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Zack Snyder: "The studio had this hatred for Batman v Superman"

Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Zack Snyder's Justice League has been released, and the director's fans' thirst for more superhero shenanigans from the filmmaker has been quenched – for now, at least. But the so-called Snyder Cut nearly never arrived in a very different form.  

"When Warner Brothers first called, there was this idea that they would just release the rough cut of the movie, exactly as I had it on my computer, with no visual effects or anything," Snyder tells SFX in the latest issue of the magazine. "[They asked] 'Would I be interested in that?' And I was like, 'No, not interested in that.' I felt that was too much of a gift for the haters. 

"But after a while, and after I thought about it, I pitched Warner Brothers what I thought would be a cool way to finish it. If they did have interest in it, this would be a way to do it. After I finished telling them the story, they watched the movie and they were like, 'Oh, wow. There’s even more than we thought.' Then HBO Max said yes."

Snyder's original vision for Justice League was not released the first time around as the director departed the project, Joss Whedon stepping in for reshoots. The initial shoot, though, was not clean sailing for Snyder.

"I feel like the studio had this hatred for Batman v Superman,” he says, referring to his previous DC movie. “There was this pressure on me to divorce the movie from Batman v Superman, which I didn’t want to do, and which I didn’t do. Frankly, it’s a trilogy of movies, so it continues the story. The narrative is affected by the things that have gone before it and that way it’s able to realize this world that sets up the Darkseid invasion, for what was planned to be a five-movie arc. It definitely finishes with this version of the film, with our heroes having mended their personal wounds and joined together as a family."

With the studio less than impressed with the general reception to Batman v Superman, they forced some changes onto Justice League. 

"The black-suit version was something that the studio didn’t want to do," Snyder explains. "So I shot the color version, but visual effects supervisor John ‘DJ’ Desjardin and I did a bunch of tests where we knew how to turn the color suit black. Then we had a formula, because I thought we could convince them to do it. It took a little longer than I imagined, but here we are."

Now, though, Snyder's original vision has been released – and some fans are already calling on Warner Bros. to move forward with the Snyderverse and Justice League 2.

You can check out the full interview with Zack Snyder in the current issue of SFX Magazine, which features Godzilla vs Kong on the cover. Zack Snyder's Justice League is streaming now on Now TV and HBO Max in the US. For more from SFX, make sure to sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.