Justice League will be remembered for years to come, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Plagued by controversy and constant internet chatter, we’re sure that everyone involved is happy that it’s done and dusted now. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest talking points was the firing of Zack Snyder and appointment of Joss Whedon to finish the film. While Warner Bros. hasn’t officially confirmed that Snyder was let go from the production, we can all read between the lines and see there’s more to this than meets the eye. Look, it’s okay if you like (or even dislike) the movie, but you have to admit that it was a project in never-ending turmoil due to studio interference.
Snyder loyalists weren’t happy with the final product and have demanded a Snyder Cut of the movie. After all, the director’s mesmerizing visuals and grittier superhero story were all forsaken for audience-pandering comedy and Whedon-esque dialogue. He might have the sole director credit on Justice League, but anyone can see that it’s more the Josstice League than anything else. As such, we’ve scoured the net for the best Snyder vs. Whedon memes around, because it’s time for the Dawn of Fan Justice here.
15. RECYCLING JOKES
One of the more controversial aspects of Justice League was the removal of Snyder’s material that we’d seen in the trailers. The problem was what it was replaced with. Whedon has a certain sense of humor, which borders on the realm of dad joke, and he injected it into his shots of the film. At the same time, he also recycled some of his gags from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The scene where the Flash falls into Wonder Woman’s bosom is an exact replica of the one where Bruce Banner fell on top of Natasha Romanoff in the second Avengers film. Now, we get that Whedon was under pressure to finish up the film and add a different tone to it, but did he really have to plagiarize his own material here?
14. WHO ASKED FOR THE WHEDON CUT?
Not only did Whedon add some of his own scenes, but he also reshot Snyder’s – to add more humor. A notable one is the first meeting between Bruce Wayne and Arthur Curry. If you have a keen eye, you can see the mish-mash of the two directors in the scene. Was it necessary, though?
Despite fans calling for the Snyder Cut, Warner Bros. is digging their heels in and sticking by the theatrical, aka Whedon, cut. It isn’t difficult to see why. If the studio released the Snyder version and it did well, it would have egg on its face. If it did badly, people would react to it, too. It’s likely that Warner wants to move on from this movie now and not dedicate more money or time to it.
13. LIGHT VS. DARK
If you think about it, it was really odd bringing in Whedon in the first place. He is renowned for his work on The Avengers and has a certain style, which simply doesn’t mesh well with what Snyder does. This isn’t to say one is superior to the other, but it’s like hiring Wes Anderson and Judd Apatow to do the same movie: you’ll get different results. Obviously, Warner Bros. thought he could turn Justice League into an Avengers clone – but the problem was that most of the movie had been completed already in Snyder’s tone.
Chris Terrio’s script was always going to be a lot more serious than one written solely by Whedon. It was a complete clash of styles, despite Whedon’s best efforts to mask it with Danny Elfman’s light-hearted soundtrack.
12. THERE’S ONLY ONE SNYDER
The biggest difference between Snyder and Whedon’s work lies in the visuals. While Whedon is no slouch and deserves credit, he simply cannot compare with Snyder’s aesthetic. Every frame of his looks like it was pulled directly from a comic book and the likes of Batman and Superman haven’t looked better than in Snyder’s movies. He puts a lot of effort into the visuals, and his films are better because of it.
In Justice League, it’s obvious who oversaw the more splendid scenes. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see Snyder’s final vision, as we’re certain he would’ve delivered better-looking action sequences (and Steppenwolf) than what we ended up getting. If anything, this film taught us there’s only one Snyder and no one can deliver visuals quite like he can.
11. THE MAD TITAN
For many fans, the true villain of Justice League wasn’t Steppenwolf but Whedon. Especially after the director liked a few disparaging tweets about the movie (whether he was being sarcastic or serious, only he knows) and remained quiet about it in the aftermath. Thus, it didn’t take too long for fans to dub him Judas Whedon.
When the Avengers: Infinity War trailer was released, some fans had a laugh and pointed out the similarities between Thanos and Whedon. Naturally, it didn’t take too long for people to edit an image of the Mad Titan to look more like the director. Some of the more fanatical members of the comic-book community even believe that Marvel sent Whedon over to the DCEU as a Trojan horse. It’s a bit far-fetched, but a funny thought nonetheless.
10. THE SNYDERATI
Snyder is a divisive director. There are people who proclaim he’s this generation’s Michael Bay, while others say he’s a misunderstood auteur. One thing is for certain, though: he gets you talking about his movies, which is always a good thing for him and the studios. Regardless of your feelings towards him, his departure from Justice League came under the worst circumstances possible and no one should have to experience what he and his family did.
His fans weren’t exactly enamored to hear that his replacement would be Whedon, either. The Avengers director is the antithesis of Snyder, as his films are created for mass audiences and find favor among critics. You could say that Whedon is the company man, while Snyder is the rebel.
We’ve already touched upon Whedon being brought in to add one-liners. Look, in some instances, maybe the additional levity made the film less grim than what it was supposed to be. What didn’t make sense, though, was Whedon coming in and doing what he did to Superman’s face. Yes, we’re talking about the whole mustache-gate thing.
It wasn’t Warner’s fault that Paramount refused to let Henry Cavill shave off his mustache, but it is stupid when you consider the importance of the reshoot material to the overall story. For example, did we really need that intro with Supes? It added nothing to the story and only served to make the Man of Steel look like Shrek. If the reshoots had been valuable and contributed something to the narrative, we could’ve given Warner a pass here.
8. JOSSTICE LEAGUE PROTEST
Just when we thought it was safe to talk about Justice League again, the home release was announced. At first, the details were a little murky – and everyone thought that the fabled Snyder Cut might actually be released. Warner Bros. seemed to be hush-hush about the whole thing and when we saw a few of the deleted scenes leak online, fans rejoiced since those were definitely Snyder’s work.
As the details of the home release became more readily available, however, it was evident that it was the theatrical cut being released, with two deleted scenes. There was no Snyder Cut mentioned. Nothing. As such, the internet threw a fit and many fans refused to purchase the Josstice League on digital, Blu-ray, or DVD. Their protest didn’t prevent the home release of the film becoming one of the biggest selling Blu-ray releases of all time, though.
7. DUUUN DUN…
You know, this meme works on another level besides the obvious. The production for Justice League was tumultuous and in rocky waters for a long time. Warner wanted a different movie from what Snyder imagined, which is pretty darn funny since producers hired him knowing exactly what sort of movie he makes. Then, they reached out to Whedon to finish the project. Look, we wouldn’t blame any filmmaker if they steered clear of this project when the call arrived from Warner.
Yet, Whedon hopped on board, which is odd when you consider his past. He’s the first person to lament what happened to Avengers: Age of Ultron due to studio pressure and interference, but he took the reins of an equally pressured Justice League. Whedon doesn’t seem to handle stress very well, and this one was as high-pressured as they come.
6. WHERE IS THE SNYDER CUT?
After everything he’s been through in the DCEU and his personal life, Snyder must look back and think he has the best fans in the world. His followers have vehemently demanded his cut of Justice League, setting up petitions and rallying their friends to get Warner Bros. to notice. Never have we seen such a demand for a director’s cut as much as we’ve seen for this one.
They say that good art doesn’t walk a tightrope, either infuriating or illuminating – and Snyder’s work in the DCEU does exactly that in droves. He has a legion of fans who claim that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel rank as the best adaptations of both characters, defending him from the detractors who proclaim the opposite.
5. THIRSTY LOIS
Lois Lane played a major role in both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. We saw the smart and strong character that we’ve come to love over the years – and Amy Adams did a sterling job as the Daily Planet‘s top reporter. So, it was rather surprising to see how her character was largely relegated to the sidelines in Justice League.
In fact, the whole “thirstiest woman” gag undermined everything that Lane had achieved in the DCEU up to that point. While David S. Goyer and Terrio put in a lot of effort into writing her as an important protagonist in this universe, Whedon washed away all their good work with a stupid joke. Surely, Lane deserved better treatment (and writing) than this?
4. BAD COMEDY
Ignoring the obvious misspelling of Zack in the above meme, it’s true that no one could imagine a Snyder comedy – especially not in one of his superhero affairs. If you look at his previous body of work, it’s apparent that he worships at the altar of Frank Miller and Alan Moore, two creators who transformed (and perhaps even saved) the comic-book medium with grittier, adult concepts.
DCEU loyalists have long claimed that what separates this universe from the MCU is its mature themes, thanks to Snyder’s input. In fact, a lot of fans made fun of Marvel’s movies for the kid-friendly stories and never-ending jokes in serious situations. Oh, how little did they know that Justice League would become a glorified MCU clone in sheep’s clothing.
Snyder gave us one of the best live-action depictions of Batman. His Dark Knight was scary, intimating, and someone whom criminals would think twice about messing with. In the build-up to Justice League, we also received glorious images and snippets of the Caped Crusader and all his toys. In fact, one of the most praised shots was the top image of this meme that screamed classic Batman.
What Whedon did to the Bat was nothing short of shameful. Gone was the bruiser from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and in his place was a guy who gushed when Superman arrived to save the League. He gushed. When have you ever seen the Dark Knight get excited about the Man of Steel’s introduction? His superpower is meant to be constant grumpiness.
2. THE MEDDLESOME STUDIO
Lest we forget, Warner is the studio that gave us Batman & Robin in 1997. It was a film that nearly killed the superhero genre and prevented a Dark Knight film from being made for eight years. But why did the project end up so badly? Easy answer. The studio’s interference and greed. The execs stuck their noses where they didn’t belong all for a few more Happy Meals and product placements.
You’d think they’d learn from their mistakes, right? But no. After Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad‘s murky receptions, there was a knee-jerk reaction to change everything about Justice League. Rather than complete Snyder’s vision and then start over with the next phase, they sliced and diced until they got the movie they wanted. Problem is, most of these people know numbers, not film.
1. CUT IT OUT
Bottom line: Justice League was like one of those products you order online. It looks amazing on the packaging and you can’t wait until arrives. Then, when you open it up and check out the product, it looks inferior to what you were promised. Sure, it’s usable, but you still feel ripped off because it’s nothing like what was on the packaging.
Snyder’s League looked larger than life, as if he used every single cent of the budget to create a superhero epic that would be the biggest of 2017 (and perhaps even the decade). Unfortunately, what Whedon delivered at the end looked like it had the budget of 1997’s Spawn and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. How could a $300 million movie look as cheap as Justice League did?
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