Warner Bros. originally wanted to put out an untouched and raw cut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max. Snyder refused, and stated that he would rather have the movie go unreleased, due to not entirely trusting their motives. When the director left the set of the 2017 movie for the last time, he took his laptop with the unfinished cut with him. It was in black and white and it had little to no visual effects, along with missing footage. As Snyder always claimed, his cut was indeed real, it just wasn’t ready to be released to the public in that form.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Zack Snyder spoke candidly about leaving Justice League behind and spending time with his family after a tragedy. While his reasoning for leaving has reached near-mythical status, the story of Warner Bros. coming back is just as interesting. The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement could no longer be ignored and Warner Bros. knew it, so they approached the director about releasing the Snyder Cut on HBO Max, which everybody knows by now.
However, according to Zack Snyder, Warner Bros. just wanted to release the raw and untouched footage from his laptop on HBO Max. “I was like, ‘That’s a no, that’s a hard no,'” Snyder recalls. “And they’re like, ‘But why? You can just put up the rough cut.'” Snyder, who battled with the studio for months while making Justice League did not fully trust the studio’s motivation for coming back to him. Snyder had this to say when asked about not wanting to release the raw footage.
“I go, ‘Here’s why. Three reasons: One, you get the internet off your back, which is probably your main reason for wanting to do this. Two, you get to feel vindicated for making things right, I guess, on some level. And then three, you get a sh*tty version of the movie that you can point at and go, ‘See? It’s not that good anyway. So maybe I was right.’ I was like, No chance. I would rather just have the Snyder cut be a mythical unicorn for all time.”
Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. were able to reach an agreement, which saw the director regain full creative control in lieu of receiving payment. Snyder was paid for the first cut of the movie and felt that getting his initial vision to the fans was of utmost importance. “I’m not getting paid,” he says. “I didn’t want to be beholden to anyone, and it allowed me to keep my negotiating powers with these people pretty strong.”
In the end, Zack Snyder believes that Warner Bros. put forth another $70 million to undo what Joss Whedon did and finish what he started. Now, DC fans are less than a month away from seeing the vision that Snyder had from the start, and it’s over 4 hours in length. Originally, Warner Bros. requested that Snyder only utilize 2 hours of screen time, which he did not think was feasible, so Joss Whedon came in and made that happen. So, fans will now have a healthy dose of new content to devour. The interview with Zack Snyder was originally conducted by Vanity Fair.