After years of DCEU-moviemaking with films like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, director Zack Snyder was about to complete his overarching narrative with Justice League when the tragic death of his daughter Autumn understandably caused him to leave the project.
Avengers director Joss Whedon completed the version of Justice League fans saw in theaters. The choice to bring in a creative voice from the MCU to control the final output of the story Snyder had been telling since 2013 wasn’t popular amongst fans of the filmmaker. Before it even ended its theatrical run, Justice League was considered a critical failure and one of the biggest box office flops of 2017.
Snyder‘s fans believed right from the start that there was another, better cut of Justice League — a Snyder Cut. In 2021, HBO Max will be giving those people a close equivalent in the form of a new, four-hour version of Justice League edited by Snyder.
Interestingly, at the heart of the dialogue over the Snyder Cut is another man: Ray Fisher. Fisher played Cyborg in Justice League and had quite a lot to say in 2019 about Whedon‘s involvement in the project. To this day, the actor claims Whedon was disrespectful of Snyder‘s work and believes strongly that the Snyder Cut must be seen to make things right. Now, Fisher is answering a big question Snyder fans have had for three years: Just how much of what Snyder shot of Justice League made it to the theatrical cut of the film?
Ray Fisher suggests there’s 20 minutes of Snyder-shot footage in Justice League
Fisher recently guested on the YouTube channel Geek House Show, and during his conversation with the actor, host Hasan Mohammad asked Fisher how much of Snyder‘s original work was actually seen in the theatrical cut of Justice League. Fisher obviously was somewhat limited in how much he could say with certainty, as he was only on set for the scenes he shot, but he did cite another man — Justice League cinematographer Fabian Wagner.
According to both Fisher and Wagner, there was less than an hour of Snyder footage in the theatrical cut of Justice League. Fisher did specifically say that all but one scene he shot with Snyder was either cut entirely or reshot with Whedon. Fisher went so far as to claim that only about 20 minutes of the two-hour theatrical Justice League – just ten percent — was Snyder‘s.
In addition, Fisher said that, based on his recollection, many of the shots from Snyder‘s work that were included in the final version of Justice League were taken out of context. In such an effects-heavy production, it’s not hard to believe how a different CGI backdrop could drastically alter the way audiences perceive an actor’s performance.
For clarity, it’s important to correct Fisher here. He insists that a Snyder Cut always existed, but that isn’t accurate. If a complete cut were in the can prior to Whedon’s involvement, there wouldn’t be a reported $70 million being spent on alleged reshoots and new CGI. Of course, the version of Justice League that comes closest to Snyder’s original vision will exist thanks to HBO Max, and we’ll all get the chance to watch and judge it for ourselves sometime in 2021.