“But the world is not fixed in the past, only in the future.” –Dr. Silas Stone
The difference an extra 2 hours make.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League a.k.a Snyder Cut, the 4 hours of an epic masterpiece is way different from the theatrical version of Justice League that debuted in 2017; all from its visual effects and music to the characters. Although the story follows the similar plot of the Justice League (2017); Diana and Bruce a.k.a Wonder Woman and Batman recruits more superheroes to defend the world from the evil that is yet to come.
However, “Justice League” is a team of Superheroes. While Joss Whedon’s version only focused on Batman & Superman arc, Snyder corrected that in his 4 hours movie. Admittedly, there’s more edge in the Zack Snyder’s Justice League, unlike the theatrical release. Snyder Cut reveals its extra dark layers, which is the heart of the story that we weren’t expecting.
And this article will give you a quick list of all the major difference between Zack Snyder Justice League & theatrical release.
Table of Contents
Music & Effect Changes
Aspect Ratio & Visuals
It probably took you by surprise when you load up “Zack Snyder’s Justice League”, and it represented the film in 4:3 formats. And no, you cannot adjust the aspect ratio to make the black bars on the sides go away. Zack Snyder Justice League is filmed in a square frame, and that’s how it wants you to watch it. Period.
Amusingly enough, this makes the “Justice League: Snyder Cut” the first major superhero movie to be represented in “Academy Ratio”. Apart from the ZSJL aspect ratio, the least flashy element they changed in Snyder Cut is the
colour of the orange-red sky that is seen during the theatrical release’s end battle.
Music & Soundtracks
One of the known changes was the ‘Music & Soundtracks’, and this reflects on a character’s arc in the film. The first soundtrack plays when Bruce tries to recruit Arthur Curry, and he rejects the idea of being in a team. Arthur returns to the ocean and the people living there start singing Vísur Vatnsenda-Rósu by Jón Ásgeirsson.
Then, Distant sky by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, plays in the Lois Lane’s arc. Where the lyrics fit perfectly to her situation: trying to continue living without Clark/Superman. Later, in the film, Arthur saves a man from getting swallowed by the storm. And the song, There Is A Kingdom plays as he chugs down the bottle of whiskey while walking back to the ocean.
In the first meet of Iris West and Barry Allen, they play Song To The Siren to tease and highlight their love story.
Finally, Hallejuah plays during the credit role. Although it was in the official teaser of Snyder Cut, it holds an emotional meaning for the director. This song is actually to tribute his late daughter, who committed suicide in 2017.
In the theatrical release, the opening of the movie starts with an amateur recording of an interview of Superman by some kids before his death; which is followed by the rooftop scenes with Batman catching a parademon.
Whereas, Zack Snyder Justice League begins with the scene from Batman vs. Superman: Dawn
of Justice, of Superman’s death at the hands of Doomsday.
The loud roar of the superhero reverberates across the world, which wakes the mother boxes. And, when they sense no red flag, as in there is no protector/ “Kryptonian” of this world, Steppenwolf forays back on Earth.
Darkseid- the Uber villain played by Ray Porter in the Snyder Cut, is now part of the movie. First, Diana will see him narrated in an ancient mural inside a creepy cave room. Then in the flashback; where Darkseid leads an army of Parademons against the Greek Gods, Amazons, and many other races. He’s the evil lurking behind the scenes, controlling Steppenwolf. However, he appears a few times during the movie, and it’s likely we’ll see more of him.
Zack Snyder Justice League continues the nightmare Bruce experienced in Batman vs. Superman. A nightmare where Bruce leads a rebellion and Superman is under the control of Darkseid. Then Bruce wakes up and seems to see Flash forewarning him about Lois Lane from a different point in time. Though we don’t know how much of this storyline will be resolved in Justice League. What we know is Snyder won’t serve us a half-cut cold dish like the ‘theatrical version’.
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Snyder’s version of Steppenwolf is coloured differently, heavily armoured, and looks like what he supposed to be- an alien with a lot more fingers than needed. Whereas, the Theatrical version of Steppenwolf seemed more like the furless-Beast from Disney’s set?
In order to change the ending, John Whedon added a rooftop scene featuring Batman luring out and capturing a Parademon, while discovering that the creature tracks fear. But in Snyder Cut, Batman learns about the Parademons from Lex Luthor’s journal.
They cut the random Russian family who lives alone off from Zack Snyder Justice League. Joss Whedon added them to give the last battle some human-citizen stakes.
“I belong to no one.” –Wonder Woman
In the theatrical release, Wonder Woman seemed to be objectified a lot. Rather than portraying her as the fearless warrior, they show her as Bruce’s love interest until the final battle.
To be fair, they still objectified her to a certain degree in Snyder Cut. She still got her fair share of the action scenes though, which represented her true character- “The most ferocious and noble Superhero.”
“Not impressed” –Superman
Most of Henry Cavill’s/ Superman in his epic black suit and with natural lips scenes was reshot. Since in Justice League (2017) his lips were photoshopped because of the moustache he had to maintain for his other role in Mission: Impossible 6.
And they made major changes right from the beginning: Upon being resurrected and the first meeting with Lois Lane after the resurrection, to the final battle with Steppenwolf.
Iris West & Flash
“My foot’s in the door” –Barry Allen
Snyder added Iris West’s scene that was cut off by Joss Whedon in the theatrical version. Whedon did it to highlight Barry Allen’s story a bit more for the audience: His mother’s murder case, wrongly incarcerated father, and his mission to uncover the truth. Snyder teased by saying, “Flash is going to do something extraordinary”, though he didn’t explain what. “He’s a quantum character. He interacts with time & space.”
“I don’t owe anyone anything.” –Arthur Curry
Just like other Justice League characters, Aquaman too got his share of scenes; Snyder also included ‘Mera’ and ‘Vulko’ in the movie which helped the audience understand the backstory of Aquaman.
It also solves the mystery to “How did he have the full armour and trident” for the final battle.
‘Cyborg is the heart of the movie’, Snyder said.
In the theatrical version, Cyborg’s story was shaved to a minimum: Everything from him learning about his abilities and strength; to his deeper connection to the Mother Box. Since he is basically born from it. Also, in Zack Snyder Justice League, Dr. Silas Stone dies. This motivates Victor Stone a.k.a Cyborg to take part in the final battle.
Martian Manhunter’s first appearance is in Lois/Martha scene of Snyder Cut, where he shape-shifts as Martha Kent and visit Lois’ apartment and has an encouraging conversation with her. In the end, when he leaves the apartment, they reveal it Martian Manhunter has been using the face of General Swanwick.
Obviously, the final battle was reshot. I prefer action- action, and after watching “Zack Snyder Justice League”, I realized that the theatrical version of the final battle seemed a little like Boom-Bam-Bam- Poof!
Although, it’s great to see the heroes save the day before major damage can happen. But where’s the juice in that?
The audience expects the final battle to be a lot bloodier, which charges their adrenaline rush with its top action that Snyder portrayed. Snyder also added the scene of Darkseid, which was cut off from the end-post Steppenwolf defeat.
And last, the closing montage was done by the late Silas Stone, rather than Lois Lane; Which obviously makes sense, since Cyborg’s storyline should’ve taken a large part of the movie.
(Video Credits: 9gag.com)