I didn’t expect to enjoy this movie in the slightest as I do not typically care for Snyder’s projects, but was pleasantly surprised. Although I did like the movie, it was still over indulgent in many places and I wholeheartedly believe it absolutely did not need to be 4 hours long. There were many scenes that did not make sense within the context of the film (or were completely unrelated to the plot), were unnecessarily long, and there was definitely an over abundance of slow-mo. I know that Zack is known for this but I feel even his past works weren’t this over the top with the effect. You could cut off a good 30 minutes if there were no slow-mo.
I understand that Zack wanted to release this in Imax and so the aspect ratio reflects this formatting. However, we are not watching the film in an Imax theater and would not have seen these black bars while watching in an Imax. What we are experiencing is a byproduct of the home release not being reformatted for our home theaters. This is in contrast to directors who release their films in a specific aspect ratio for effect, such as Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, where the aspect ratio would have been visible in the theater as well. After now watching the film in both the original aspect ratio and horizontally stretched, I can say that I did not personally observe any significant advantage to the incremental extra vertical space offered in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
Goal: I believe a more focused version of this film without all the unnecessary fat could be more than just pretty good, it could be amazing. Aiming for a runtime of 2.5-3 hours
Change List (Subject to change):
- Restructure opening so we do not hear Clark screaming for six minutes.
I’m not sure how necessary this scene is if at all, as the mother boxes could easily be shown waking without Clark screaming. The league later specifically states that the boxes woke up due to his death as well. Also I’m not particularly fond of this idea as it doesn’t explain why Darkseid didn’t try attacking between the time of the first attempted invasion and Clark arriving on earth
- Alternatively open with Bruce searching for Aquaman
- Remove strangely long Icelandic singing scene. We now end with Bruce looking disappointed at the water and cut immediately to Arthur swimming to his favorite spot to have Vulko conversation
- Remove mention of Orm for sake of continuity (Arthur is unaware of this in Aquaman) and cut to Bruce getting off helicopter onto plane
- Remove Martha sadly driving away. We are told she lost the house later.
- Remove Wonder Woman rescue scene. Yes this scene is very cool but has absolutely no connection to the plot and unlike the other three members of the league (Arthur, Victor, and Barry), Diana has already had a solo movie at this point in the timeline and does not require introduction. She is also serving a similar team leader/gatherer as Bruce in this movie, Bruce doesn’t get an introduction scene either.
- Gently condense Amazon Motherbox - Steppenwolf scene
- Remove Amazon arrow scene. “They might not know what it means. She will.” Cut directly to Diana seeing the fire on tv.
- Remove Diana’s Tomb Raider scene. She knows what the fire means and explains this all to Bruce later.
- Remove Arthur saving random boat and the faux deep scene that follows. Arthur gets his heroic introduction when he single handedly faces off with Steppenwolf later
- Trim up end of Diana’s retelling once she begins talking about what was done with the boxes. The 2017 version does this same bit of this scene without nearly as much fluff.
- Flash/Iris rescue (My favorite scene of the film) ultimately feels like it belongs in a Flash solo film that we never got. This may be strongly in part to the song used, my love for the character, or a combination of both lol. I believe we truly need one Flash introduction scene and not the two that we get, however, I love this scene so much that I’m trying desperately to trim it where I can to keep it. Ideally this scene would have been merged with Bruce finding him by having him be a customer in the pet shop or something similar but what can you do?
- Sync up Mera’s American accent dialogue from the 2017 release for the sake of continuity
- Remove Arthur trashing his mother, it now plays as if Arthur is angry with the Atlanteans for taking his opportunity to have a relationship with his mother (Continuity)
- Remove Steppenwolf checking in with Desaad only to tell him he’s got another box. We now cut away as soon as the field is created
- Contemplating adding in the “Save one person” line from Bruce to Barry before the action begins. Removing the silly bug comment and only leaving the “I’ve never done this before” notion
- Remove Aquaman’s strange arrival where he hovers in the water before saving everyone
- Remove Silas Stone’s pointless quarantine subplot
- (Potentially) Adding in “Dressed like a bat…I dig it.” line. What can I say? I think dude-bro Aquaman is kind of hilarious ¯_(ツ)_/¯ and this line is a nice callback to their first interaction
- Remove Martian Manhunter Martha Kent reveal. This completely undercuts the impact of the previous scene
- Working on a way to include Bruce’s Lois contingency from the 2017 release. Say what you will about the quality of Joss’s version but this makes a lot more sense than her coincidentally being in the area to pay her respects to Clark one last time
- Remove Silas calling security on the intrusion. He evacuates like the rest of them and reacts accordingly when he sees the fallen motherbox because he’s smart and can figure it out
- Trimming the Justice League getting their asses kicked by Superman (This one might be controversial). I get that Superman is a heavy hitter for the team but depicting them as completely powerless to stop him makes them feel useless once he’s back. The goal with this change is to make it appear that they are losing because they are taken by surprise, not because are they completely helpless against one member of the league
- The movie ends with the league heroically looking out at the horizon
- Reformat aspect ratio (I think I will release a 1.33:1 aspect ratio version as well for people who want it)
- Cut down on the Amazon theme that plays every single time Diana/Amazons appear
- Remove all titles/chapters. I’m sorry Zack, but you’re just not Tarantino