Saturday, April 17, 2021

New book examines how a fan movement made the Snyder a reality

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The story, of course, is how a legion of fans merged into an online collective that a major movie studio couldn’t ignore, which ultimately ended up, in part, in said studio giving them this. they demanded. And what they demanded was director Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League, the movie he started but Joss Whedon finished after Snyder left the project. While this is the film version of Whedon that limped into theaters in 2017, it is the highly anticipated Justice League by Zack Snyder (that’s the official name of The Snyder Cut) that Warner Bros. now supports with a March 18 release on HBO Max. Many fans of the Snyder Cut camp understandably take a victory lap as this date approaches, and who can blame them? Release The Snyder Cut: The Crazy True Story Behind Zack Snyder’s Fight That Saved The Justice League, details how a group of fans around the world came together, from a shared sense of frustration over the theatrical version of Justice League, to help restore Snyder’s vision for the first super-team from DC. Author Sean O’Connell emphasizes the fans who built the base operation as much as the filmmaker whose name is in the hashtag.

“I have to admit, I never really believed there was a lot of substance in this movement or how realistic their goals were,” O’Connell told IGN. “But to be at [San Diego] Comic-Con in 2019 and see how they launched their own campaign with ads at bus stops and billboards in downtown San Diego, calling for a true cut from the Justice League … Seeing them take that step made me sit up and pay attention.

The group also rented a digital billboard in Times Square and hired banner planes to fly over both San Diego Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Field in Burbank to deliver their message, all to the support from a director’s cut that many observers didn’t really believe existed. . The stories of these ambitious movements are detailed throughout the book, as is one aspect of the movement that tends to be overlooked: The movement has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Autumn Snyder, the daughter of Zack and his wife / production partner Deborah Snyder, tragically committed suicide during the same time the Snyders were involved in a battle with the studio for the direction of Justice League. Eventually, Zack and Deborah walked away from the movie after this tragedy. Until recently, the public reason for Snyder leaving the film was due to the death of his daughter. However, in an interview for the book, Snyder suggests that the ongoing battles with the studio over his vision for the DC Cinematic Universe were also a factor in his decision to leave. Pressure from the studio after the critical beating and disappointing box office of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was mounting.

“I was just done with it,” Snyder says. “I had no energy to fight.


“I was just done with it,” Snyder says in the book. “I had no energy to fight [the studio]and fight for [the movie]. Literally no energy for it. I really think that’s the main thing. I think there is a different world where I stayed and kind of tried. And I’m sure I could have… because every movie is a fight, right? I was used to it. But I just didn’t have the [energy]. “

The movement’s charitable work seemed to love Snyder fans as much as their immense loyalty to the director and his take on the DCEU. One of those fans who caught the filmmaker’s attention is Fiona Zheng from China. She sent out the very first tweet suggesting The Snyder Cut, shortly after the Justice League theatrical release. The book describes how she is viewed as a founding member of the movement that helped organize it, and someone Snyder told to share details with early on about her version of Justice League. “Fiona is proof of the global dimension of Zack’s fan base,” says O’Connell. “She was one of those people who had been there from day one. I think because she was so loud from the start, Zack kind of took her under his wing and trusted her and shared some stuff on social media or behind the scenes to let her know things. Snyder, in fact, revealed to Zheng in a November 2017 text message that he had no plans to see the theatrical version of Justice League.

Many other fans around the world were instrumental in turning #ReleaseTheSnyderCut into something with real purpose. And yet, O’Connell found that registering the #RTSC members to be a challenge when writing the book, as many of the group did not trust reporters. Fortunately for the author, he knew a guy.“I had a very close friend with an older brother who knew a key member of the movement,” says O’Connell. “He agreed to vouch for me. But there was a lot of mistrust at the beginning because of the articles that had been written… I think once they saw the questions I was asking, they saw that they could trust me to tell their story.

It’s almost impossible to talk about #ReleaseTheSnyderCut without mentioning a very vocal and toxic part of the community. Spend enough time on Twitter and / or Facebook talking about superhero movies, and there’s a good chance you’ve encountered Snyder Cut supporters during an online skirmish. O’Connell knows firsthand that these aggressive fans exist, but he says the writing of the book has convinced him that this is just a disgruntled small faction that does not represent the movement as a whole. “I do not deny that these [toxic fans] to exist. They come to me all the time, ”he says. “But this corner of fandom… is a bunch of anonymous followers who post all day. They are not true representatives of the movement. “

Regardless of their size, this dark corner of the #RTSC campaign has spent the past two years making life miserable for many fans, critics and journalists who have dared to say something negative about the film. Some writers and fans have been forced to endure frequent online harassment, and even occasional threats, members of the #RTSC community.

Regardless of the size or size of this more toxic segment of the #RTSC community, the big group’s relentless campaign ultimately resulted in Warner Bros. ‘ Warning. The director claims in the book that The Snyder Cut’s presence at SDCC 2019 was so strong that it drowned out the online campaigns of the films the studio was actually releasing. “It was during I think, [2019’s] Comic-Con where there was an article written that said, “The biggest WB and DC presence at SDCC this year is for a movie they had never released,” “Snyder told O’Connell. . “We did all of these analyzes. When we went to talk to Warner Bros. about releasing the movie, I said … “The most tweets, the most social media noise in Warner Bros. history is about a movie you didn’t release.” “This information caught the studio’s attention,” Snyder said.

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