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Justice League - The Spence Edit

spence

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This edit is complete, with a 30gb 1080p version and a more hard drive/bandwith friendly 8gb version. The runtime is 2 hours 43 minutes, comparable to the length of the big MCU team up films.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is certainly one of the most interesting comic book films to ever come out, just because of the back story behind it. In many ways, the film's existence is a triumph for the fans, a celebration of the series, and a vindication for the film's director.

It’s also a 4 hour mess of an assembly cut with no sense of pacing, rhythm, drama, storytelling, or anything else most movies have to concern themselves with. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed watching the film and I’m glad it exists in its current form. It’s much better than the original 2017 theatrical cut in almost all regards.

But it’s not a functioning movie.

The goal with this edit would basically be to use Snyder's version as the "Assembly Cut" form which a theatrically viable 3 hours experience could be created.

Most of the changes would be just trimming down unimportant scenes or scenes that repeat information elsewhere, or otherwise cutting and rearranging for pacing reasons. I also think all "sequel" bait needs to be removed, including the anti-life equation, Lois being pregnant, Martian Manhunter, the Knightmare, etc. It's pretty clear that we aren't going to get those films that these scenes set up, so all they do is muddy the story.

The only major change I would make that I think some might disagree with is the removal of the Wonder Woman vs. Terrorists sequence. It’s an absolutely fantastic action scene that provides a much needed action beat early in the film. Unfortunately, it takes up valuable time, interrupts the pacing of the plot, and doesn’t actually have anything to do with the story beyond showing Wonder Woman being active again. Since she’s going to be active again for the remainder of the film, it feels more important to get this part of the story moving forward faster. The Themyscira sequence would take its place as the first action beat of the story, now occurring about 15 minutes in. In my personal opinion, the first act would flow much better this way.

Updated List of Planned Edit:

- Aspect Ratio will be 2:35:1 for the majority of the film, but switch to 1:85 for some of the bigger action sequences to give it that IMAX vibe. Snyder did this for BvS so it's in keeping with the prior films. This gave me a bit more freedom to edit certain scenes.
- Scenes from the Whedon version and other DC films will be color corrected as best as possible to match the Snyder color balance.
- The opening is a shortened version of the Snyder Cut credit sequence, but without the credits. I like the idea of Superman's death awakening the Mother Boxes, but I hate how long the sequence is. It moves a lot faster now. The sequence ends with "Alert the queen!" then goes straight into the credits.
- Credits are now the "everybody knows" credits from the Whedon version. Honestly, it's an awesome sequence, covers a lot of ground, and something I had assumed was Snyder's work as he has a habit of doing amazing credit sequences.
- After the credits, go straight to Bruce arriving at the fishing village. This whole sequence is a mix of Whedon and Snyder versions. I like the clippier dialogue in Whedon's version, but don't like some of forced humor.
- Use the 2017 version's ending to the fishing village sequence to remove the awkward song and get out of the scene cleaner.
- Cut the Lois being sad scene and Martha driving away from the farm, two scenes that are now covered in the opening credits.
- Cut Wonder Woman vs. the terrorists sequence. It’s a great action scene but has very little to do with the plot. Themyscira is now the first big action scene, which happens earlier than before and kicks the plot into motion.
- After Bruce and Alfred speak on the plane, go straight to the Amazonians. This sequence is in 1:85 ration. Trimmed it down a bit just to get things moving a little faster. It's the first big action beat of the film now, so it needs a bit more pace.
- Removed Valko scene, I don't feel like we really need him in the film. Similar ground is covered later with Mera.
- Cut Diana investigating the arrow and the cave paintings. She knows what the warning means and goes directly to Bruce.
- Cut a few Star Labs sequences for pacing. Lots of repeated information and over explaining.
- Keep Cyborg's origin story, but remove all the audio tape stuff. Just cut away before Cyborg starts listening to it. This will unfortunately remove the sequence where Cyborg plays around in cyberspace, a bit I personally like, but gets the movie moving. We pause the story for far too long to introduce two new characters. A little goes a long way.
- Cut Barry saving Iris. His first scene is when he speaks to his dad at the prison. Again, the movie stops dead at this point to introduce Cyborg and Flash. It needs to happen faster and feel more organic.
- Use the 2017 version of the “I’m rich” gag as I thought it played better.
- Use the 2017 version of the Mera/Arthur scene to retain her American accent for continuity with the other films.
- Cut Martian Manhunter completely out of the film. I thought the scene between Lois and Martha was quite nice, and it's kind of shame it's revealed that it wasn't really Martha.
- Cut any references to the anti-life equation and Steppenwolf finding it. The story is more or less "Darkseid tried to conquer earth and failed, so Steppenwolf is now trying it again to earn Darkseid's forgiveness."
- Cut some of the business with transporting Superman to the ship. They dig him up and then go straight into the truck driving in. I liked the pacing of this section of the film better in the 2017 version, but I also like the digging scene in this version better. So a compromise between the two.
- Cut Alfred warning Bruce about reviving Superman. It doesn't really lead anywhere and the movie needs to get moving at this point.
- Cut hint at Lois being pregnant.
- Cut Cyborg’s vision of the Knightmare.
- Cut Bruce explaining the Knightmare to Diana.
- Cut Darkseid's dialogue at the end. He just sees the team through the portal and seethe's. This would make it apparent that he's not done with the Justice League, but doesn't offer an explicit promise of what's to come next.
- Cut most of the epilogue, including the Lex scene, the Knightmare, and the Martian Manhunter scene.
- Ending montage: Victor no longer repairs the tape recorder as the scene where he crushed it earlier is removed. Added a shot of Diana flying from the end of WW84 to replace her picking up the arrow. It's more heroic. Aquaman's scene is replaced with him rescuing the fisher from earlier in the film. Superman is back in his Blue and Red costume at the end, and keep the shot of him flying away as the last image. End credits music has been replaced, but I retained the "For Autumn" subtitle.
 
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spence

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Barry saving Iris is my favorite scene in the film but I understand.
Oh I think it's a great scene. Most of the stuff I want to cut is. It just doesn't narratively fit when you're trying to do a 3 hour theatrical film.

I'm basically doing Lord of The Rings in reverse. The Extended Edition already exists, and I'm trying to make the theatrical version off of it.
 

Dustin6595

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Oh I think it's a great scene. Most of the stuff I want to cut is. It just doesn't narratively fit when you're trying to do a 3 hour theatrical film.

I'm basically doing Lord of The Rings in reverse. The Extended Edition already exists, and I'm trying to make the theatrical version off of it.
Oh gotcha, that makes sense. I’m looking forward to it.
 

robulon

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I agree with all your trims Spence. Really looking forward to it too. Ending with the classic blue and red shirt rip is definitely the way to go.
 

revel911

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I am on the Barry scene as being one of my favorite in the whole movie. Now, it definitely needs trimmed (especially the creepy hair movement and long stare,) but this scene sets up a new character as a hero and worthy of joining the team.
 

Nic

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Speaking of Lord of the Rings, how about using the Darkseid Battle as a pre-credit scene (i.e. before the logos of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc.). Then when Bruce is in Iceland, you can use the theatrical cut of the diner scene so Bruce sees the image of the Mother Boxes, cut to Alfred, then change Alfred saying they match Luthor's intel to matching Diana's intel. Gets the backstory out of the way, and makes it so Bruce and Diana have been working far earlier than either cut.
 

spence

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Speaking of Lord of the Rings, how about using the Darkseid Battle as a pre-credit scene (i.e. before the logos of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc.). Then when Bruce is in Iceland, you can use the theatrical cut of the diner scene so Bruce sees the image of the Mother Boxes, cut to Alfred, then change Alfred saying they match Luthor's intel to matching Diana's intel. Gets the backstory out of the way, and makes it so Bruce and Diana have been working far earlier than either cut.
That's a really cool idea, but unfortunately I don't think it works very well for the structure of this particular edit. I think someone could absolutely use that idea but for this I kind of need it where I have it positioned now to kick the plot into gear.
 

revel911

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I need to watch again, but did Cyborg's father say that superman's ship is what he was studying? Wasn't it Zod's ship?
 

spence

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I need to watch again, but did Cyborg's father say that superman's ship is what he was studying? Wasn't it Zod's ship?
I believe it's referred to as "The Superman Ship".
 

ronin428

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i like your edit list...

Cut Alfred warning Bruce about reviving Superman. It doesn't really lead anywhere and the movie needs to get moving at this point.
do we need this scene to explain they need to use the ship's computer? and to explain the stakes if it goes wrong?
it could be trimmed down a little, with alfred saying "you put the team together to fight the war", then to "but if you start playing with this little box..."

i think the scene with the group talking about it some more right before the cemetery could get chopped... the part where they say superman being alive kept steppenwolf from returning.

the end credits song i think could be replaced too? perhaps with music from the zack snyder OST, like "song to the siren" and the flash theme etc...
 

jammentorp

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Unsolicited request/suggestion: Would it be possible to insert ".....that was last night" by Affleck and "Talk!" from Momoa from the first peak footage?



In the movie, I feel like we get a bad take of Arthur's line, and on Batman's line, they cut to a wider shot through a window and Affleck's mouth isn't even moving! This reminds me of the poor delivery of "Part time" from Indy 4!
 

spence

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i like your edit list...


do we need this scene to explain they need to use the ship's computer? and to explain the stakes if it goes wrong?
it could be trimmed down a little, with alfred saying "you put the team together to fight the war", then to "but if you start playing with this little box..."

i think the scene with the group talking about it some more right before the cemetery could get chopped... the part where they say superman being alive kept steppenwolf from returning.

the end credits song i think could be replaced too? perhaps with music from the zack snyder OST, like "song to the siren" and the flash theme etc...
Definitely replacing the end credits music. I know the song they chose has a special meaning for Snyder, but there's no way in hell a theatrically released superhero team up film would end with a painfully slow cover of a Leonard Cohen song.
 

spence

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Unsolicited request/suggestion: Would it be possible to insert ".....that was last night" by Affleck and "Talk!" from Momoa from the first peak footage?



In the movie, I feel like we get a bad take of Arthur's line, and on Batman's line, they cut to a wider shot through a window and Affleck's mouth isn't even moving! This reminds me of the poor delivery of "Part time" from Indy 4!
I'll look into it! I like the flow of that scene as is, but I also noticed that Affleck isn't speaking when that line comes up.
 

Workshed

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I love almost all of these ideas. I do think that a much shortened version of 'Barry saves Iris" could still work here, perhaps pushed forward in the edit, as well, as to not make Barry's introduction so late in the narrative. I would love this scene to stay in the edit since Iris will be back in The Flash film.

EDIT: Thinking back on it, you're likely right. While it's my favorite scene, opening with Barry visiting his dad does give a good explanation to why Barry hasn't just gone full superhero and is a more subtle introduction, as opposed to every hero character being immediately introduced as A GOD. Removing the WW vs Terrorists scene does do this, as well, and removing Barry Saves Iris connects Flash to WW as being more grounded in being a part of the "human world" over just being a superhero.
 
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Workshed

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I do think that parts of Cyborg's Knightmare vision work. I don't think we need absolutely everything (Diana funeral, death of Aquaman, Superman succumbing to the Anti-Life Equation) but a quick vision of the Knightmare Superman helps explain WHY Cyborg's automated defense system takes over.

Likewise, I like Bruce talking about he Knightmare from BvS as it helps solidify that Bruce is aware that it wasn't just a dream, but a kind of echo through time brought forth by a future Barry Allen. The scene itself isn't long so it wouldn't affect the runtime much by excising it.
 

J_Scarp1273

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Has anyone fixed The Snyder Cut Aspect Ratio for Fan Edits ?
A few people have fixed the aspect ratio. I've seen a widescreen version and a couple of full screened edits.
It’s also a 4 hour mess of an assembly cut with no sense of pacing, rhythm, drama, storytelling, or anything else most movies have to concern themselves with. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed watching the film and I’m glad it exists in its current form. It’s much better than the original 2017 theatrical cut in almost all regards.
I didn't mind the 4 hrs. If you are really into it, it's length isn't an issue at least to me. As for it having no sense of pacing, rhythm, drama or storytelling I highly disagree. It moved along smoothly and the emotions of the characters were seriously fleshed out (especially with Cyborg). ZS's Justice League is basically layered out as a Cyborg focused film. I can see where they would have picked up with the solo Cyborg movie that they originally planned. The pace may have been off for some who can't sit 4 hours straight, but the story in itself was broadened completely. Opinion is subjective so my thoughts are not definitive. As you stated though, I agree that ZS's version is much better than the original theatrical cut.
On a side note, a lot of people out there have created a toxic fan community complaining how Whedon so called "ruined Snyder's vision". When basically the theatrical cut was just a shorter version of Zach Snyder's actual film. Almost 98% was identical. Joss Whedon would have completed Snyder's own vision had Warner Brothers allowed him more time to complete it correctly. WB rushed the release date in order to just 'have it released' and literally told Whedon what he could and could not do. WB was unfortunately too much in control at the time.
But I digress. I loved ZS's Justice League. Was it perfect? No. Was it bad? Not at all. As for your edit I have no problems with the choices. One can always make something better.
 
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