Two Versions of ‘Justice League’ Were Filmed

by Chris Foti
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Article by Chris Foti

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is coming, and nothing is stopping that train now. Whether you agree with the direction Snyder was taking DC Films or not, it’s nice to know he will get to complete the vision he began in Man of Steel. The question is though, did you know that two versions of Justice League were filmed?

After the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s clear WB wasn’t thrilled with the direction the films had taken. Mainly, how dark and grim Snyder had made the DC Universe, especially compared to the lighter and more comedic, not to mention successful, Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Studio Interference vs Director’s Vision

In an interview with ComicBook Debate, Snyder confirmed what was rumored years ago during the filming of Justice League. The studio was pressuring him to make the film lighter and funnier than BvS. So Snyder wrote more comedy into the film…while also filming what he wanted to film anyway.

The truth is…the rest of the four hours of the movie are really just what I shot. The truth is I was in a struggle with the studio, you know, and famously we had a lot of stuff we had to do and make it funny and all this stuff. And, you know, frankly, I just kind of in a slightly subversive way, just kept also doing my thing at the same time so that I would have what I believed would be, you know, closer to what I would want to do without any influence.

Truth be told, this is kind of a slick move that Snyder did. It’s also one he’s been doing for a long time now, not just with Justice League. He explains.

I always kind of shoot that way anyway. I always try and shoot, you know, what I think is right…

In fairness, Snyder also isn’t really rediscovering the wheel. It’s commonplace in movies and television to shoot multiple takes of a scene and choose the one that best fits the tone and pacing of the story. It’s just funny to think of him filming a “funny” and a “serious” Justice League film at the same time.

Resurrecting Old Footage

With Justice League having a four hour cut, and two versions of the film to go through, Snyder explained it was quite the process to bring the film together.

Putting the movie back together was really a process. It was almost, like, you know, being archeologists. What I had shot and what, you know, would never have seen the light of day even though I shot it. We were able to pull back and put it in the movie and all that. So that was really, that’s been a great process, because like I say, a very small fraction of the movie is the stuff is the new stuff that I shot.

The new stuff he is referring to, of course, is the additional photography that took place last October. It’s unclear what exactly is being added, but we know that Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke and Jared Leto’s Joker will be a part of it.

Luckily fans won’t have much longer to wait to view Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max. Snyder recently confirmed the film is “99% complete,” which matches the timeline of a March release he mentioned.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on where you stand with Snyder, Justice League will likely be the last DC film for divisive director.  President of DC Films, Walter Hamada, recently stated that Snyder is “not part of the DC Films blueprint.” However, seeing as we are actually getting the #SnyderCut, if Justice League is a success, I’d say never say never.

Which of the two versions of Justice League will prove to be the best? It won’t be long until we find out.

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