What Director’s Cuts Should Follow Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’?

After years of campaigning from the Snyder Cut movement, it was recently revealed that Warner Bros. will let Zack Snyder finish his version of Justice League. The studio is reportedly giving Snyder $20-30 million for VFX, sound and other additional work, with the new cut set to debut on the HBO Max streaming service in 2021. With the Snyder Cut finally coming to fruition, the whole situation has naturally provoked discussion online as to what other director’s cuts could follow.

Warner Bros. allowing a filmmaker to complete a movie that is as unfinished as the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League is an unprecedented move. Going through endless campaigns from fans to see a different version of a movie they didn’t like can be dangerous, but streaming services present a unique opportunity for some of these unfinished projects to potentially see the light of day.

The first director’s cut that many will naturally be clamoring for is David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. It has been rumored that the mess of a movie we ended up getting in theaters wasn’t exactly what Ayer had in mind. In fact, there have been rumors floating around that the theatrical version of Suicide Squad was actually cut by a trailer studio. The change in tone of Suicide Squad‘s marketing campaign from the initial trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con to the film’s final trailer was the first hint that a different cut might exist. Ayer has even taken a page out of Snyder’s book by releasing new details about his cut, teasing an expanded role for Jared Leto’s Joker and the appearance of Parademons. Plus, a release of Ayer’s cut could be a great marketing move for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.

Justice League‘s failure also echoes 1995’s Batman Forever in many ways. Unlike Justice League, Batman Forever was a success, but Warner Bros. notably opted for a lighter tone following Tim Burton’s dark and twisted Batman Returns. Batman Forever was initially going to have some darker elements in a version that is known as the “Red Book edition.” In Batman Forever, there are flashbacks of a young Bruce Wayne with a red book. This book was going to reveal that Bruce was the reason behind his parent’s death. The Red Book edition of Forever would have also featured a giant bat, an alternate opening at Arkham Asylum and much more. To me, Batman Forever gets some unfair criticism because it was the predecessor to Batman & Robin, but the film is still pretty enjoyable and a different cut of it can make for an even better Batman movie that embraces the darker elements of the Dark Knight and allows the character to shine.

The day before the release of the Fantastic Four reboot, director Josh Trank was pretty open that the cut hitting theaters was not his own. With the rights to the Fantastic Four moving to Marvel Studios, Trank’s Fantastic Four cut probably won’t see the light of day. Unlike Zack Snyder, Trank also doesn’t appear to be too adamant about his version being relesaed. Trank’s take on the Fantastic Four being inspired by David Cronenberg’s The Fly is an interesting concept and while there are hints of the body horror in the theatrical cut, seeing Tank’s true vision would definitely be far better than what we got. However, it’s likely that Disney and Marvel Studios will want to move as far as way from what Fox did with the franchise as they figure out their own plans for the first family.

Meanwhile, The Incredible Hulk has become the lost child of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a result of Edward Norton departing the role of Bruce Banner over creative differences. Of course, Mark Ruffalo has since replaced Norton as Bruce Banner and starred in several MCU movies in a supporting role. Rights issues with Universal have kept The Incredible Hulk from getting a sequel, but since the film’s release, we’ve found out that 70 minutes of footage was cut from the project. It’s clear that Norton has a different idea on where the character should go and it would be interesting to see what that looked like since there’s no telling when we will get another Hulk solo film.

Then we have the Star Wars films released by Disney, which have notably gone through some behind-the-scenes trouble. The issues started to become public when a large amount of Rogue One was reshot with Tony Gilroy taking the director’s chair from Gareth Edwards. When the Star Wars Anthology films were initially announced, they were meant to be lower-budget projects that would be more experimental and play with the different genres of Star Wars. Edwards wasn’t shy about his approach to Rogue One being more of a war film, but what we ended up getting was much more in line with the Star Wars films we’ve seen before. Rogue One is one of the few Star Wars films in the Disney era that fans can agree on liking with a prequel series centered on Cassian Andor in development, but seeing a darker, boots-on-the-ground Star Wars movie would be refreshing.

Another Star Wars project that faced behind-the-scenes issues was Solo. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were almost finished filming Solo before they were fired from the project. Rumors say that Lord and Miller weren’t keen on following the script written by franchise veteran Lawrence Kasdan, something that led to Ron Howard coming in and being more faithful to it. The version of Solo that was released in theaters and Alden Eherenrich’s performance in that film are already underrated, but with Lord and Miller being one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, it’s would still be interesting to see their take on the Star Wars universe and Han Solo. Nonetheless, many fans are pushing for a Solo sequel film or Disney Plus series instead.

The Snyder Cut situation is an unprecedented development for Hollywood. The power of social media has proven to be a tool for vocal fans to get what they want, but at what cost? Not every director has the same fanbase as Zack Snyder but it will be interesting to see if the release of the Snyder Cut starts a trend. Some things that work in its favor include the coronavirus pausing various productions, the ability to do remote work and the need for streaming service content. There’s no telling if any of the aforementioned director’s cuts will be released, but let’s just be grateful that we are finally getting Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

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Ryden Scarnato

Ryden Scarnato

Ryden's affection for all things DC, Marvel, and Star Wars has led him to entertainment journalism at Heroic Hollywood as a News Editor.