My Favourite Thing About The Snyder Cut Is How Much Ray Fisher Likes It
Let me start this off by saying I don’t understand the Snyder Cut in any way, shape, or form. It’s a movie that already came out and flopped once, a movie that both we and the franchise had seemingly already moved on from. New stories have been released and some characters have even been recast. It’s a do-over well after most of us have moved on with our lives, and it’s apparently somehow completely different to the Justice League we’ve already seen, and now set to consume another four hours of my life, having already stolen two.
But now that I know Ray Fisher likes it, I’m glad it exists.
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I’ve got no real skin in the game here. I’m not against the Snyder Cut; being anti-a-movie-I-haven’t-seen feels like an absurd position to take. But the huge demand for it as if it will fix the fact that DC simply hasn’t told as cohesive a story as the MCU has been both toxic and entitled these past few years. Are there some people who just want to see Snyder’s take on the movie he started and had to step away from? Sure. But others have made it too large an aspect of their personality, convincing themselves they’re the Joker when really they’re those rich guys on the subway. That Whedon’s version represents all that’s wrong with Hollywood and Zack Snyder, explosions and all, somehow stands for the outsiders of superhero cinema.
I suppose what I’m getting at is that I don’t like it in principle, but I also don’t really care. It’s like if Burger King started offering boiled mushrooms instead of fries. I’m never going to choose that, but as long as I can still get fries, why bother complaining? I had the same disaffected view of the Snyder Cut until I saw Ray Fisher’s reaction. Fisher plays Cyborg in the Justice League, and he’s the least well known actor in the JL bunch. When Justice League wrapped the first time, Fisher accused Joss Whedon – who took over the movie after Zack Snyder stepped down – of “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behaviour and claimed that “the erasure of people of colour from the 2017 theatrical version of Justice League was neither an accident nor coincidence.”
These statements from Fisher came out prior to many of the women Whedon had worked with throughout his career accusing him of similar bullying behaviour. Michelle Trachtenberg even claimed there was a rule on the set of Buffy that Whedon was not allowed to be alone with her – Trachtenberg was 14 when she joined the cast and just 18 by the time she left; Whedon was in his mid 30s. As a result of Fisher’s accusations, Warner Brothers said it would launch an investigation in late 2020. To date, the only concrete action that has been taken is the removal of Fisher from the cast of the upcoming Flash movie.
Fisher also singled out Walter Hamada, head of DC Films, as enabling Whedon’s behaviour, along with several other WB executives. The official reason WB gave for cutting Fisher from Cyborg was because he refused to work with Hamada, who remains in the role.
While we don’t know everything that went on behind the scenes – and likely never will – it certainly seems as if Fisher has gotten a raw deal. Worse, taking a stand over this might have cost him his career. Joining the DCEU is a huge opportunity, one that sent Gal Gadot’s career into the stratosphere and solidified Jason Momoa’s position as an A-list actor after Game of Thrones.
In truth, Fisher should be a much larger part of this conversation. The Snyder Cut has been positioned as whiny man children demanding a mystical version of a movie they know in their chicken-tender-filled gut will be perfect, and while that’s partially true, Fisher’s story reveals far more going on behind closed doors. To hear Fisher tell it, Snyder was polite, encouraging, and supportive on set, wanting to make diversity a natural part of Justice League’s story, while Whedon came in and belittled everyone, hammered his hokey banter into the film, and used “a coded version of racist” language to change Snyder’s vision. This should be the real reason we want the Snyder Cut to come out, but it has been lost in amongst the more trivial arguments.
Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon are clearly very different filmmakers, but this entire saga has been centred around their aesthetic tendencies, their storytelling beats, their characterisation, and their use of VFX. It has all been discussed in very banal terms about who is better at doing superhero movies. Fisher’s continued defiance should remind us all that there’s a lot more to the Snyder Cut than Snyder’s over reliance on Christ metaphors and the fact his Joker says “we live in a society.” For those involved behind the scenes, as Fisher was, the Snyder Cut seems to represent something much deeper. Hopefully, it represents something with the power to heal.
After seeing the Snyder Cut for the first time, Fisher took to Instagram to record his live reaction, and the joy – and relief – was clear to see. “This movie is not a meal, it’s a feast,” Fisher told his fans. He didn’t say much else, but only because he kept cutting himself off to break into smiles or laughter.
The Snyder Cut is just a movie – and not even a new one, but a remake of one we’ve already seen and most of us didn’t care for. It baffles me that so many of you feel strongly about it, but at least I understand why Ray Fisher cares. I probably won’t even ever watch it, but I’m happy he got to enjoy it. For that reason alone, I’m so glad it exists.
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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey
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