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More Than Just A Movie, The Heartbreaking True Story Behind ‘Snyder’s Cut’

today24 February 2021


In less than a month, we’ll get to see the original vision for the ‘Justice League’ in its entirety. After – let’s be honest, the utter disappointment that was – the 2017 film, DC fans will get to see all the character development, DC cameos and previously untapped story arcs surrounding Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg in the four-hour-long film. However, what fans may overlook amidst all the hype, is the very real, and very heartbreaking meaning that the movie carries for the one person without whom the cut wouldn’t exist: Zack Snyder. And to truly appreciate all the work that has gone into getting ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ out into the world – the years of rallying for its release, the USD$70million budget for reshoots and editing – we also have to applaud Snyder himself for coming back to helm his previously unfinished vision. This is because of the truly heartbreaking answer that stems from the question: why is there a ‘Snyder’s Cut’ in the first place?



In April 2014, it was announced that Zack Snyder would be directing the ‘Justice League’, with the film confirmed to be inspired by the ‘New Gods’ comic series by Jack Kirby. Although filming started in 2016, it was reported that Warner Bros was not happy with the direction that Snyder was going in, following the negative feedback that ‘Batman v Superman’ (also directed by Snyder) had received. This led to multiple rewrites, with Joss Whedon being brought on to aid in the rewrites. However, in post-production, Zack Snyder announced that he was stepping down from his role as director, prompting Whedon to step up and put out the 2017 ‘Justice League’ that we all know today.


Now, why did Snyder have to step down? Because he’d lost his 20-year-old daughter, Autumn Snyder.


In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Snyder and his wife – Deborah, an accomplished producer of feature films and television commercials – addressed the devastating loss that ultimately led up to ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’. As it stood, butting heads with Warner Bros about the direction for ‘Justice League’ was frustrating Snyder but when Autumn, who was struggling with depression, had taken her own life…


“It’s such a lightning strike in the center of this whole saga. It has informed everything we’ve done since.”


Deborah, having seen a screening of the 2017 ‘Justice League’, had told Snyder not to watch the movie.


“Because I knew it would break his heart,”


Snyder and Deborah then took a step back – a two-year-long one – from their work to focus on their family.



Now, having found a little bit of healing – anyone who has dealt with loss knows that grief never truly goes away – Snyder and Deborah are honouring  Autumn’s memory with Snyder’s Cut.


“At the end of the movie, it says ‘For Autumn,’ Without her, this absolutely would not have happened.”


While realising his vision for ‘Justice League’, Snyder is not being paid for his role in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’. Not only has this allowed him to maintain creative control over the film, but it also brings a deeper meaning to the release of the film. The four-hour event for HBO Max is slated to raise money for suicide prevention programs, a move that honours his late daughter and, in hopes, stops others from going through the same grief that Snyder and his family had to go through.


*Cover image credits: Instagram /@zacksnydersjusticeleague 

Written by: Marissa Anne

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