While most of the world celebrated Valentine’s Day, DC and comic book fans everywhere were treated to a surprise of their own: a brand new trailer for the long-awaited Snyder Cut of Justice League. And, so far, it’s looking to be about what’s been promised.
It’s no secret the DCEU hasn’t been doing very well in the past few years. Justice League, the first version anyway, seemed to be a culmination of every single failure about the rival to Marvel. It was somehow both over-bloated and lacked any significant character development, with tonal shifts that had the possibility to give a viewer whiplash.
A lot of its failures, though, could certainly be chalked up to the complicated history of what was supposed to be Zack Snyder’s film. After he had to drop out due to the tragic suicide of his daughter, Joss Whedon took over at the helm. He and the studio then essentially ripped the film apart and stitched it back together again in a wannabe-Avengers type of way. Obviously, it didn’t go well and, thus, the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement began.
The Snyder Cut is one of those things that really shouldn’t exist. Fans knew, though, that there was a version of this film that was supposed to be better than what was ultimately released in theaters. Only because of the social media campaigning, from the fans to the stars, is this version even possible. After some rumors of a mini-series, this now four-hour director’s cut is happening, and it has an incredibly rare opportunity to bring back and build some hype for DC, which has been disappointing fans for years.
Of course, just because it’s getting released doesn’t mean it’s destined to be immediately greater than what came before it. There should still be some reservations about the fact that budget issues might come into play, the CGI in certain parts of the trailer looks a little rough and, of course, the constant question surrounding any film from DC: Is it still going to be trying to do too much?
Not to mention, the Snyder Cut doesn’t hold a lot of ground in terms of the larger DCEU, so there’s some merit to question if there’s even much of a point to this whole thing at all. Perhaps, after so much hope for this version to even exist, this new cut of Justice League simply won’t be able to live up to the hype.
But, instead, maybe this is a gargantuan opportunity for DC. After all, this doesn’t necessarily have to do anything but be a good film. If it bombs, oh well. That’s not exactly anything new for the company. But if it does well? The Snyder Cut could kick off a whole new format for DC.
Forget about the extended universe. Zack Snyder’s Justice League could start DC on a path of doing one-off films that are well-done and true to their source material and finally accepting that they’re never going to be the MCU. The Snyder Cut looks, at least from the trailer, to have fixed the tone issues, reinvigorated and fleshed out beloved characters like Cyborg and truly delivered what fans wanted this film to be.
It also still looks like a hugely ambitious movie, even for a four-hour runtime, but done in a way that might just work now that Joss Whedon isn’t around anymore. Truly, it’s hard not to get excited to see Darkseid or Superman in his black suit or a version of Jared Leto’s Joker that doesn’t look like a b-movie gang leader.
Only time will tell, but who knows, release day could roll around, and this film could very well be a turning point not for the DCEU, but for DC film adaptations in general. For better or for worse, all eyes from the comic book world will be tuned to HBO Max on March 18.
Jackson Horvat is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.