Zack Snyder's Director's Cut and Tom Holkenborg's (Junkie XL) Score for Home Release.
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To Warner Bros.
We, the undersigned, petition to have Warner Bros. release the original Director’s Cut of Zack Snyder’s film, JUSTICE LEAGUE.
JUSTICE LEAGUE was released worldwide on November 17th 2017. Fans around the world gathered to see the culmination of a trilogy that Director Zack Snyder started in 2013. To the dismay of many, the film that was released by WB was NOT the film fans were expecting.
After a heartbreaking family tragedy. Zack Snyder stepped down from the film and Joss Whedon was brought in to finish post-production. This was an understandable move at the time as fans were assured by Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich that Whedon would follow the vision that Zack has set. “The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set. We’re not introducing any new characters. It’s the same characters in some new scenes. The course has really been set by Zack”
Only a few weeks after this statement, Joss Whedon fired Junkie XL as the composer of the Justice League score and hired Danny Elfman. This was once again, a red flag for fans. While Danny Elfman is nothing short of a legend in the industry, it was perplexing to make this change when Zack personally chose Junkie XL to score. Soon after, reports came that Zack Snyder had screened a cut of Justice League to WB before his departure and it was decided that some changes were required. While fans expected Whedon would add some of his style to the script, no one expected the overhaul that was ended up being done to Zack’s original film and Chris Terrio’s original script. A few weeks before the film released, fans were treated to another red flag when it was announced that Justice League was going to be under 2 hours, a mandate forced by WB on the film to appeal to a wider audience. Those familiar with the production of the film and the style of Zack Snyder found this troubling. Zack Snyder as a filmmaker is known for longer, grandiose epics that have a wider message speaking to our society. Justice League, which was originally supposed to be a Two-Part film, was reduced to one early in the script stage. Nonetheless, fans still expected a singular Justice League film to have the consistency of length of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. A two-hour film that has to juggle multiple goals did not seem realistic and now that the film has been released, this has been a near universal criticism. One would assume that WB learned from their mistakes when Batman v Superman was underserviced by it’s editing where many issues were solved in the Director's Cut.
With Justice League having been officially released, the film has been met with the dismay of critics, fans and most importantly the alienation of it’s original fan base. What fans were treated to in Justice League was a Zack Snyder film only in name and not in quality. Much of the thematic thread of the previous entries was severed and Whedon’s influence on the script seemed to hold a greater impact than Terrio. This included ill-fitting innuendos between Wonder Woman and The Flash as well as a disrespectful use of Lois Lane, both characters who would have never been treated in such a fashion in Snyder’s original cut. Many of the heartfelt, character developing moments by Snyder were cut through jarring reshoots and troubling replacements. This can be seen specifically with the character of Superman. A scene of Clark recognizing Lois’ acceptance of his marriage proposal was replaced with a moment of Clark uncharacteristically feeling “itchy.” Superman seemed to have been completely shifted in Whedon’s reshoots. This is evidenced by the poorly done CGI to his mustache and 180 shift in personality. All this clearly evidences that most of Zack’s footage of Superman was reshot. This is a blatant change for the countless fans across the globe who personally connected with this Superman and his struggles. Zack’s Superman specifically connected with immigrants and marginalized groups. This was the most complex Superman ever put to screen and Whedon’s reshoots did him a disservice. There have been multiple quotes by Zack where he makes clear Superman is on a natural progression to become lighter. After all, this was the purpose of his trilogy since 2013’s Man of Steel. Fans were expecting a lighter and more optimistic Superman and were greeted with a grossly accelerated version of that Kal-El. We feel Zack Snyder’s footage and dialogue of Superman needs to be restored to keep a level of realistic growth.
Leaked scenes have shown that the butchering of Snyder’s original cut threads through every cast member. Snyder’s Cybrog had a chunk of development erased which is quite disrespectful when you realize this was a rare moment to have a Person of Color as the heart of a multi-million-dollar blockbuster. Characters like Willem Dafoe’s Vulko and Kiersey Clemons’ Iris West were completely cut from the film that would have successfully developed and expanded the worlds of Aquaman and The Flash, making them more three-dimensional heroes rather than a rushed final product in the theatrical cut. Much of Snyder’s visually stunning imagery was trimmed to fit the mandated two hour run time like the ancient battle sequence and parts of Superman’s return. Finally, the change in score was a disappointing endeavor. To preface these comments, Danny Elfman’s work is great throughout his career. What was deemed troubling by the fan base was the lack of thematic consistency. Junkie XL planned to create themes for every member of the Justice League while implanting the work Hans Zimmer used in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. As this is a growing universe, fans expect Hans’ iconic Superman score to be used for his return. They expected Junkie’s Batman theme and Hans’ Wonder Woman theme to be used regularly. While it would have been fine to pepper in original themes of Williams’ Superman, it shouldn’t have superseded Hans’ theme for Snyder’s Superman. All of this can be repaired by Warner Bros. by releasing a director’s cut that adheres to Zack Snyder’s original tone and vision, Chris Terrio’s script and Junkie XL’s tone.
As explained above, we, the undersigned, recommend that Warner Bros. released the Director’s Cut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League for home release. We request that Warner Bros. restores the cut scenes and original vision that Zack had for the film. Much like Richard Donner had a Director’s Cut of Superman II and Zack had a Director’s Cut of Batman v Superman, it is the responsibility of WB to right their wrongs and do good by their fans. This is simply a matter of integrity. Zack Snyder left the film that he put the better half of a decade working towards because of a tragedy. Fans were assured by Executives and Producers alike that Whedon’s addition will only be to service and complete Snyder’s vision and it ended up being a disrespectful overhaul in an attempt to pander to the widest audience. As the Box Office and critical reception has shown, pandering to the masses is not a sound strategy and the greatest stories are the ones told with conviction. Tens of thousands of fans have already signed and that number continues to grow. We implore WB to right this wrong and release Zack Snyder’s Director’s Cut.
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