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Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ Was ‘Unwatchable’ and ‘Joyless’: Report

  • Zack Snyder’s first cut of “Justice League” was deemed “unwatchable,” according to Rolling Stone.
  • The publication reported that “Avengers” director Joss Whedon was brought in to help the film.
  • Whedon ended up directing the final cut, which was slammed by critics.

Zack Snyder’s first cut of “Justice League” was deemed “unwatchable,” according to a new report by Rolling Stone.

Snyder was the original director of the 2017 superhero movie but left the project after his daughter’s death. “The Avengers” director Joss Whedon stepped in to oversee reshoots and recut the movie for its November 2017 release, however, the final product was slammed by critics and fans.

Soon after the film flopped, fans started an online campaign for Snyder’s version of the movie to be released, until Warner Bros. caved in 2020. “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” released last year, was roughly four hours long and contained new footage that was shot to fit Snyder’s vision.

However, according to Rolling Stone, executives were not impressed with Snyder’s original cut of the movie.

The publication said that Snyder’s first cut, shown to executives at Warner Bros. on February 27, 2017, was described as too long and too convoluted.

With a runtime of more than two-and-a-half hours, those in the room deemed the movie “a disaster” and “full-on failure,” per Rolling Stone.

A source also told the publication that this was when Whedon was brought in as a writer and a consultant.

Nine days later, Snyder presented a second cut, which was still over two hours, and which Whedon gave notes on, the report said.

After Snyder’s daughter died in mid-March, he reportedly continued working to cut the film down in time. At the same time, the studio had Whedon work on making the film’s tone less dark and serious.

Joss Whedon Rodin Eckenroth Getty

Joss Whedon was later criticized by the cast of the movie.

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty


Per Rolling Stone, Snyder showed his final version, which was two hours and 18 minutes long, to studio heads on May 5, but a source described it as “unwatchable” and “joyless.”

Whedon was enlisted to direct reshoots over the summer to meet the November release date, and Snyder announced his exit two weeks later, said the report.

Rolling Stone also reported that at least 13% of the social media accounts that pushed for the release of the “Snyder Cut” were fake.

The publication contacted two social-media tracking companies, Q5id and Graphika, and obtained two reports the studio’s then-parent company, WarnerMedia, had commissioned as part of an investigation into fan-trolling related to the film.

According to one report ordered by WarnerMedia, the third-party investigation found a lot of “negative activity created by both real and fake authors” involving the hashtags #ReleaseTheSnyderCut and #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. Q5id and Graphika also found inauthentic activity coming from SnyderVerse fans.

Snyder denied manipulating the social media movement.

He told Rolling Stone: “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.” 

Insider has reached out to representatives for Snyder and Warner Bros for additional comment.

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