Who says hashtags don’t matter?
Sure, for every hundred ‘tags that fade in 24 hours there’s some that actually make a difference. Case in point: #ReleasetheSnyderCut.
The quest to bring director Zack Snyder’s version of “Justice League” to any size screen finally got fulfilled this week. HBO Max announced it will air Snyder’s vision in 2021 as part of the new content platform.
The original “Justice League,” began by Snyder but finished by director Joss Whedon, under-performed at the box office in 2017. The film also did little to balance the Marvel v D.C. Comics film scales.
That came later with “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman.” Now, audiences can finally decide which “Justice League” version is best. Simple pop culture battle right?
Here are five reasons the Snyder Cut actually matters in Hollywood circles … and beyond.
Power to the People
The average consumer has more control over content than at any time in western culture. We watch what we want, when we want, how we want.
We’re a nation of Veruca Salts.
That also means we can demand content that Hollywood is reticent to share. Remember how few faith-based movies we saw prior to Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ?”
Now, they’re a permanent part of the film landscape, mostly on the independent level but major studios, and stars, dip their toes in the Christian pond.
The same should hold true with projects like the Snyder Cut. Clearly enough people want to see it, and it’s not like they had to round up the ol’ gang and go through an extensive, and expensive, serious of reshoots.
We’re told the project won’t be cheap, and there’s plenty of post-production work still to be done on it. The estimate bill? THR suggests the price tag will be in the $20 -- 30 million range.
Compare that to what your average superhero romp costs. It’s a bargain, and audiences are the main beneficiaries. Some, alas, aren’t happy that the people have spoken. Those voices remain in the minority.
The auteur theory means little to modern movie fans, and that’s understandable. They just want content, great content, and they’ll leave the beard scratching to film obsessives.
There’s still a reason even casual movie fans genuflect to Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino (and one day Jordan Peele, perhaps). The best directors make movie magic happen, the real kind, not something summoned in a marketing session.
The Snyder Cut lets this particular director have his say at last. That feels … right.
Winning Back Lost Fans
Hollywood could use some positive PR right about now. Here’s the short version of how the Snyder Cut became possible.
A growing movement of fans, rallied by the hashtag #ReleasetheSnyderCut, had called, agitated, petitioned — even bought a Times Square billboard and chartered a plane to fly a banner over Comic-Con — for Snyder’s version to be released.
Someone saw there’s money to be made via the Snyder Cut, and they acted accordingly. It’s more than that, though. Modern Hollywood can’t stop insulting potential audiences. Much of that boils down to Trump Derangement Syndrome on steroids.
They don’t care. The GOP is a terrorist organization that supports an openly racist, sexist, and mentally impaired Orange Balloon. https://t.co/RRPiek5nV2
— Tim Matheson (@Tim_Matheson) May 22, 2020
The current pandemic reveals much more than disdain for ideological differences. Remember that cringe-worthy take on “Imagine?” What about late night hosts mocking Americans who simply want to get their old jobs back and save a dying economy?
That goes beyond ideology. This high-profile gesture lets Hollywood say, without words, we care what you think. It’s a PR win no doubt.
Content Trumps Ego
There’s a chance Whedon isn’t too happy with this turn of events. Could the Snyder Cut take the knees out from under his version?
Does the average fan care? Absolutely not. They’re getting content they’ve been clamoring for ever since Snyder stepped away from the film to attend to a personal matter.
A Simple ‘Thank You’ Would Suffice
Some stars seem to take fame for granted. Ruby Rose allegedly quit her own superhero show, “Batwoman,” due to long hours on the set. The show was the break of a lifetime, but the rising star quit a gig millions of starlets would love to grab.
Other stars, as stated before, actively mock and antagonize audiences for not thinking the right way. When radio titan Rush Limbaugh praised HBO’s “Chernobyl,” the series’ producer recoiled at the kindness.
Snyder remains grateful to get this remarkable second chance.
“Clearly this wouldn’t be happening without them,” he told THR. Fellow director David Ayer of “Suicide Squad” fame seems hopeful he’ll have someone to thank sooner or later, too.
We need more gratitude flowing from La La Land.