Movie titles are always causing problems.
2012's theatrically-titled The Avengers was renamed as both Marvel's The Avengers and Avengers Assemble for home video to avoid confusion with the 1998 Sean Connery/Uma Thurman film of the same name. Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne's epic showdown began as Batman v Superman, but eventually tacked on the subtitle Dawn of Justice ahead of its marketing campaign.
Titles reveal a lot about a movie and its content, so its not exactly surprising when a studio wants its fingerprints all over it.
Zack Snyder's rendition of Justice League appears to have hit another speed bump.
According to Twitter user @TheComixKid of Geeks WorldWide, higher-ups at DC Films are not keen on the title Zack Snyder's Justice League for the director's cut of the 2017 team-up flick.
I did some asking around n it sounds like the issues with the name Zack Snyder’s Justice League r at the DC level bc his name comes first n this claims ownership, notice no DC stuff has really done this before as it sets a legal precedent n favors the creator over the company pic.twitter.com/OSEg81vm5G— KC Walsh - Black Lives Matter (@TheComixKid) August 5, 2020
WHAT THIS MEANS
Buckle up kids, let's talk Hollywood logistics.
Warner Bros. and DC Films are understandably hesitant to include Zack Snyder's name in the HBO Max rendition of Justice League due to ownership concerns. As @TheComixKid laid out, calling the film Zack Snyder's Justice League gives the director precedence over the studio, and while he may be the one putting the most work into it, Warner Bros. is the one funding the extremely expensive cut.
While in theory this is Snyder's cut, it is still DC's footage. The reason it took almost three years to get a confirmation that a Snyder cut was coming was because Zack does not have the authority to complete and distribute the project on his own, Warner Bros. does.
So why the dispute? They came to an agreement, right? Well yes, but including Snyder's name in the title would put the director and the studio back at square one.
Across all entertainment mediums, professional sports, music, the film industry and beyond, no one person is bigger than the machine. Record labels do not go by The Weeknd presents Republic Records, and sports teams don't advertise as the Boston Celtics starring Kemba Walker. The same goes for film. DC likely wants to avoid a dangerous precedent of attaching directors' names to project titles, and that starts by axing Zack Snyder from HBO Max's Justice League.
Unfair? Maybe, but that's showbiz baby.
HBO Max presents Justice League directed but not owned by Zack Snyder (did I get that right?) is due on its streaming service Spring 2021.