Oftentimes when a movie hits theaters, it’s a cut that the director is okay with, even if certain sacrifices had to be made. But then there are instances where the theatrical cut isn’t properly reflective of the director’s overall creative vision, and that’s when director’s cuts are brought into play. Sometimes director’s cuts are eventually released on home media, and then there are cases like with the Justice League Snyder Cut where they’re talked about, but can’t be seen by fans.
To me, I never wanna have another cut sitting somewhere that competes with the original cut… I guess what I’m saying is, whatever circumstances created that cut, whatever horrible circumstances are totally understandable. For me personally, I would always view it as a terrible thing that there was an unseen cut of the film. Over the years, you’ll see this thing where it’s like, ‘James Cameron rereleases the director’s cut of Aliens.’ And then he’ll introduce it. When you watch it, he comes on the screen and he says, ‘This is the way I always intended people to watch Aliens.’ And my first thought is, ‘That’s nuts!’ Don’t... have one definitive version of the movie. I hate this idea that we missed out on the version he wanted us to see.
It sounds like Leigh Whannell has a lot of sympathy for directors like Zack Snyder who have to deal with the public having to see a version of their movie that isn’t in line with what they originally had in mind, In Snyder’s case, after he stepped away from Justice League during postproduction due to a family tragedy, Joss Whedon (who had already been done some script rewrites) was brought to oversee the rest of the creative process, particularly the reshoots.
The result was Joss Whedon reportedly adding approximately 80 script pages worth of new material into Justice League, and only around 10% of what Zack Snyder shot being included in the final product. And while the theatrical cut of Justice League ran at exactly two hours, the Snyder Cut is significantly longer at 214 minutes, with notable differences in this version of the movie including Wonder Woman killing Steppenwolf, Darkseid actually appearing, General Swanwick being revealed as Martian Manhunter, the list goes on.
As far as the conversation about director’s cuts as a whole, when ReelBlend cohost Kevin McCarthy brought up how the original cut of Blade Runner included voiceovers, which director Ridley Scott didn’t like, Leigh Whannell responded:
And that’s the situation I’m saying would be a nightmare, would be someone forcibly changing a film that I had made to such a degree that I felt the version out there was not the true version. That is a living nightmare that I don’t want to live.
Leigh Whannell also noted how when he and James Wan were working on the first Saw movie together, they were operating on a shoestring budget, which certainly makes putting together a movie more difficult, but also provided them more creative freedom. Conversely, he pointed out what when working on a blockbuster with a large budget, the tradeoff with having so many resources is that there are “a lot of opinions,” which can result in creative clashes.
You can listen to Leigh Whannell’s full interview on ReelBlend below.
The Invisible Man marks Leigh Whannell’s third directorial effort, with the previous two being Insidious: Chapter 3 and Upgrade. Judging by his comments, it doesn’t sound like he’s had to deal with theatrical cuts of his movies not reflecting what he wanted to create, so fingers crossed he’s able to keep that streak going.
As for the Snyder Cut of Justice League, Warner Bros still hasn’t given any indication that it plans to release it, but fan efforts continue to persuade the studio otherwise. Many of the movie’s stars (including Ben Affleck) and crew members have expressed interest in the Snyder Cut being made available to the public, and Snyder himself continues to share details and behind-the-scenes images of his time on the movie.