Now that the world can finally compare Zack Snyder's Justice League to the theatrical version of Justice League released in 2017, helmed by Joss Whedon, it is clear how much of the movie's style and tone was changed due to executive meddling between the two cuts of the film. Chris Terrio, who wrote the original script for the movie back when Snyder was still in charge of the project, bluntly told VanityFair that what Warner Bros. did to Snyder's film with Whedon's reshoots was nothing short of vandalism.
"The 2017 theatrical cut was an act of vandalism. Zack may be too much of a gentleman to say that, but I'm not."
Ever since the divisive reaction to Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, Warner had reportedly become unhappy with Snyder's dark take on the DCEU and were looking for ways to lighten up Justice League. This they tried to accomplish by bringing in Whedon to finish the movie after Snyder had to leave following a family tragedy.
In the last year, many reports have been shared, mostly by Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, about how troubled the reshoots under Whedon were, with the filmmaker clashing with the cast and crew over how the entire narrative and tone of the story needed to be changed. According to Terrio, the changes to the movie in his absence were designed to be a methodical dismantling of Snyder's entire vision.
"I would only hear occasional reports about the reshoot. I didn't realize how much of the film was going to be changed-or vandalized, in my opinion. It became clear as I spoke to various actors that it was a wholesale dismantling of what had been there before. I did not hear from anyone who said it was a pleasant experience... I've never met Joss. I don't know him. I did reach out to him at the beginning of the process, through the executives, but I didn't hear back, which is not unusual."
Now that Zack Snyder's Justice League has released, Chris Terrio is happy that fans can finally see the movie as he had always intended it to be seen. While he admits that the "Snyder Cut" is not going to appeal to everybody, Terrio is happy that the "soul" of Justice League has been restored.
"When those personal touches were removed from the film in the 2017 version, I was silent because I couldn't really say anything, but of course it hurt. All that remained was a dinosaur skeleton of what had been a great, lumbering beast. It might've been a big, unruly beast, and obviously it's four hours and the movie is maximalist and it's operatic and, sure, it's a little crazy, but I think the movie is crazy in the best way."
Zack Snyder's Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The film is now streaming on HBO Max. This news arrives from Vanity Fair.