Where Do I Begin?
As most of you know, I’m a life long fan of Zack Snyder. It started for me back in 2006 when I saw a trailer for 300. And it’s still there after Justice League. I recognized Frank Miller because of Sin City, but I had no idea who Zack Snyder was. Well, in 2007, I learned very quickly. I witnessed the type of visuals captured I never knew I wanted in a film. And that was just the beginning. Watchmen completely changed me again and for the better.
With every film Zack has created, something has changed in my perception of what my cinema experience is. But never has that experience been negative. That was, of course, until Justice League. When the opening shot of Superman being on full display, I sunk in my comfortable reclining chair. I buried my head. It was the first time I was actually ashamed of watching a superhero film. But you know what made it worse? It was that everyone involved with the film up to release was preaching the rhetoric that it was still Zack’s film. Research proves otherwise.
What I Did
Up until that moment, I was never really online. I tweeted maybe a few times when Wonder Woman came out but I never had any online presence. I had joined Reddit a few months before the release, but I just observed and rarely posted. But on November 21st, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. The only problem was I had no voice. But for whatever reason, on Reddit, it was my way of venting with my fellow fans that felt the burn we were given by Warner Bros. And so I posted for the first time:
“Does anybody else feel the same after viewing JL? No need to bother with the rhetoric of all that happened before the film was released, so I’ll simply ask this: Should we be happy we got the film we got? From every main trailer, we were sold that the film looked very much like a Snyder film. From the producer and London premier cast, we were told this film is “Very much a Zack Snyder Film”.
And yet, as someone who truly loves Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman, they (WB possibly) took that away from us this time with Justice League. From the stylization to the mannerism (specifically Batman), down to the run time, we never had the inclination that we would see the Justice League film we saw and that made my experience so horrific. I felt like everyone that told us the reshoots were minimal and that this is Zack’s film completely played on our loyalty. They wanted us to believe what they were saying and wouldn’t expect us to actually see (double entendre) through all the bullshit.
Forget all opening numbers because at the end of the day, we as fans, don’t see a dime of any of that, so why bother? Also, as someone who unfortunately shares a common parental experience as Snyder but under different circumstances, I completely understand him stepping away. But, did we deserve to see a ubiquitous film over style and some semblance of a closing third chapter? I can’t shake this feling of hearing Jor-El telling Kal that these heroes would join him, and yet all we got was Superman saying he’s “Glad that he didn’t miss this”.
Second viewing (minus the thought of what I was expecting from a Snyder film) was manageavble but is the reason for my question. Maybe I’m alone, but I think we, as a fan base, deserved more (some didn’t want a Snyder film to begin with but at least it would have had the same allegorical refernces as preivous films and connective tissue of which I loved). Should we just be happy we got the film we did?”
What It Turned Into
So, there I was, venting out my frustration without even knowing what it would turn into. A month later and I was already thinking about ways to edit out a lot. Mainly of what I felt was shoehorned in scenes from Whedon. But that eventually led to my Periodic Table of Justice League. But, I had no experience editing video. In fact, I bought Adobe Premiere back in 2009 in hopes of learning but never got around to it. So it was actually the butchering of Justice League that made me even want to edit video in the first place.
And so, the instrument to my insanity turned into my cathartic healing process. I began scouring the internet for missing footage and it was around December of 2017 that I first got introduced to Stephen Colbert of Screen Rant. We started analyzing everything we could think of when it came to the film. But it wasn’t until April of 2018 that I found another calling and it wasn’t just shouting out into the void on Reddit.
DC Films Hub
After Justice League came out, I spent the next 5 months discussing and writing on Reddit. Then I saw an add requesting writers for a site called DC Films Hub. I inquired because I was a massive DC fan, and Craig and Ben allowed me to begin writing for the site, to which I am so appreciative of them. So I used the platform to spread more awareness about the injustice of what happened with Justice League. My first post was to highlight fans raising charity for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention in lieu of purchasing a Blu Ray of Justice League.
So after that, I did what any normal, sane person would do. I wrote a 14,000-word article highlighting all the events leading up to the rise and fall of Justice League and titled it #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. It was on this day that I finally was given the notification that Zack Snyder himself, was following me on Vero. To have my favorite director get a look at the things he’s inspired me is a gift I’ll never forget.
What I Gained
Doing as much research as I did for that little article of mine, I discovered so many things. I made connections with people that I still communicate with today and it’s how I’ve been able to break a lot of the exclusives I’ve written. People have been gracious enough to send leads my way or give me images to release before anyone. The biggest was The Shrine Of The Amazons. Up until that point, NO ONE knew that so much history and lore could be on 4 walls. And then when Zack released his Darkseid image, the mural became complete.
From discussing VFX on Justice League to learning the harsh reality of what truly happened with Ben Affleck’s The Batman, it was a journey. Dissecting how much footage was actually Zack and how much was Joss was an experiment all on its own. Warner Bros. also didn’t make it easy when I found Aquaman footage. But it wasn’t until I was told part of how Justice League was meant to end that I realized just how much stuff I’ve exclusively written on the subject. There was even a different openingand I made my own version of that. But I never imagined the pain I went through with Justice League, would be my muse of discovery and penmanship (electronically).
What I Learned
This film, Justice League, means a lot to a lot of people. Not only the fans but the cast and crew. And seeing them all come to a rallying cry for justice for The Snyder Cut is amazing. Zack has personally spoken about the content I’ve created and that is a reward all on its own. I feel I’m forever indebted to him because of how much he’s changed my perspective on film over the course of my life. He’s not only inspired me into creating art, but also my 12-year-old daughter, Avery, as well.
But with his influence on so many, comes a misguided place of ownership. And over the course of these 2 years, fans have created subdivisions to create civil war amongst each other. In a competition of who can subtweet or talk down the most to people, we’ve lost sight of what truly matters. That we all want the wrongs to be righted for Zack and Justice League. So I learned to ignore the constant bickering/attacking towards me and stay focused on the main goal: The Snyder Cut of Justice League.
Here We Are
Today is November 17th, 2019. Two years since Justice League. In the last two months of the decade, we enter another era of the roaring 20s. Zack will be releasing another film. And it’ll be the first one NOT tainted by corporate peepers trying to earn a buck. And yet we mustn’t neglect that we’ve been on a rollercoaster ride this whole time. Even with the up’s and down’s, everything we did led us to this moment. Whether the film gets announced today or it’s just another Sunday, we keep fighting.
In the two years since Justice League, I’ve found new talents I never knew I had. I’ve made connections I never thought possible. And things will only improve from here. I’ve supported Zack from as early as I could and I will continue to do so. Because if history has proven anything, it is that Zack, throughout his filmography, has changed my life for the better. If I was able to become the person I am today because of Justice League, imagine what more can happen. Here’s to a new era of self-discovery; may it be better than yesterday and not a great as tomorrow.