Zack Snyder Says The Studio Had ‘Rules’ About What He Couldn’t Put In His Snyder Cut Of Justice League

Jared Leto as Joker in Justice League

By now, thousands of you have seen Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the four-hour cut of the movie that Snyder and his fans fought for years to see. Snyder is telling fans that this is the unfiltered, raw take on the DC universe. But now that the movie’s out, he’s also explaining that there was SOME compromise with the studio to ensure that his cut arrived, and didn’t interfere with the ongoing plans of the studio and the DCEU.

Zack Snyder was a guest on CinemaBlend’s official podcast, ReelBlend, where he talked at length about the making of the movie, the meanings of certain scenes, and the conversations that happened during the final stretch of delivering Justice League to HBO Max. Snyder told hosts Sean O’Connell, Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy about certain “rules.” Snyder was opening up about the additional photography that he tackled which led to the Knightmare scene featuring Joker (Jared Leto), Mera (Amber Heard) and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello). As Snyder explained:

I'll just be frank. The studio didn't want me to shoot anything (new). One of the rules of making the Snyder Cut was that the studio said no shooting of any kind. And then I just, of course, shot stuff anyway. Because suddenly, wait, there’s rules now on this? I didn't know. (laughs) That seems unfair. It's called Snyder Cut. And frankly there are those caveats because there were a lot of things -- and I won't list them here -- that the studio did not want me to have in my version of the movie. And I think, frankly, that was all just because they have their own cinematic universe, and that's great. And they were afraid that what I did might… because they consider the theatrical cut as canon, and my cut as the Elseworld, other kind of cul-de-sac. We know the terms.

One of those compromises that Zack Snyder agreed to was not featuring Green Lantern in his final scene, which ended up having Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) meeting Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix). But that was supposed to be a Lantern, specifically John Stewart. The studio asked Snyder not to, and he agreed to replace Stewart with J’onn J’onzz.

But Snyder went on to explain that ultimately, he put his foot down and opposed the “rules” because he had one shot at bringing his Snyder Cut of Justice League to his fans. He told ReelBlend:

And so they were like, ‘Please don't do anything.’ Like, no Darkseid coda. That can't be in there. Those are the kinds of things that were in there. But I looked and I was like, ‘Sure, okay, great. Do it.’ I mean, I didn't mean to be subversive and rude. But that was the thing that fans wanted. The deal I had made with the world was that they were going to get the unencumbered Zack Snyder version of Justice League. I don't think anybody in the same position I was would feel any... I wasn't cheating. I wasn't doing like, ‘Oh, you broke the rules! That's uncool.’ But no, I think that, they've got like a whole bunch of movies. I have one.

He has one. And now it’s ours. Justice League is streaming on HBO Max. We’ll have plenty more from our conversation with Zack Snyder, and the full podcast interview will be on ReelBlend on Monday, March 22. Stay tuned.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.