Zack Snyder’s Justice League is born from controversy. The original film switched up directors in the middle of production, which led to a patchwork Frankstein that was torn apart by critics. Then, actor Ray Fisher called out replacement director Joss Whedon for inappropriate and abusive on-set behavior—something Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot backed up. He then went further and started calling out multiple higher-ups at Warner Bros.
Most recently, Rolling Stone published an investigative piece looking into how Zack Snyder looks to have manipulated the situation behind the scenes. This included theories that he employed Twitter bots, weaponized his fanbase, threatened producers on the project, and even worked in tandem with Cyborg actor Ray Fisher.
Fisher came after the piece once it was published and called it a “hit piece”, even going as far as insulting the writer behind it. Needless to say, the situation is a messy one.
Now, Snyder has taken his turn to respond to all of the allegations with a very stylistic graphic.
Snyder Responds to Allegations
It included the revelation that a significant portion of the Snyder fanbase and their movement for the director’s new cut may have been the result of fake bots.
Rolling Stone uncovered that a digital marketing consultant named Xavier Lannes was at one point and time listed as the registrant for the website http://forsnydercut.com—one of the loudest online movements in regards to the Snyder fandom.
Lannes is not officially listed on the website, but his LinkedIn identifies him as the CEO of MyAdGency, a Los Angeles-based digital ad firm. While the company’s site is no longer active, an archived version of the site revealed that its services included “cheap, instant Avatar traffic to your website.”
They also boasted: “We use the latest technology concentrated in the palm of your customer’s hands to grow your business beyond your wildest dreams!”
Snyder has denied knowing Lannes or having ever hired him. Lannes himself did not respond to the site’s request for comment.
The outlet also revealed how their insiders seemed to think that Snyder may have been manipulating the situation from the inside. The director himself claimed that “if anyone” was pulling any strings when it came to social media, it was Warner Bros. themselves “trying to leverage [his] fan base to bolster subscribers to their new streaming service.”
Rolling Stone also revealed that nearly all the insiders that they interviewed believe that Justice League’s Ray Fisher was working in tandem with Zack Snyder thanks to the actor’s viral callout tweets coming directly after behind-the-scenes demands from the director. Snyder himself called the allegation “totally untrue” while Fisher declined an official comment at the time—though he did release a Twitter statement after the fact.
All of the vitriol from the Snyder fanbase had effects outside of the immediate DCEU movie. Apparently, those fans had review-bombed Adam Wingard’s Gozilla vs. Kong, and sources claim that the director of the film asked Snyder through an intermediary to tell his base to stand down. Supposedly, Snyder refused.
The director claimed he was never asked to do such a thing, and added, “furthermore, I do not control my fans. They have their own will and their opinions; you really give me too much credit.”
He went on to say that “it was fulfilling to be able to finally see my vision realized,” and how “dwell[ing] on negativity and rumors serves no one:”
"As an artist it was fulfilling to be able to finally see my vision realized after such a difficult time in my life and for it to be so well received. I am grateful to both the fan community and Warner Bros. for allowing this to happen. To dwell on negativity and rumors serves no one… if this is indeed a balanced article, I hope that all the good work the fandom has done (including charity donations) is being represented.”
A day after the article went live, Snyder posted on his Vero a graphic that proclaims: “If I advance follow me, if I retreat kill me, if I die avenge me.”
This quote is one the director has used before, as he can be seen wearing a t-shirt with this quote on its back during the production of Batman v Superman.
Maybe Snyder Needs Some Avenging Bots
There’s no denying that Snyder has a flare for the dramatic, something which may have resonated with Ray Fisher as well. But what about the accusations? Well, seeing as Fisher and Rolling Stone are still going at each other on Twitter, fans are going to have to see how it all plays out to possibly get a clearer picture.
Though, the allegations that bots were employed aren’t new to the Snyder fanbase. The Snyder Cut's recent win at the Oscars for the fan-voted Oscars Cheer Moment, which many online found illogical, was accused by The Wrap of seemingly being the product of automated bots.
Warner Bros. has not been having a good time lately with their DCEU stars, and it doesn’t seem like it’ll be getting any easier for the studio.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now streaming on HBO Max. The movie is also available for purchase via digital release and on Blu-ray.