It’s basically scientific fact at this point. If you work at DC or Warner Bros., in almost any capacity, you likely are going to get asked about the Snyder Cut of Justice League, so it’s best that you have your answered prepared. The unified fanbase for Zack Snyder’s cut of the movie is that dedicated to their cause, so hungry for information and updates, that they are going to bring their inquiries to every level of the corporate chain, which DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee recently learned.
Lee had nothing to do with the film distribution side of DC back when Zack Snyder was involved, but he’s a man in the know on all things DC at the moment. So while he was giving a presentation at Chicago’s Comic & Entertainment Expo C2E2, Lee was asked point blank by an attendee, “Should we see the Snyder Cut?” To which Lee replied:
So you know, if I say the words ‘Snyder Cut,’ that the clickbait headline is, ‘Jim Lee Talks About the Snyder Cut!’ … It’s a really tough question to answer. But I will say, the only thing I’ll say about this, is that sometimes there’s a movement to kind of segregate the audience and dismiss a group and say, ‘They’re not the fans. They are the people that like this.’ Or, ‘They only like that.’ I think that’s something we would need to resist, honestly. We need every comic book fan that’s out there. And whether you want the Snyder Cut or not, you’re a DC fan. And I want you to be a DC fan.
OK, let’s pause there and figure out what I think Jim Lee is saying here. If you look at his quote, he’s actually standing up for the Release The Snyder Cut movement. He’s pointing out, I believe, that the RTSC family is being segregated and dismissed. That some major DC fans are almost claiming that Snyder Cut supporters are not real fans because they support the vision that Zack Snyder brought to the DCEU in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice… but was not able to continue in Justice League.
And if you are properly translating Jim Lee’s statements, he’s basically calling for unity, saying, “Hey, these folks might be calling for a vision that’s opposed to the Aquaman and Shazam features that are working now, but they are still members of the DC family, and they should be accepted as such!” It’s a call, by Jim Lee, for a truce between the factions that have been at “war” for three years. A healing of the schism that separates audiences who want DC to go back to Snyder’s vision, and those who are content with the lighter, fan-friendlier version of the stories the DCEU is planning to release.
And that’s where Jim Lee goes as the quote continues. He looks to the movies that are on the slate. And it doesn’t include the Snyder Cut of Justice League. But there’s still hope. For starters, let’s read what Lee says about the upcoming DCEU films.
That said, we’ve been working on this slate. We have an amazing Batman movie. Suicide Squad is just killer. And Black Adam next year. These are all just next year. We have Wonder Woman ’84, which has tremendous momentum from the first movie, that was amazing. So there’s a lot of great, positive things that are happening, and that universe has continued to move on. I think next year will be the first time ever that we’ll have three theatrical releases in one year. … We’re very positive and hopeful for the future of the DC Extended Universe.
Jim Lee’s focus is on the confirmed slate of DCEU films coming to theaters. And we know that doesn’t include the Snyder Cut of Justice League. I honestly do not believe, at this stage, that dedicated fans WILL see the Snyder Cut of Justice League in theaters. It feels like that ship has sailed.
But the one thing that Jim Lee does NOT do is shut the door on fans seeing the Snyder Cut in another form down the line. Maybe I’m reading too much into his quotes (the way that Jim Lee wisely predicted that we would). But he had every opportunity when asked by that fan if we “should” see the Snyder Cut to say, “No.” That would have swept the legs out from anyone thinking Warner Bros. and DC might let the Snyder Cut see the light of day. And Lee doesn’t say that. He instead defends the people in the movement, and encourages all DC fans to come together in their shared fandom.
Come together? Where have we heard that before?
It’s in Jim Lee’s best interest to preach unity in the DC fan community. His studio partner, Warner Bros., is still chasing after Marvel Studios and Disney, though they are closing the gap one movie at a time. Films like Joker and Aquaman sail past the $1 billion mark on the worldwide box office circuit, and the future appears to be bright when you look at that slate. At the same time, movies that take chances, like Birds of Prey, underperform for various reasons, so Lee is trying to rally the troops behind the brand. Makes sense, from a business perspective.
Here, listen to exactly as he says it. Which is what he wants you to do!
So does releasing the Snyder Cut of Justice League, which Jim Lee does not close the door on. He instead implores all DC fans to accept the members of the movement. And I think they eventually will be rewarded… with a release on HBO Max. The streaming service, which launches in May, will be a platform for Warner Bros. and DC entertainment. Much like Disney+, AppleTV, Amazon and Netflix, HBO Max is going to need exclusive content to use as a carrot to entice subscribers. And dedicated Snyder Cut fans already have claimed that they’d immediately subscribe to HBO Max if their coveted version of Justice League – the full 214-minute cut – was made available on the streaming service.
We shall see. Like so much of the Releaser the Snyder movement, it’s a wait-and-see approach while they still continue to fight. Don’t know enough about the Snyder Cut movement? You are in luck. I happen to be writing a book all about the fight to get Zack Snyder’s vision released. Follow along on this Twitter feed for all of the latest details.