The idea of Justice League member Wonder Woman using Twitter in 2019 is a bit of a bummer, but on Sunday night, she and a fellow (former fellow, technically, thanks to Ben Affleck) member, Batman, joined forces to lend their hashtags in support of a powerful cause: the Snyder Cut.
The movement to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut began almost two years ago, in early 2018, a short while after 2017's critically panned Justice League hit theaters. The movie, DC’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers, was initially directed by Zack Snyder, who also left his dark and gritty mark on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. However, tragedy prompted Snyder to step down from the movie, after his daughter Autumn died by suicide. Subsequently, Warner Bros. brought on Joss Whedon, director of the first two Avengers movies, to finish Justice League.
Snyder’s Justice League was mostly finished when Whedon came on, but that “mostly” is doing a lot of work, depending on whom you believe. At the studio’s behest, Whedon shot additional scenes, and it’s pretty easy to tell which parts of the finished movie are Whedon’s. If the characters are making tonally out-of-place wisecracks? That’s Whedon. If it feels like Avengers Lite? That’s Whedon. If Henry Cavill’s mustache has been obviously and poorly erased from Superman’s lip with unconvincing CGI? That’s Whedon, baby.
The idea of a mythical Snyder Cut—the director’s original, unadulterated vision—has been a superpowered white whale for the director’s diehard fans. (But even if you think Snyder sucks, the idea of a consistent, coherent bad movie sounds interesting compared to the bifurcated mess Justice League was.) Supporters of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement have started online petitions, gathered for awkward IRL protests, and hired a plane to fly over 2019’s San Diego Comic-Con. Still, until this weekend, the idea of anything actually happening with the Snyder Cut seemed pretty unlikely. There’s no hard evidence that the Snyder Cut even exists in any finished, releasable form, after all.
Then, yesterday, Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck both tweeted the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Gadot’s tweet also included a black-and-white still of Wonder Woman from the presumed director’s cut, while Affleck just fired off the plain ol’ hashtag. Snyder, who has on occasion teased behind-the-scenes glimpses of his unused Justice League footage on an obscure app that only he really uses, retweeted both Gadot and Affleck. Ray Fisher, who plays Cyborg in the film, also tweeted the hashtag, but he didn’t get a retweet.
All three actors’ tweets have serious “ESPN personality promoting Disney+” energy, especially since Affleck’s tweets are almost all professional, and this was Fisher’s only tweet. The effort seems eerily coordinated, and it comes soon after Aquaman star Jason Momoa said he’d actually seen the legendary Snyder Cut. Before this weekend, the Snyder Cut campaign was largely a fan-driven effort, so it’s curious that these huge stars are planting their flag with Snyder’s defenders and demanding that Warner Bros., their onetime and future employer, release the edit exactly two years after the movie’s original release.
It’s enough to make a conspiracy-minded superhero fan wonder if Warner Bros. is maybe, perhaps, in on the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement. There’s speculation that the edit could debut on the Warner-owned streaming service HBO Max when it arrives in May, but The Hollywood Reporter and other publications’ insider sources say there’s no indication that’s the case.
Whether the Snyder Cut news is a coordinated marketing campaign or a mini civil war between superhero stars and their studio, one thing is clear: At least this is a reprieve from the Scorsese versus Marvel discourse.
It asks the audience to make a lot of assumptions, for starters.
Originally Appeared on GQ