2017’s Justice League was a disaster. The $300 million film grossed a paltry $657 million at the box office, and much of the blame went to director Zack Snyder, who departed Justice League in the wake of a family tragedy. But over time, Warner Bros. turned out to be real villains with their short-sighted approach to handling the DC universe and trying to copy Marvel.
Snyder finally got to present his vision with a four-hour director’s cut of Justice League, which premiered in 2021. Snyder attributes it to the fans’ love and vehement campaigning, but a new report from Rolling Stone, which reads more like an exposé, reveals that he forced WB’s hand to release the Snyder Cut, even leveling threats if he didn’t get his way.
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Zack Snyder reportedly blamed producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg for taking control of the DC universe away from him in 2016, probably after the critical and commercial disappointment of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and wanted their names removed from the credits of Snyder Cut. After unsuccessfully pressuring the studios via his agent, and wife, Deborah, Snyder himself confronted a WB executive, saying,
“Geoff and Jon are dragging their feet on taking their names off my cut. Now, I will destroy them on social media.”
Rolling Stone has verified the claim from multiple sources who worked on Justice League, with Snyder also admitting that he and his wife “asked the studio” to intervene only after “a personal plea” to Johns and Berg was ignored. The pair were ultimately removed from the credits after online backlash from “fans.”
Snyder still maintains that neither he nor his wife Deborah “have ever said anything negative about Geoff Johns or Jon Berg on social media or in interviews,” and says they wanted the pair’s names removed from the Justice League re-cut because “this was not the movie they believed in, developed, or helped us to get made.”
Zack Snyder Went Rogue While Re-Shooting Justice League
Over 20 insiders involved with Justice League and its 2021 re-release were interviewed by Rolling Stone, and almost all of them painted an entirely different picture of Snyder than his fans would have us believe. It appears the 300 director is no Joss Whedon, but he’s no saint either. Per reports, Snyder maneuvered the Snyder Cut movement to sway the studio to release his version of Justice League. And in light of AT&T’s acquisition of Warner Media, CEO Kevin Tsujihara’s casting couch scandal, and the arrival of the HBO Max streaming service, WB was compelled to cave to Snyder’s demands.
However, Snyder continued to make more demands, even forcing the studio to change the terms of his deal. The Justice League reshoots that Snyder conducted in his backyard in the middle of the pandemic weren’t sanctioned by WB and broke COVID protocols. Plus, Martian Manhunter wasn’t originally in the film, and when DC boss Walter Hamada, who had other plans for the character, refused to let him appear in Justice League, Snyder threatened to delete other footage from the movie.
Snyder has refuted all those claims and released a statement saying:
“As an artist it was fulfilling to be able to finally see my vision realized after such a difficult time in my life and for it to be so well received. I am grateful to both the fan community and Warner Bros. for allowing this to happen. To dwell on negativity and rumors serves no one.”
“If this is indeed a balanced article, I hope that all the good work the fandom has done is being represented,” Snyder added, referring to the various charitable causes the Release the Snyder Cut movement has supported.