An anonymous Warner Bros. executive has revealed that various studio insiders and VIPs walked away from the the initial cut of 2017’s Justice League with a less-than-favorable opinion of the DCEU ensemble film.
In a recent Vanity Fair piece featuring insight into Justice League’s troubled production and an interview with the film’s original director, Zack Snyder, the outlet also spoke to an unnamed studio exec who described Joss Whedon and Geoff Johns’ theatrical cut as “awful” and “pointless”.
“When we got to see what Joss actually did, it was stupefying,” said the studio executive. “The robber on the rooftop—so goofy and awful. The Russian family—so useless and pointless.”
The anonymous executive then spoke to how “awkward” the atmosphere was among the people who saw it, noting that many were afraid to admit their true feelings. “Everyone knew it,” he recalled. “It was so awkward because nobody wanted to admit what a piece of shit it was.”
That’s right. Warner Bros. executives recognized how subpar the theatrical cut was, or at how it would be perceived as such, and released it anyway.
To add salt to that wound, Vanity Fair shared a very telling observation of the film’s release, writing “Publicly, everyone close to the movie practiced their smiles and rehearsed their talking points in the hopes of doing no further damage to the project, not that it helped much,” perfectly summing up the blockbuster train wreck.
However, seeing the writing on the wall, Snyder took the laptop with his version of the film on it with him when he departed. Once the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign began to gain traction, it caught the attention of WB bigwig Toby Emmerich, who decided to extend an olive branch to Snyder.
“A lot of the people at the company, myself included, always felt badly that Zack didn’t get to finish his vision of this film because of the circumstances,” said Emmerich. “And so if there was a way to make it logistically and financially possible, which HBO Max did, and Zack had a willingness to do it, it seemed like a win for everybody.”
That may be so, especially for fans, but originally WB’s offer was to release The Snyder Cut as it was – in other words, the cut’s raw footage – which the jilted filmmaker balked at.
“I was like, ‘That’s a no, that’s a hard no,'”Snyder answered. Unless he had the option of making the movie to the best of his ability, Snyder noted that he preferred his cut to “be a mythical unicorn for all time.”
Thankfully for fans, the Snyder Cut has escaped the realm of myth and will release this year. However, realizing his vision after so many setbacks won’t come with remuneration for the man, as Snyder revealed he’s not making a penny off this deal.
“It’s exciting to get this chance, and I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” said Snyder, speaking to how excited and willing he was to complete his version of Justice League for free. “And I love working in it, and I’d do it for free – and I am.”
Zack Snyder’s Justice League will drop on HBO Max in a few weeks on March 18th.
What do you make of the reaction towards Whedon’s cut from Warner Bros.’ executives? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!