Following the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, Warner Brothers released a statement pointing out that the toxic fanbase was sorely responsible for them cutting ties with the director's universe.
After a long battle, Zack Snyder’s Justice ended up arriving on March 18, 2021. The film was released on HBO Max and the response was amazing and positive.
This is mostly due to the fact that fans of the director, himself, and some critics have been campaigning for years, to get this movie released. Eventually, that paid off and WarnerMedia listened.
The thing is, some audience members hated the director’s previous work, and their negative rating of his work was clouding some of the great content the director stood a chance of making, including this movie.
Thus a large community was supporting and rooting for him to be given a chance of letting the public see his initial vision and not the theatrical cut that was released in 2017.
Within the positive work and support, there’s always some negativity lingering around and that is what this analysis is going to unpack:
Amid all of this, there was a stench level of toxicity that was reeking and was never addressed by the director himself.
This makes sense, he is not responsible for how people react or what they do. He is not holding their hands and ordering them to do these acts.
However, it is worth noting that since they are vouching for his work, rooting for him, and fighting for him to be given a chance at telling stories that he loves.
Now, in that case, he should help steer the discussion or the fight in this case. Think about it, this is the same community that fought for him through thick and thin.
They mass-called Warner Brothers offices bought billboards, and massive ad space raised funs for the good cause. All of this means that they have clear intentions when it comes to everything that involves the director.
Now if they do, then they would probably listen to the director if he attempts to speak out on some of the ways they go about doing things.
Why do people say Snyder fans are a ‘cult’?
The word ‘Cult’ being synonymous with the fandom stems from some comic book fans saying that the fandom only praises the work of one director, Zack Snyder.
That they only want the director to helm every single project as an executive producer, to direct and be responsible for crafting long and extensive storylines for the main characters who are meant to headline their individual projects.
This also means that the fandom is not interested in supporting any other director within that particular universe when they try to adapt any story with their different view or take of the world of this character.
And a classic case of this behaviour happened to some of the directors and female cast who attempted to tell their own stories.
They were met with the wrath of this fandom under weird phrases like: ‘This is what WB wants the DCEU to be like’.
- Director Cathy Yan received a lot of criticism and unnecessary hate plus bullying for her take with Birds of Prey (2020). This film was incredibly good and served as the first female team-up in the DC Extended Universe, not just DC, but the whole Comic Book Movie world never got to experience this moment. There were sexist jokes that the cast faced, and unnecessarily trending for all the weird reasons.
- Director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam (2018) was boycotted by Snyder’s fans as they hated the fact that the film was too ‘childish’ and not dark like the universe that was started. They argued that the movie is not staying true to the initial cinematic universe theme that was created by their ‘original’ director Zack Snyder.
- Director James Wan’s Aquaman (2017) project, is another film that fell into this. Firstly, for simple things like the costumes or the armour that Atlanteans wore in the movie. It is obvious knowledge that standalone films lead to characters getting a new suit that will be used for future battles. The most unnecessary thing about the attack surrounding this movie is that the project was grossing a billion dollars at the box office.
There is nothing wrong with not liking a film, but there is something wrong with sending the director and cast members unnecessary attacks.
Aquaman (2017) stopped facing these attacks when Ray Fisher showed Jason Mamoa support publicly and the other way around.
Now all of that happened then, we assumed that it was over, but it was not. It is sort of like, the ‘cultist’ movement was in full swing according to various critics.
Things became worse during the premiere week of Snyder Cut. From critics, to…everyone that had different views about the film.
The ‘toxicity’ during the Snyder Cut Premier week
Ann Sarnoff also addressed the “toxic” side of the DC fans in the wake of releasing Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
What happened was that since most fans were overly excited about Snyder’s directive cut being released, they took to social media to celebrate this and enjoy the success that was happening.
They were sharing older clips from the 2017 Justice League theatrical cut and comparing some moments to the recent HBO Max film.
However, that is not the only fans did. A lot of bullying took place, not only to critics days before the film was released. But it also took place the entire four-day period when the film was trending on social media.
The attacks were sent to several senior members and Joss Whedon was still at the forefront of the attacks too.
Sarnoff highlighted reports that the ‘Anti-Snyder Cut’ executive members received those threats and that the WarnerMedia ‘was not going to be tolerating that reprehensible behaviour no matter what’, according to Variety.
This is the part that people do not want to address, as much as more positivity was shared online, the bullying and toxicity that happened, overshadowed all the good and nicer fans.
So yes, let us not refute the bullying that happened. Studios deserve to be called out, but an attack on individual members is very much telling of the behaviour that the majority of the fans possess.
Joss Whedon’s hand in this whole fiasco
Director Joss Whedon was hired by Warner Brothers to come and “finish” the film that was made by Zack Snyder. This is after director Snyder took time off for personal family matters.
This director being hired was huge. He is the guy who made two massive and successful Avengers movies, and him being asked to come and complete this project blindsided a lot of people.
No one saw this one coming and there’s no evidence to back the fact that he was responsible for initiating reshoots or the studio was.
What we know is his decision to clamp down Victor Stone’s entire Cyborg story from the movie, and much more stuff.
We discovered the racism that Ray Fisher experienced on set and there were formal complaints to some of the bosses, which clearly up to so far, never got properly resolved in any way. POC characters had their storylines removed from the film.
There were questionable oversexualizing scenes of The Flash falling on top of Wonder Woman, plus the obscene shots that expose Diana Prince’s behind in a sexually provoking manner.
This is disgusting and also goes on to discussions that took place about Natasha Romanoff being captured in weird sexualizing angles from the movies of the same director.
He is an entirely horrible person, the fact that he is now responsible for ending Ray Fisher’s future in the DC Extended Universe since he’s the inception of it all, is disturbing.
He destroyed a blacek actor’s career and when that actor cried about it, out loud in public, he faced consequences alone.
At the end of the day, he was hired by Warner Bro. And as much as hate it, they have the power to greenlit or cancel projects.
My overall thoughts
Unfortunately, a future with a fanbase like that one is not the one that Warner Brothers are keen on having.
The execution of the movement in the past worked, the bullying clearly worked, but history never repeats itself.
Using the same bullying tactics as a way to get the Snyder Cut restored is not an ideal way to do something a second time around.
I feel like the media worked hard in cleaning up the mass that was surrounding this movie, with all the praise and positive reviews they had about the movie.
The whole weekend of the release was barred with positive news and that is what the fans should have focused on, hyping the positivity -- constantly attacking individual members of the executive who hold power, was not a well-thought idea.
At the end of the day, things are always going to get worse and more intense. We do hope that HBO Max will give Zack his own projects, but this is a long shot.
Those superheroes still exist in a march larger universe and if the rumours of Flashpoint resetting everything that happened are true, then this is probably the last time we saw Zack Snyder direct a DC movie.
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