After three years of fan campaigns and online movements, Zack Snyder's Justice League will finally see the light of day next year. Though there is no release date yet, it is expected to debut on HBO Max either as a four-hour movie or a mini-series. Snyder has already shared that his Justice League will be an "entirely new thing" rather than what the fans already saw in the theatrical release of the film.
Whatever form the Snyder Cut will take, fans are delighted to know that all of their hard work in the past was not for nothing. Over the course of three years, the fandom has created a plethora of ways to make sure that the release of the Snyder Cut will happen. From the billboards, spam emails, conspiracy theories, and the occasional #ReleaseTheSnyderCut twitter trends, they showed no signs of slowing down. The movement was indeed a unique one and the head of HBO Max seems to agree on that front.
In an exclusive interview courtesy from Vergecast, Tony Goncalves, Head of HBO Max, shared his thoughts about the fandom behind the Snyder Cut movement. Goncalves acknowledged the fact that the "consumers are speaking" and the decision-makers "need to listen." However, some have been critical of HBO Max's decision to release a new version of a three-year old movie, commenting that this could set a negative precedent for future releases. Here's Goncalves' full statement about the Snyder Cut potentially setting a precedent for other alternative releases within different fandoms:
Look, definitely not a precedent.
And you’re right. There’s different types of fandoms. There’s the fandom you just described, and there’s other fandoms. My reference to the fandoms is the fact that we’re in a space where consumers are loud. Consumers guide, and we absolutely have to listen as industry. I had a boss that once said, “Industry and consumers aren’t always aligned, but consumers do tend to win.” It’s a fine balance. And I think when it comes to video, when it comes to entertainment, when it comes to content, consumers have never had more choice, and they’ve never had more of a voice. But that doesn’t mean that we will go and invest our dollars in every single fandom that exists.
But I think the reference to the Snyder Cut and the Friends fandom is the fact that consumers are speaking, and we have to listen. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to go redo every movie ever made. But I think that we definitely have to have our ear to the ground. And I think we do.
I just go back to look at the buzz that the Harry Potter library brought us yesterday. It was a wonderful surprise and delight. It’s because consumers are passionate about these franchises.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Through the use of social media, fans maximized their platforms to cause action, with the Snyder Cut being the prime example. With enough firepower and support (even from the cast and Zack Snyder himself), this suggests that the passion and commitment of the fans are now being considered by the head honchos of the industry, which means that such movements could potentially dictate the future landscape of the entertainment industry.
However, Goncalves did point out that it doesn't mean that the industry will just give a go-ahead to any movement that any fandom will produce. A balance between the interest of the studio and fandom should still be in play and careful decision-making needs to be made.
The Snyder Cut movement sets an inspiration that can be followed by other fandoms, such as the heavily rumored Ayer Cut of 2016's Suicide Squad. Regardless, the impending release of Zack Snyder's Justice League is a living proof that fan pressure (from social media) can be successful.