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The Surprising Way Fantastic Beasts Helped Film The Justice League Snyder Cut

Zack Snyder used a little filming magic to conjure up some reshoots for his upcoming four-hour Justice League cut

In a recent interview with Beyond the Trailer, the DCEU director revealed how he got new footage of The Flash actor Ezra Miller despite a number of serious production obstacles, specifically "pandemic rules." "You know he's on Fantastic Beasts, and that's in London, and we weren't going to travel to London, unfortunately. I would have loved to have done that," Snyder said. 

With Miller currently in London filming Fantastic Beasts 3 and COVID-19 lockdowns making travel between countries — and currently even just within Britain — difficult to near-impossible, Snyder was limited in what he could do to get what he called "a teeny bit" of footage. Luckily, the production crew of Fantastic Beasts was willing to assist over Zoom.  

"We picked him up on a Zoom, and the Fantastic Beasts crew, I sent them these drawings. I was like, 'Okay, this is what he has to do,'" Snyder said. "There were three monitors for me so I could see the set, I could see Ezra, and I could see the camera."

With the help of that equipment, which also included an iPad attached to a stand that showed the Fantastic Beasts team Snyder's face, he could direct Miller from across an ocean. "It was like 'Okay, now move that guy, do this... I was like, 'Is there any way that can be on a remote control car that I could drive it around a little bit?'" Snyder joked. 

Synder's Zoom directing was a heroic effort for a tiny bit of footage

The effort is an example of how numerous productions are getting creative around their filming in the time of a pandemic, but it's also a testament to how much work goes into filming just a small sequence. While it might have sounded and actually been a lot of heavy-lifting for all involved, it ultimately wasn't for a lot as Snyder acknowledged it was for a snippet of footage. In that same interview, the Justice League director revealed that despite his cut being a massive four-hours long, much of the new footage — which includes Miller's London pick-ups — will equate to just a handful of minutes. 

"I will say that in the end, it's going to probably be about four minutes or five minutes of additional photography for the entire movie," Snyder said. "In the four hours that is Justice League, maybe four minutes."

Minutes on screen can make or break a movie, so it's important not to diminish the impact of those four-minutes Snyder mentioned. But it is a lot to take in considering how much HBO Max has currently spent on getting Snyder's cut out in the world. What started as an additional $20 million to be spent on post-production has morphed into what is reportedly a $70 million budget that includes financing for additional photography. 

Between the budget and the reshoot efforts for actors like Ezra Miller, the Justice League Snyder cut is turning out to be a truly super endeavor.