Zack Snyder has explained the reason behind the increased violence in his newly released version of 2017’s Justice League, popularly called the Snyder Cut. In a recent interview with Variety, the acclaimed director noted that he did not want to sugarcoat the violence as is common to superhero movies. “It’s a pure exercise in creative freedom,” he told.
After directing Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the director was assigned to bring the infamous Justice League to screen.
However, following the wrap-up of principal photography, Snyder had to step down from the film, after his daughter Autumn’s tragic death. Warner Bros. had him replaced with Avengers‘ Joss Whedon, who finished the rest of the movie, ordering reshoots and contributing to the script.
Irrespective of the efforts, the end product seemed vastly different from Snyder’s original vision. The movie was heavily criticized by fans, who later campaigned for the release of the Snyder Cut so that the director’s vision could be brought to completion. The Snyder Cut was finally released on HBO Max this past week.
Having many differences between both versions, the most notable among them was that the Snyder Cut is rated R. Whedon’s theatrical cut was rated PG-13, as is the case with most superhero movies.
On the other hand, the Snyder Cut features extremely violent fighting scenes and harsh language. Even though the rating isn’t new to the Warner Bros. DC Films (Birds of Prey, Joker, and Batman v Superman were all rated R), the intensity of violence portrayed in Zack Snyder’s Justice League has never been seen before in popular superhero movies.
The director, who recently spoke to Variety, reflected on the importance of pushing the violence level in his Justice League. Snyder explained that the decision ultimately came from being free from any limitations with the film’s release on a streaming platform.
He further noted how he wanted to show that the film had “real stakes” and what the actual magnitude of gods fighting could be like—something most family-friendly superhero films refuse to address. Snyder’s wife Deborah, who too sat for the interview, further noted how watered-down violence in the PG-13 versions was irresponsible in a way “because there aren’t repercussions.”
“If you don’t address the actual violence as violence…you’re lowering the stakes on all levels. I want a true depiction of violence. I don’t want to sugarcoat it.”Zack Snyder
Irrespective of some criticism regarding the violence and the four-hour runtime, the movie has been considered a much superior version compared to the theatrical cut. Fans and critics both have opined that the Snyder Cut has brought more definition to the character arcs, extended storylines, and ultimately seems more complete.
About Justice League Snyder Cut
Co-produced by Warner Bros. and DC Films, Justice League Snyder Cut is the fifth film of the DC Extended Universe and based on the DC Comics superhero team. As the theatrical release, Zack Snyder’s Justice League features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League follows the Justice League—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg—as they attempt to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.
Although fans have asked for Snyderverse to continue Warner Bros has no such plans.