This post feels off topic for me. I promise, however, that it has a point.
Also, I want to recognize that I am late to the game regarding the Snyder Cut. It’s being released. The campaign worked. There are huge issues with the #releasethesnydercut movement (mostly some people who can’t contain their bullshit and feel comfortable shitting on others through social media). And yes. Despite all the baggage that comes with the Snyder Cut, I am very excited for this to happen and I do hope that it is the vision that I always wanted when I used to think about seeing the Justice League on screen.
I have two points to make here. First, I want to explain my love for Zack Snyder’s movies (and the films that followed). There’s divisiveness regarding his vision and direction. I know it. As someone who has always stood up for the DCEU, trust me. I know it.
Second, I want to talk about the importance of artistic vision and what it means to have a creator’s intended idea brought to life. As someone who writes, I have a lot of control over my vision. Sometimes, creators have that autonomy ripped from them. Snyder is definitely one of those artists.
Okay. Let’s do this.
Zack Snyder is uncompromising when it comes to how he sees superhero movies and stories. He firmly believes that superheroes need to be portrayed as gods existing in the real world and there must be heavy ramifications for their actions.
It’s this relentless pursuit of bringing the nuances of DC comics to the screen, that made me fall in love with Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman. They are everything that I’ve ever wanted from a comic book film.
My beliefs are deeply rooted in what I read as a kid.
I’ve never been someone who indulged in whimsical or light-hearted fiction. I’m talking TV, movies, books, or comic books. I like grit. I want to see a struggle between light and darkness. I’m a horror junkie. But I rounded myself out with heavy drama, noire, crime, and thrillers.
As much as I wish I was, I’m not someone who will sign up to see a comedy movie. I can get on board with some light-hearted stuff, but when I am invested in something it tends to be gritty, dark, and morally complicated.
I’m not trying to tell you that I’m deep or so sophisticated. I just like shit that scares me or makes me question what it means to be good or bad or neutral.
Snyder’s work brings that type of realism and moral questioning to the table. It’s dark, sometimes it feels hopeless. There are many allusions to the real world in the films and it’s amazing to me to see these ideas tied to the fictional reality of DC comics.
When I was a kid, I read DC comics constantly. I watched every animated series. I collected the toys and drove my parents nuts with this stuff. It’s deeply rooted in my history. Call me immature, but these were the tools I used to unlock my imagination. Combine the comics with music and video games and Stephen King novels and you have a pretty complete picture of who I am.
And when I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to see the Justice League brought to life on screen. So, yes. I am thrilled by the Snyder Cut. There’s no argument that can deter me. I’ve been waiting for this since Man of Steel.
Man, this is going to be a long one. Sorry.
Let’s talk about artistic vision for a second.
Artistic vision and creative control is, literally, everything to people who are trying to create art.
I’m not much more than a part-time story scribbler, but if someone took my words, cut out three quarters of my text, and replaced it with their own work, I would be crushed.
I’d be livid.
When you set out to create something you are not pulling it out of thin air. There’s hours of thought that goes into a project. You mull on it. When you think you are through with it for a day, it comes back into your mind and keeps you up at night. Even when you’ve finished a first draft, there is still all the cleaning and editing and thinking to do to make it something special.
Now, I’m talking about writing. It’s, perhaps, the cheapest and easiest artistic pursuit from a materials perspective. I need paper and a pencil and a pencil sharpener and I’m good. I could get a cheap computer and write 17 novels on it without ever needing an upgrade.
Imagine if you spent millions of dollars working months with an entire film crew with sets and costumes and actors. You’ve written the script, gone through edits, read-throughs, you’ve set a vision, and you were 90% complete. Then tragedy strikes, you walk away, and the studio decides to bring in another director to tear your shit to pieces so that they can make a deadline.
It feels crushing to me and it’s not my project.
We need to remember that people who create are people. We often throw artists under the bus because they don’t conform to the traditional standards set by society. It’s not really possible to paint in a cubicle. You can’t be a photographer behind a desk. You certainly can’t make a movie in a 9-to-5 setting.
However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect how important they are to our society. The phrase gets passed around a lot, but people do tend to criticize artists and artistic pursuits. They then go read a book or watch TV and become the living embodiment of a hypocrite.
The only thing an artist really owns is their vision. It’s the one truth in the craft. And it doesn’t matter what the craft is or what media it might become. The only thing an artist will ever have control over is their vision.
That’s why the Snyder Cut matters. It’s an entire campaign telling a studio that the artist is as important as the product. It’s people telling faceless executives that they don’t have the right to interfere in creation.
So to sum up. I’m stoked for the Snyder Cut of Justice League. I think it’s an important moment for film. It’s also a grown man finally getting to see his childhood heroes brought to life in the way that he envisioned it in his imagination.