#ReleaseTheSnyderCut isn’t Fan-Fiction: What You Should Know About the Movement
This past weekend, director/actor/producer/writer Kevin Smith continued his support of the Snyder Cut of the Justice League movie. This comes after weeks of headlines using words like “propaganda” and talk of invasion to describe the fan efforts to advertise #ReleasetheSnyderCut at San Diego Comic-Con last month. Smith recently validated the movement and added more support in his interview on the CinaBlend podcast. There, he explained that the Snyder cut does exist and he believes it should be released. Listen in for more details.
The people who make up the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement are misunderstood groups of DC fans who are often painted as crazed or fanatics. The group has also been accused of pushing propaganda and obsessing over film cut that does not exist. This is despite all evidence to the contrary (and the industry support from actors, comics writers, and others).
I talked with a few fans of the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement, including Will Rowland, who helped steer the massive San Diego ComicCon advertising effort. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of the Snyder Cut. However, it seems that there is still some confusion about what the Snyder Cut is and why fans are having such a hard time letting it go.
I found that the group is not a crazed band of rogue DCEU fans. They are people who started a grassroots effort to seek justice for a wrong they say was perpetrated on Zack Snyder, while he was directing the Justice League film. Here are some things I learned that may be useful when you dive into the #ReleasetheSnyderCut’s two-year-long ordeal.
So, it’s about a movie?
What many people outside the movement don’t realize is that, at the heart of the controversy, there is a family tragedy. There is also a creator whose work was taken advantage of at a moment of grief. Rowland explains that Snyder was in post-production of the film when his daughter succumbed to suicide. He halted operations to grieve. Eventually, another director, Joss Whedon was hired to finish the film. Rowlands explains how it all went down.
“Years ago, when [Warner Bros. execs] asked him to create Man of Steel, they asked him about the universe. Snyder came up with five movies. Justice League was going to be two movies. Then they asked him to make it one. So, they changed [Justice League] from two films to one.”
Rowland says that the studio knew the film would be really long. However, as production started, they kept coming to Snyder wanting the film cut to two hours. The director refused because he was already fusing two films into one.
“And then obviously in post-production, six months into post-production, you know, tragedy.” Rowland went on to explain how the director lost his daughter to suicide. He says that while the family was grieving, the studio brought in Whedon and told him the film had to be two hours. That’s when substantial reshoots were ordered. Rowlands says that only 40 minutes through the entire film is the original that Snyder shot.
— The Collector
(@TheCollector198) August 7, 2019
How do we know it exists?
Rowlands says that Snyder was in post-production when he left, so that means the movie was shot — all of it. It just needed some editing. He says that one of the early clues is that the scenes in the trailers are nowhere in the finished Justice League film. The fans believe it’s because they are from the film that Snyder shot.
Then, there are utterances from the director himself. “Snyder said that he [Cyborg] was the heart of the film. Look at how Justice League treats the character.” Cyborg, in the theatric release, is a character who is marginally important. And we get little of his backstory.
Snyder Cut fans on Twitter beckoned me to the social media app Vero and to the director’s personal account. Among the photos and videos that Snyder posted are pictures of Cyborg’s alter ego, Victor. In four shots, we get a hit of a rich story that Snyder created and shot for the only black superhero in the film. Rowlands also points me to evidence that the theatric release cut The Flash’s girlfriend, a black woman. None of it was in the final movie. “But it is in the Snyder cut.”
Vero also held photos of the character Darkseid, whom everyone expected to be in the Justice League all along. But, Whedon also cut an important character to make that time crunch, according to Rowlands. Rowlands sent me to Facebook and a video of receipts compiled by fans. The fans are not delusional. Snyder himself confirmed that his finished cut of the film exists.
— The Collector
(@TheCollector198) August 5, 2019
Why should we care about the Snyder Cut?
Rowlands says it boils down to the rights of creators. He says that the studio told the public that they would respect Snyder’s work, all the while they were cutting it to shreds in order to make a time limit work. The fans all acknowledge that this happened during a time of loss, which compounds the wrong.
“Imagine if the mainstream media the mainstream audience heard, forget the film, about someone at one of these big corporations. Everybody knows that person’s work. And they had to leave work for a family event, and that the company tried to make a profit by changing the work completely. Imagine that. It would be all over the headlines.”
Rowlands says that releasing Snyder’s cut of the JLA film is the right thing to do for the director. He should have a way to prove that the disappointing theatric release was not his work.
Did they really cut a whole Black hero’s story from the film?
Rowlands and others say that Vero images released by Snyder confirm that Whedon’s version did cut Cyborg’s entire backstory as Victor Stone.
“You had a family dynamic story and a young black boy. His father has worked hard. [Victor] has got a really supportive mom, a single mom, in a way. [Because his dad is always working.] She’s the parent that’s there, in the scene where Stone looks back. When he does the touchdown thing. I think he was looking back to see if his dad made it. And, he was disappointed, but his mom smiled.”
“[Cyborg’s] whole family dynamic is gone. Here’s as a black family with a young boy in America, doing well, yet struggling. It’s relatable to so many people. Then she got into a car crash and his mom dies, he then becomes Cyborg. That’s been worked on in what we saw in the [Vero] clips and [other released] media.”
Below is a statement Zack Snyder made to USA Today in March 2017 well before he left (post)production.
Zack knew Cyborg wasn’t as well known as the other leaguers and with his solo film slated for much later would potentially struggle for buzz…(cont.) pic.twitter.com/x4Zy8k5z3o
— Kayne 214 (@Kayne_Martin) July 10, 2019
None of this made the final cut of the Justice League film.
Are the Snyder Cut fans truly a bunch of crazed internet trolls?
Rowlands says, “we get accused of things all the time, and we haven’t done anything wrong. If you know, and it’s been proven, that someone did something, we disassociate ourselves. If you look at [us], we are a really diverse group.” He shows me the group page and I can see people from all over the world, speaking a few different languages. Rowlands’ co-coordinator for SDCC is from Brazil. He says that they invite all religions and political backgrounds, but everyone has to work together.
Part of that work is raising money for suicide awareness in honor of the Snyder family. The SDCC advertising event helped raise nearly $15,000 for suicide prevention. Rowlands explained that half of every dollar they take in for campaigns like the SDCC advertising goes for the charity. And they do it happily.
As a result of the generousity of our donors for #ProjectComicCon we have now sent a cheque to @afspnational for $14,930.74 (more than 50%) modelled by our treasurer @raveryn
Thank you everyone! @nexuspong @RTSnyderCut pic.twitter.com/YyVy8z7ZfW
— Will Rowlands (@willrowactor) July 25, 2019
Have any other questions about #ReleasetheSnyderCut fans?
Just use the hashtag and ask your question. They will reply. You can also find Rowlands there if he isn’t on set.
The group intends to keep protesting and raising money for suicide awareness until Snyder’s director’s cut of the film is released. for more information, go to www.forsnydercut.com.
The group is planning another campaign and you can be a part of it. Go to their fundraiser, read up on the plans for New York Comic-Con, and donate.
Note: Zack Snyder’s Justice League released on HBOMax on March 18, 2021. This article is syndicated from The Black Cape article published August 7, 2019.