- “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” debuted earlier this year on HBO Max.
- Samantha Win wasn’t expecting her scenes to feel different since she wasn’t involved in reshoots.
- Win told Insider it was “a night and day difference” in how she felt about women in the film.
This week marked the four-year anniversary of “Justice League’s” theatrical debut.
Since its release, fans rallied for what, at the time, seemed like a mythical cut of the film from the original director, Zack Snyder, who stepped down from the film alongside producing partner and wife Deborah Snyder after the death of their daughter. “Avengers” director Joss Whedon stepped in rewriting and heavily reshooting the film, which was maligned by critics and fans.
In 2021, Snyder’s four-hour vision of the film was finally released on
If you watch the two cuts side-by-side, one of the biggest changes is how the 2021 film, often referred to as the “Snyder Cut,” portrays its female characters on screen. The 2017 Joss Whedon version contains more than a dozen cringeworthy moments directed at Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, the Amazons, and more you can see here.
All of these moments are removed from the “Snyder Cut,” instead highlighting women’s strength in each scene.
In May, while speaking with Samantha Win about her role in Snyder’s “Army of the Dead,” Insider asked the actress about the differences in the two films. Win plays one of the Amazon warriors, Euboea, seen briefly early on in the films. She dies heroically while serving Queen Hippolyta to protect one of three Motherboxes from the film’s villain, Steppenwolf.
“When I watched the 2017 version, it almost made me think, ‘Oh, that’s just the performance I gave and that’s just what the story was,’ because they had used much of what I had filmed, but it just looked different than I thought it was going to,” Win said of watching the theatrical release. “The connection wasn’t as strong. I just wasn’t feeling it as much.”
In the theatrical cut, a large focus was on Steppenwolf sexualizing the Amazons while trying to acquire the box. Instead of looking like powerful warriors, they were easily knocked around and looked like they were desperately on the run from a monster who was excited by the thrill of the chase.
Win didn’t return for any reshoots of the film when Whedon took over the film. So when she learned “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” would debut on HBO Max, she initially thought her scenes would look “somewhat similar.”
That wasn’t the case.
“It was very surprising to me how different it felt just edited and put together by someone else,” Win said.
Snyder’s cut put the focus back on the Amazons instead of on Steppenwolf, who comes off as a predatory creep in the theatrical release. Now, instead of them fearing him, it looks if he’s at the mercy of these god-like warriors.
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” also restored a few moments with Euboea where we now see her saved by Hippolyta and wrangling up horses for the two to escape before her untimely demise. The scenes give her death more weight so when you see her slip away, there’s more of an emotional attachment to the character’s sacrifice.
When Steppenwolf escapes, the 2021 film has an extra beat to pay tribute to the fallen warrior.
“In Zack’s version, I did feel the connection with the queen more. I felt like it meant more,” Win said. “There was more significance put on my character, Euboea, as representing all of the Amazonians. It felt so much more significant and symbolic for all of the women on the island, instead of it just being kind of a random death.”
“It meant something in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League,'” Win continued, adding, “I didn’t know that it could be like that. So it was a very pleasant surprise. I just had no idea until I watched it and I felt a lot better about myself and my performance, but also it was a night and day difference in how I felt about women in the movie and the emotional journey of the characters. It just reinforced the idea that the director and the eyes putting it together is so important.”
Snyder’s version of the film also cut out a line where, after acquiring the Motherbox, Steppenwolf declares that all of the Amazons will love him.
Win said she didn’t catch that difference while watching, but acknowledged how the line delivered “a change in tone.”
“You will love me,” Win said, repeating Steppenwolf’s dialogue. “I think we’ve all, as women, met men like that, and it’s a huge red flag. To put that into a character and have that in a movie that children and young people are seeing all over the world is not the greatest.”
When Insider noted the restoration of the agency of just about every female character in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” to the director earlier this year, also while discussing “Army of the Dead,” Snyder mentioned his wife and producing partner, Deborah.
“My partner is a very strong woman herself and I feel a huge responsibility to make sure that the female characters are represented with dignity and honor, and I do my best to do that,” Snyder said.
Snyder’s 2021 cut of “Justice League” ends on a cliffhanger with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) receiving a visit from the Martian Manhunter (Herry Lennix) who tells him he’s here to help the Justice League save the world from an impending apocalypse.
The director’s original vision, pre-2017, was to make two more films to close out a five-film saga, but that’s not in the cards, at least for now. Days after March’s “ZSJL” release, WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff told Variety no sequels were happening.
When asked if restoring the SnyderVerse is something that would make him happy at this point, Snyder told Insider in May, “The truth is that Warner Brothers, they’ve been pretty clear… they’re not interested in Zack’s take on the DC universe. That’s not conjecture. They say that directly.”
Snyder outlined much of his planned sequels in an interview with Vanity Fair. The plan also lived as a series of massive detailed storyboards which sat on display in an official exhibit in Texas at AT&T’s Dallas headquarters.
For the time being, Snyder is busy at
most popular titles, spin-off “Army of Thieves” is currently one of Netflix’s most popular movies, and a sequel, “Planet of the Dead,” is in the works. Snyder also starts filming his Netflix space drama, “Rebel Moon,” which he co-wrote, early next year.. His zombie universe, “Army of the Dead,” is alive and thriving. The film is among the streamer’s
In April, fans told Insider they’ll keep asking for the SnyderVerse to be restored for as long as its of interest to Snyder. For the theatrical film’s four-year anniversary, Snyder shared a photo of a “Justice League” clapboard on Vero, his preferred social media platform, keeping hope alive for a potential restoration of the SnyderVerse one day.