Like it or hate it, director Zack Snyder‘s vision for DC heroes like Batman and Superman has been ultra-serious and grim, with only a few brief dashes of levity sprinkled in. In Snyder’s own words, this R-rated film is “made for grownups,” which implies a seriousness which is sort of comical in and of itself. (Come on, these are characters meant to appeal to children!) But hey, thanks to a new featurette, it appears that the set of Justice League seems to have had a fun, lighthearted vibe to it (at least before Joss Whedon came on board). Check out some behind-the-scenes footage of Snyder getting very into acting out certain moves for his actors, Ben Affleck actually cracking a smile in the Batsuit, Gal Gadot being a ray of light between shots, and more.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League Featurette
We had a lengthy, spoiler-filled conversation about the Snyder Cut on yesterday’s episode of /Film Daily, so I won’t recount every aspect of that discussion here. But I think it’s fair to say that while there are many elements of his vision that work far better than what we saw in the theatrical cut, the indulgent four-hour runtime still has a host of issues.
One thing no one can deny is that Snyder knows how to craft an image. “He’s got such an incredible brain for the visual,” Henry Cavill says of his director in this video, and Ezra Miller explains how the actors would often reference Snyder’s storyboards before shooting a given scene. (My favorite part of this video may be Affleck’s tone of voice at the 2:01 mark when he says, “I like Zack. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm,” because it almost sounds as if someone is twisting his arm to say something nice.) Arguably, Snyder’s over-reliance on creating memorable and painterly visuals is more important to him than narrative storytelling, which is how a four-hour cut of a movie can still feel like an emotionally hollow viewing experience.
But I do genuinely like seeing actors like Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, and the rest of the cast appearing to have a good time while making this movie, and Snyder – for all his faults as a storyteller – definitely seems super into everything he’s doing in a given moment on the set. I’d much rather see a movie from a director who’s excitedly acting stuff out for his actors than someone who isn’t invested.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is streaming on HBO Max right now.
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