerns of the 50s and 60s. Nothing we’ve seen of JL or read about his larger narrative showcases a reason why it builds upon the story he’s attempting to tell (though I guess that makes sense given my issues with his story above).

Not to mention that properly filming for black and white requires a lot of specific set-up and development during production that he didn’t do. We know this cause we’ve seen the fact that most of this film was shot on a green screen from the start. The lighting rigs used to create a compelling black and white shot simply don’t work for getting clean and usable green screen footage. I’m not saying it’s going to be this simple, but his black and white version is basically just going to be a glorified filter he slaps over the whole thing. Which means even if he had a narrative purpose for using the black and white style, he literally didn’t set up any compelling visual use of it.

That’s a weird thing I see with the black and white criticism.

What purpose or narrative relevance does it have to serve other than “just because”?

Are there rules to this?

And that version is called the “Justice is Gray” version. So there may well be a narrative reason.

Justice is not always black and white, sometimes, perhaps often, it is gray. As is life.

And it may not be that “deep” at all. It could be that it just looked cool to him. And that it’s different from any another super-hero movie. And so you’re not going to get his super-hero movies confused with anyone else’s super-hero movies.

He’s making his own statement. And he doesn’t want to be like everyone else.

Nothing wrong with that is it? And a lot of film makers are like that.

And some are heralded and celebrated for their personal style. Others aren’t.

Ultimately I guess the goal is to never be generic. And so I guess Zack Snyder is like, “Some may call me many things, but you’re never going to call me generic.” (Ha!)

And of course the “Justice is Gray” version is an option for those us us who want to watch it that way. No-one is forced to watch it that way if they don’t want to. But that of course is obvious.

It is cool as hell though. (Ha!)

And that’s pretty much Zack Snyder’s reasoning, I believe (at about 34:55 of the video).

“There is Zack Snyder’s Justice League ‘Justice is Gray’ edition, which is the black and white version, which I’m a huge advocate of and huge admirer of,” Snyder said. “For me, it’s my favorite version of the movie. I understand that people want to see it in color, and that’s great, and I really want them to enjoy it in color. But for me, the ultimate version is the black and white IMAX version of the movie, which is sort of the penultimate ridiculous movie that shouldn’t exist at its highest most fetishistic level, and I really, really love that. And of course, the black and white version of Justice League will be released on HBO Max, at some point after release, I believe, and you’ll be able to see that somehow on, I don’t know how you’re gonna get to it but that’s the plan.”

Aesthetic reasons. Because he thought it looked cool.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just some dork typing on a comic web forum. I’m not saying I know everything or that I could possibly understand everything that goes into making a film of this nature or that I could do it better. But as a fan of film first and comics at a close second, I really struggle to understand what Zack is really attempting to do with his films. They’re just poorly made on a narrative level mixed with some pretty visuals every once and a while. His films and plans come across as rushed and underdeveloped at best or pretentious at worst.

I see the pretentious criticism a lot too.

To that I have to ask, who thinks this is meant to be “High Art”? Or “Cinema”?

It’s Pop Art, through and through.

Like Andy Warhol’s Superman.

Would anyone consider that pretentious? No, it’s Pop Art.

And that’s all Zack Snyder is doing: Pop Art. Popular art

He’s not suggesting it’s anything more than that, is he?

It’s not like it’s… I don’t know, with Superman it’s not meant to be considered along the same lines as Saint Anselm of Canterbury’s ontological argument from Proslogion or something.

Or that could be the intention, who knows? (Ha!)

No, it’s a super-hero movie.

All that said, if you enjoy these films, please don’t take this as a personal attack. Its totally cool to disagree and enjoy these things. I’m actual jealous of you cause there’s honestly nothing I want more than to love these movies. I hope you realize that this post was really attempting to point out some genuine criticisms of these films and not just hating on comic fans who like different styles than me. Peace and love to all.

Yeah, just speaking for myself…

I just see so much of this kind of criticism and it’s just so weird to me, and I just couldn’t help myself but to respond and get it off my chest. [insert smiley face]

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an “Elseworld” story. They all are, of course.

Ricard Donner’s Superman: The Movie was. Tim Burton’s Batman was. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begin. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.

It’s just so weird to me that comic book fans of all people don’t seem to have room for different versions and interpretations of these characters.

I guess that may be common in a Marvel mindset, but from DC fans that’s just so weird to me. Because with Marvel there really is kind of only one way to do their characters. With DC though, no, there’s multiple ways to tell stories with their characters, and there’s multiple versions of their characters. They have a Multiverse. And Infinite Earths. That sort of thing.

Anyway. As it were. [insert smiley face]

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This is not at all reflective of what I’m saying. Maybe you haven’t seen my other posts, but I think a lot of people that know me on the forums know that I am definitely NOT the kind of person who says these characters can only be one thing. I have been pushing for these characters to grow and change and evolve from their typical portrayals for almost 2 years now on the DC Universe forums.

The answer to this depends on how important and major the event/plot device is. Bruce and Lois having a kid while Clark is dead is a pretty frickin big deal. That would have major consequences on the all three of them and the plot overall. You can’t just sweep it under the rug and then bring it back up after Bruce is dead to set up a new Batman.

I really could not care less about how accurate these films would be to the comics. Superman and Lois, for example, has been doing a lot of new and different things with Clark and his kids that are literally nothing like what we’ve seen in the comics. But the show maintains continuity and gives those changes the proper amount of time and focus they deserve considering how much of an impact they would have on Clark’s life. To summarize my take as being upset about it not following the comics is extremely bad faith considering how I literally establish that as not being the issue very early on in my initial argument.

I literally explain how narrative relevance is important in that quote when I discuss Logan. Beyond that, I follow it up with how shooting in black and white to create a dynamic and interesting shot requires very specific set ups during production that we know Zack didn’t do. You can sit here and say that there are no rules to filmmaking and that’s fine. I’d agree with you. But there are ways to take advantage of the black and white filter to at least make it visually interesting if you aren’t giving it a narrative purpose. It’s like slapping a black and white filter on The Avengers. Like, it does nothing visually because that’s not how the film was shot or planned.

Beyond all that, I also follow up why doing the black and white edit could do a disservice to the purpose of costuming in this follow up edit I made:

As far as my criticisms of being pretentious, it’s literally one line in my initial response and is not something I embedded in the criticisms I made through out. My criticisms are mostly that the films are poorly written and underdeveloped from a narrative stance. Also, pop art has far more meaning and depth to it than you are portraying it as. Pop art isn’t just cool looking art pieces. It was a whole counter-movement from the era, but I don’t really care to get into all that right now.

You can disagree with me on him being pretentious as that’s totally subjective. But I have no interest in really focusing on it at the moment because it’s really not the core of my argument.

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I’m personally fine with exploring Elseworld’s version of these characters like the films you mentioned (whether or not I’d still have critique on the handling is dependent) but at the time of Zack’s plans from MoS, BvS, JL these aren’t considered Elseworlds but all part of the main-timeline for the franchise we’d be exposed to for however many years so I’m judging it more on that basis.

I just think for the first time bringing all these characters together on screen in featured films shouldn’t deviate too far away from the personality or traits that are more popularized within the canon.

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