It’s been a long, hard road to get to the Snyder Cut.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, director Zack Snyder sat down to talk about how his director’s cut of “Justice League” came to be following the death of his daughter Autumn during original production on the film in 2017.
As the director recalled, he and his wife and producer Deborah walked away from the film after their daughter’s suicide put their creative conflicts with the studio in perspective.
“We just lost the will to fight that fight in a lot of ways,” Snyder said. “All of us, the whole family, we’re just so broken by [losing Autumn] that having those conversations in the middle of it really became…I was like, ‘Really?’ Frankly I think we did the right thing because I think it would’ve been either incredibly belligerent or we just rolled over.”
Among the many creative disputes with executives on the film was the studio’s push to make the film significantly shorter than Snyder envisioned.
“How am I supposed to introduce six characters and an alien with potential for world domination in two hours? I mean, I can do it, it can be done. Clearly, it was done,” he said, referring to the version of the film completed by Joss Whedon. “But I didn’t see it.”
An anonymous executive admitted to Vanity Fair that Whedon’s work on the film hardly improved the situation with the troubled production.
“When we got to see what Joss actually did, it was stupefying,” the exec said. “Everyone knew it. It was so awkward because nobody wanted to admit what a piece of s**t it was.”
After years of fans lobbying Warner Bros. to release Snyder’s cut of “Justice League”, the studio finally made an offer, but they initially refused to spend the millions of dollars necessary to complete special effects, music, and more for the project.
“I was like, ‘That’s a no, that’s a hard no…,” Snyder recalled. “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 s***ty 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.’”
One of the things that kept the promise of the Snyder Cut alive was fans coming together to contribute half a million dollars to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Autumn’s memory.
“People have been saying, ‘Oh, they attack people,’’ Deborah said. “This fanbase has saved lives. As much as they wanted something for themselves, they’ve come together for this amazing cause.”
The final film includes a tribute to Snyder’s daughter.
“At the end of the movie, it says ‘For Autumn,’” the director said. “Without her, this absolutely would not have happened.”