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Henry Cavill's Bold Stance On The Justice League Snyder Cut

If you've got a problem with Zack Snyder offering up his near-mythical cut of 2017's Justice League, well, Superman has a problem with you.

Speaking with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Henry Cavill, who has portrayed Big Blue in the films of the DC Extended Universe, offered up a concise and thorough justification for why Snyder's cut of the film should be seen. Cavill also had strong praise for Snyder as a filmmaker, and an interesting analysis of the director's perceived shortcomings.

In case you're somehow unaware of the rocky road Justice League took to the screen, some background: Snyder, who previously directed 2013's Man of Steel and 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was forced to depart Justice League midway through production due to a family tragedy. Stepping in to finish the film was Avengers director Joss Whedon, whom most observers agreed was pretty qualified — at least, on paper. Unfortunately, Whedon (apparently under mandate from Warner Brothers) simply took a baseball bat to Snyder's film, rewriting around 80 pages of its script, and tossing huge chunks of narrative out the window. Entire character arcs, like that of Ray Fisher's Cyborg — whom Snyder has called "the heart" of his movie, via Twitter — evaporated. Other characters, like Darkseid, disappeared altogether. The finished product barely resembled the film Snyder envisioned. 

Justice League became perhaps the highest-grossing flop in history, despite being the first live-action appearance of one of the most legendary superhero teams in history. Following complete re-edit by Snyder using precisely none of Whedon's footage, HBO Max will present Snyder's version of the film as a four-part sort-of miniseries sometime in 2021. And Cavill, for one, couldn't be happier about it.

Henry Cavill thinks filmmakers have a right to share their vision

Cavill began his defense of the Snyder Cut by strongly insinuating that Whedon — who has since come under fire for allegedly running a hostile, borderline-abusive shoot, via Variety — was simply never the right guy for the job, being less invested in the characters than Snyder. 

"When it comes to adaptations and stuff, it's important to me that things are... faithful to the source material," Cavill said. (As both the star of Netflix's The Witcher series and an avid player of the games on which it's based, it's fair to say Cavill isn't talking out of his rear end on this point.) "When you are just a carriage on someone else's train, it can be a dangerous place to be in. When you are the train itself — when you are [Lord of the Rings director] Peter Jackson, when you are... Zack Snyder, when you are [Dune director] Denis Villeneuve — it is, I'm sure, absolutely amazing. Because it's your vision."

Cavill continued using his train metaphor to illustrate the point that just because the passengers think the train should stop somewhere other than where it's supposed to, that doesn't make it a good idea. 

"I think it's only fair that train gets to reach its station which it was aiming for, and I think it's important that vision is realized," he explained. "Whether you agree with it or not, it doesn't matter. It's a storyteller's, it's a filmmaker's right to have that vision realized, and I'm excited to see it. I'm excited to see what that vision was, and how it looks. And [Snyder's] got the advantage of hindsight now, and it's gonna be even better."

Henry Cavill's passionate defense of Zack Snyder

Few would argue against Snyder's talent as a visual stylist, or even that he's capable of pulling off virtuoso sequences. For evidence, look no further than his feature debut, the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, which sports one of the most terrifying opening scenes in horror movie history. But the filmmaker has endured criticism for jumbled plotting and hokey dialogue — particularly with regard to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — and Cavill feels that such criticism tends to overlook the forest for the trees. The actor makes the case that Snyder is actually an underrated storyteller — one that simply employs a different set of tools than most. 

"Zack's attention to detail, Zack's visual talent, is extraordinary," Cavill said. "And the way he tells stories, you see it through the visual. He's such an exceptional crafter of moments. And love him or hate him, everyone talks about the movies that he makes. [...] I've learned a lot from his version of storytelling, in the sense that he relies on those moments very, very much. He's very much [in the] visual medium, and he's so good at it. Zack's visuals are second to none, and it's something which I'm going to take with me [in my own storytelling]."

Henry Cavill isn't filming reshoots for the Snyder Cut of Justice League

Though the film, which will be released in four parts to comprise more than four total hours of Justice League goodness, doesn't yet have a firm release date, it is expected to launch on HBO Max sometime in 2021 — and probably earlier rather than later, so as to satisfy fans who've been waiting years for the director's cut. Snyder and his wife Deborah, who has co-produced a number of films with him, have been hard at work on the Snyder Cut for quite some time, and now, a whole crew of creatives are kicking things into overdrive to bring it to life. 

Not only will Snyder's version of Justice League feature only material that he originally filmed before exiting the project, but it will also include freshly shot footage. Justice League reshoots are reportedly scheduled to take place sometime this month, October 2020, with Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Ben Affleck (Batman), and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) said to be getting in front of the camera once more. 

Cavill, however, isn't partaking in any reshoots for the Snyder Cut. While it was initially reported that his name was on the call sheet for reshoots, Cavill clarified to Collider that he's "not shooting anything additional." In perfect Cavill fashion, he added, likely with a laugh, "For me, I'm now just watching the party."

By all accounts, Snyder's cut of Justice League sounds like it will be radically different from the version we saw in 2017, so we'll get to see just what Cavill's talking about when Snyder's cut hits HBO Max next year.