Following the release of Justice League, its dismal box office performance, its critical panning, and its failure to make a profit for Warner Bros., the DCEU fan community has been besieged by divisiveness. Some fans blamed Warner Bros. for ruining the vision of Zack Snyder by cutting out all his best scenes. Others blamed alleged fake feminist Joss Whedon, who took over duties on the film after Snyder had to leave due to a family tragedy, and reportedly lightened the tone of the flick with hilarious dialog like “booyah.” Still, others said that Snyder was at fault for creating the polarizing films Man of Steel and Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice in the first place, and that Warner Bros. and Joss Whedon were just doing the best they could with the material available to them. It’s a dark time for the DCEU, casting a shadow over the future of upcoming films like Suicide Squad 2, Wonder Woman 2, Flashpoint, and seventeen in-development Harley Quinn movies.
It’s in this context that tortured fans created a petition demanding that Warner Bros. release a cut of Justice League that restores Zack Snyder’s vision, even though Warner Bros. seems unlikely to spend the money to produce this when Justice League is already a financial loser. In response, another group of fans started a second petition, demanding a cut consisting only of Joss Whedon’s contributions and completely removing Zack Snyder’s vision. That second petition has far fewer signatures than the first, but a significant number of signatures on the first petition were revealed to be fake. There appears to be no end in sight to this quagmire, and the ultimate losers are DCEU fans — even more so than usual.
But what if fans who want to see Zack Snyder’s vision completed on screen are searching in all the wrong places? What if it’s not Warner Bros, or Joss Whedon, or Change.org, or the comments section of innocent websites simply reporting the facts about Justice League, or even Zack Snyder himself cannot provide us with the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League? What if the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League was inside of us all along?
Just as Pa Kent in Man of Steel instructed his son not to save his life in order to protect his identity, and Clark stepped aside and let his father die, did we not also stand idly by through months of troubling news about the Justice League production? When Justice League’s Rotten Tomatoes score was revealed (despite efforts by the Warner Bros.-owned website to keep it a secret), was it not like a brutal, murderous neck snap to our hearts, just as Superman snapped Zod’s neck in Man of Steel? Is not the divisiveness between pro-Zack Snyder and anti-Zack Snyder DCEU fans the same as the animosity between the titular Batman and Superman in the film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice? And just like in Batman v. Superman, when Batman and Superman realized that both of their mothers were named Martha, can we too not see that, Snyder fan and foe alike, we’ve all suffered the same heartbreak, the same tragedy, the same loss, the same pain of watching terrible DCEU film after terrible DCEU film (not counting Wonder Woman)? What does it matter who’s to blame? Are not all our mothers, in a way, called Martha?
Rather than looking outward for the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League, let’s all set aside our hostilities and look inside ourselves, deep in our hearts, deeper than our hearts, even, maybe in our bowels, for the Zack Snyder cut that’s inside of all of us.
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