From #ReleaseTheSnyderCut to Uncanny Valley Sonic and Marvel does the Cornetto Trilogy. We are forever hearing of movies that almost-happened, or fell apart “due to creative differences”.
But, what ones do we wish actually happened like Justice League’s #ReleaseTheSnyderCut?
We ask this question after fans proved studios will listen with enough outcry on Twitter. Pleading for director Zack Snyder to release Justice League how he intended.
Fans wanted it made without the persuasion of any financiers, producers or outside interference. Especially as many speculated that Joss Whedon tampered with Snyder’s vision when the film was first released.
When making a film, it isn’t uncommon for a large portion of footage to hit the cutting room floor. Often once perfectly good, strong scenes can fall flat, or they no longer suited the story. For example, in the case of Justice League, producers demand the film sanded down to a suitable length and tone.
Grinding out the glorious ridges and texture to a film can often mean that all those deleted scenes often end up as a bonus on a DVD; back when people actually bought them.
Though, moving away from analogue formats, we need a new alternative to show the deleted footage. And thus the Director’s Cut was born.
Admittedly in the before-times when digital wasn’t everywhere, directors would make and sell Director’s Cuts for their films. For example, directors may have been under the impression it would sell a few more copies at the local Woolworth’s. Or if the technology had caught up, allow them to perfect their vision, much like the controversial re-release of George Lucas’ Star Wars.
Sometimes, however, a producer may not like the direction a film is going. The producer may be weary that the director may be putting a film or franchise in danger. Granted, we’ve heard the tales before. Creative directors start, get in too deep, and leave the project. The press writes it up as ‘creative differences’. The movie moves on wounded and broken. But, what if producers didn’t get involved? What if directors got to fulfil their vision?
Justice League: The First League
Looking at these scenarios properly, we do need to properly address Zack Snyder’s Justice League. A fan movement that was so infamous it had its own hashtag – #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. It made the horrifying Sonic the Hedgehog boycott seem like a small blip in history.
Dubbed with the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, actors and fans began unifying over the release of the director’s vision.
Hired initially by DC Films and Warner Bros, Zach Snyder directed the Superman reboot, proving his worth with its success. Consequently, the studios hired him again for its sequel Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, though to a mixed reception.
Then came the Justice League. During the filming of the 2017 version, Snyder vocalised about the pushbacks he faced from the studio. Raising his concerns vocally on Twitter and to producers throughout production.
On the other hand, Warner Brothers faced overspending of their budget, with thousands required for reshoots to appeal to Synder’s vision. Given these frustrations, the budget restraints and some personal reasons, Snyder had to step down.
Already in the red and concerned, DC desperately now needed a competent director to finish the film.
And the competent director they chose was Joss Whedon. Previously a director for Marvel, he knew how to make superhero films work. Or at least that was the thinking behind his hire. Whedon directed a version that has since become to be known as Josstice League. A film riddled with errors and that performed badly at the box office.
Fans knew what this film could have been, as did the cast and crew of the film. So taking to Twitter they united pressing Warner Bros for the Snyder Cut of the film.
Thankfully, with cinemas still closed, Warner Brothers gave Snyder the chance
to earn them more money to release the version he always wanted to make. Answering the pleas of fans, Warner Brothers listened and a special #ReleaseTheSnyderCut version of the film was released. A version in all of its four-hour glory.
Therefore, the question we want to ask is: what other directors’ visions do we need now?
Believe it or not, Edgar Wright was once the director and writer for Marvel‘s Ant-Man. Director of the comedy Shaun of the Dead, it is strange to think that the Paul Rudd superhero movie may have gone differently. Though, despite being replaced by Peyton Reed, Edgar Wright’s influence can still be seen in the current release of Ant-Man.
In an interview with Variety, Wright said, “I think the most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don’t think [Marvel] really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie.”
But the question still stands, what would Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man look like?
Undeniably, with Wright’s breakneck pace and punchy soundtracks, it is easy to imagine Ant-Man being an upbeat heist film.
To look at this more clearly, Baby Driver, Wright’s own attempt on the heist genre, based on a music video he directed, is a great comparison to how Ant-Man could have looked. Sleek, modern, and comedic.
The hints of this are clear even from the initial Ant-Man trailer. For example, cutting between our hero and Thomas the Tank Engine set to run him over, is perfect Edgar Wright. Typically seen in Wright’s work, this self-aware humour is exactly what we would have expected more of in Ant-Man.
Plus, we’re sure that his soundtrack would trump anything to appear in any of the iconic Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Social media campaigns can make or break a film. But only once has a hashtag put a film back into hiding, only to emerge eventually better than ever. We are of course referring to Sonic the Hedgehog.
Now certainly, Sonic the Hedgehog wasn’t the worst thing to come out of 2020, but it surely could have been. The nightmare creature depiction of Sonic that we saw in the trailers thankfully never made its way to the full feature.
The original Sonic design was horrifically too human. A hedgehog with perfect teeth, the most defined calves I had ever seen and eyes that lurked past my deepest insecurities. If we were blessed for anything, it was Sonic’s more cartoonish redesign.
However, aside from Sonic’s redesign, it is disappointing that the hundreds of hours put into reanimating, and even possible reshoots didn’t mean the studio edited or changed the story.
You’ve got to admit, Fowler did take the backlash well. He didn’t fight back and even advocated for the recut.
However, we just have to wonder, what if they didn’t redesign Sonic. What if Fowler’s true horrifying vision had come to fruition. We can honestly say that we personally would watch that film. If we can get #ReleaseTheSnyderCut perhaps we can get a #ReleaseTheSonicCut.
When the Star Wars sequels were in production, all hype for future additions to the franchise was astronomical. So when The Force Awakens hit the screen we were all floored with how nostalgic the film felt, and how much we missed the Skywalker Saga.
Despite being an almost carbon(ite) copy of A New Hope, The Force Awakens was a beloved entry point for new fans with a much needed broader scope of representation.
Though, when The Last Jedi was released, the fan base split quicker than Vader cutting off Luke’s hand.
The Last Jedi seemed to subdue all expectations, with its strange pacing around the galaxy in nonsensical quests, all the while other storylines were on a sensitive time schedule.
The fanbase roared at director Rian Johnson for his vision, demanding a remake or for another creative to re-edit the film, leaving Disney to question the next instalment intended on concluding the trilogy.
While we appreciate many may still want an updated version of The Last Jedi, we want to turn our sights ahead to the final film of the series. Episode IX. An instalment directed by Colin Trevorrow.
May the Force Be With You
Known for previously writing and directing the Jurassic World franchise. A franchise previously produced by Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. However, when Disney caught wind of his motives, they reared their head out of the Sarlacc pit.
Grabbing ahold of their franchise tightly, The Walt Disney Company left Trevorrow no other choice than to leave under ‘creative differences’. (Spotting a theme yet?)
However, scripts were leaked and passed around the web. Though much like the plans to the Death Star, word got out. Fans became aware of the existence of a totally different Star Wars: Episode IX.
One penned as Duel of the Fates.
The script was said to have completed several arcs, no longer sidelining Finn (John Boyega) or Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). It was reported that this version would see the characters complete character building missions to develop from The Last Jedi. However, this version involved no shadowy Palpatine, no bizarre storyline with Rey (Daisy Ridley) and instead knew exactly what audiences wanted – and we don’t just mean a Force Ghost Luke, and more topless Kylo Renn.
While we are no doubt assured that #ReleaseTheSnyderCut will be divisive, we’re equally as hopeful that this could be just the start. Director’s and fans could make movements in the future to get their films seen as they intended.
Even if those films are four hours long and involve a slow motion shot of a sesame seed falling off a burger.
Speaking personally, we really would love to one day imagine watching the films we mentioned. From the horrors of Human Sonic to the rock metal Trevorrow version of Star Wars, the wonders of seeing through a director’s vision, and watching reactions of it is a treat.
Perhaps if Zack Snyder’s Justice League proves financially successful, we may not be that far off with our wishful thinking. Ultimately we just need to hope for more fan campaigns like #ReleaseTheSnyderCut.