Zack Snyder's Justice League, the realized vision of the 2017 Justice League film from its original director, is a Hollywood anomaly where the story behind the cut is just as interesting as the film's plot itself.
Marketing for the four-hour-long cut has increased in the weeks leading up to its March 18 release on HBO Max through trailers, promos, critic reactions, and interviews from director Zack Snyder and his wife and producer Deborah Snyder.
In promoting the film, the couple has been open about their journey from 2017 until now and have been pulling back the curtain on how they completed this passion project.
SNYDER, BATMAN, AND THE JOKER PLANNED TO WORK FROM HOME
In an interview by Entertainment Tonight with Zack and Deborah Snyder, the couple that Zack originally planned to shoot the Knightmare sequence between Ben Affleck's Batman and Jared Leto's Joker "at the house:"
"Let's just say I got it in my head that there was some trepidation from studio about whether we should do this at all. And so I thought, "You know what we'll do? Let's just do it at the house."
Deborah Snyder understandably responded saying, "No! No, we are not doing it at the house!"
But, it doesn't sound like this was something Zack had never done before.
The Snyder Cut director continued on, saying how he and his son filmed a few "shots for the movie here at the house" before planning his work-from-home Knightmare shoot:
"Eli and I, my son who's here with us, we did do a couple of little shots for the movie here at the house. So, that was my idea, but it was going to be on a pretty big scale, so we were like, "OK, well maybe we shouldn't do that." And then luckily, HBO Max agreed to do it, so we got to shoot it in a real soundstage. So that was fun."
While much of the attention for Zack Snyder's Justice League focuses on the fan effort in getting the film released, it's important to remember that the Snyders were shooting additional scenes for the cut at the mercy of the actors' pre-existing schedules. The director even found himself directing "some of them separately" and "over Zoom."
Deborah explained this further by emphasizing how "it was still super challenging:"
"It was still super challenging, because we had to do it at a certain time to get the visual effects done to make it in the film but all the actors weren't available at the same time. So, we had to shoot some of them separately and Ezra was on Fantastic Beasts in England, so Zack had to direct him over Zoom."
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE KNIGHTMARE SEQUENCE
A Knightmare scene was included in the theatrical version of Justice League from 2017, but clearly, Zack Snyder has a much different vision for this particular plot point.
From what fans know so far, Snyder brought in Jared Leto's Joker for this sequence to show Ben Affleck's Batman what will happen if he and the Justice League failed. It sounds as if this moment is integral to Snyder's vision for Affleck's Caped Crusader's arc. And, it's probably why Snyder was determined to shoot it, even if he needed to do so at his house and over Zoom.
The Knightmare sequence itself is also fascinating since fans don't yet know if it's only a vision or the actual ending to Zack Snyder's Justice League.
The director has openly discussed that his Justice League 2 would be set in the post-apocalyptic Knightmare version of the future seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If he stays true to that particular storyline, things may not end well for the Justice League heroes when the Snyder Cut streams on March 18.
In addition, if the positive reception for the film and momentum for the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse campaign continues, Snyder's DC story and his complicated relationship with Warner Bros. may not be over after all.