Written by Fiona Zheng
Foreword by Editor In Chief-Sheraz Farooqi
At ComicBook Debate, we respect and amplify the opinions of the fans. Justice League, regardless of how much you loved or disliked it, seemed to have been specifically manufactured to be “audience friendly” and “critic friendly.” As I pointed in my review, Justice League is a very enjoyable film and I personally loved it. That admiration is exclusively credited to the hard work Zack Snyder and his brilliant cast put in. Justice League brings out a childlike joy from me and reminds me heavily of Justice League the Animated Series. The thing is, there is a flip side to this story. From the perspective of Snyder’s DC trilogy, Justice League has been tampered, adjusted, reshot and repackaged purely for a “critic friendly” goal. The irony in all of this is that the film has been panned by critics anyways. It leaves many to ask “What was the point?” If WB wanted to go in a different direction after Justice League. it would have been right for them to respect Snyder’s lead and complete the film in his vision rather than make puzzling, sometimes jarring changes. To preface once again, I love Justice League and the general audience seems to enjoy it as well. To further speak on this point of view, our writer, Fiona Zheng, addresses WB with her thoughts in the open letter below.
Open Letter to WB- By Fiona Zheng
I watched Justice League last night and I think this film is about celebrating these amazing charters. While it is disappointing to see parts of the film changed from director Zack Snyder’s original vision, it’s core and DNA will always be his. I felt Justice League was a love song to Superman, to DC Comics, and everything Zack Snyder brought to this universe.
I truly enjoyed the film, but, as an active member of this great and diverse fan community, I have something to say to Warner Bros. openly.
If you have NOT seen the film, you should stop reading this letter right here. I don’t want to affect the mood of those who haven’t seen it yet. Justice League is Zack Snyder’s film in the general but Joss Whedon ruined so much of it due to his reshoots. This extends to Danny Elfman’s score. While I feel both of these factors have failed this movie to some degree, Zack Snyder has not. Zack’s part of Justice League was phenomenal and his original vision had a much bigger potential that what the film ended up being. Zack’s work in Justice League deserves our appreciation and praise. To many, it is easy to tell the difference between Zack’s careful and thought out work and Whedon’s disappointing additional reshoots.
I was very disappointed by Whedon’s disrespectful nature to women in this film. Some of his worst reshot scenes included lame sex jokes on behalf of DCEU’s most important female characters, like Lois Lane. To add to this, the offensive “Body fall” between the Flash and Wonder Woman goes against anything Zack Snyder has done for women in his films. The contrast of Snyder and Whedon’s filming standard and ability is obvious and jarring. Simply put, Whedon’s poor writing dialogue didn’t fit the epic nature that Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio intended.
Nevertheless, I want Justice League to do well at box office. These characters, Zack Snyder and the DC fandom deserve the film to be celebrated. But not you, Warner Bros. You don’t deserve this movie to benefit you.
Your meddling with the film’s intended tone, scope and vision to prevent another critical panning was useless because the film was panned anyways. Every film has imperfections and Justice League is no different but maybe a poor critical reception and less than stellar box office return is the price you pay to learn how to let DCEU films a product of the director and not the studio. Because I am a fan of the film and Zack, I will keep promoting this film so the work of the cast doesn’t go to waste. In the same breath, I will always know your studio made a huge mistake to lower your filmmaking standards to pander to critics which led to no improvement anyways.
I can’t stop imaging how great Justice League could have been if you didn’t let Whedon’s writing and the firing of Junkie XL be used to move away from Snyder’s original vision.
Lastly, we as fans request a Director’s cut or an Extended version of Justice League. Please get rid off the offensive Whdeon jokes and behaviors. Bring back the vision of the true director by putting the original footage back in. This would be a decent gesture and repay to this huge fan community who defended and supported Zack Snyder’s vision and franchise for years.