Technically speaking, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is going to be full of new scenes. But almost all of those scenes were already shot years ago, waiting to be finished via VFX work or color correction. But what about newly-shot scenes? How many of them are there in the film? The answer may surprise you! It’s one – the answer is one. And we already know what the one scene is: Jared Leto as the Joker, talking about how we live in a society. So what the heck else did Zack Snyder spend that reported $70 million on to finish the film? Producer Deborah Snyder might have that answer, as she revealed there’s something like 2,650 new visual effects in the movie. Meanwhile, the first track from Tom Holkenborg‘s (aka Junkie XL‘s) score is now available for your listening pleasure.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League Official Soundtrack
There it is – a nearly 7-minute track from Junkie XL’s score for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. As you might recall, Danny Elfman scored the theatrical cut of Justice League – but Junkie XL was announced as composer first. This move was, for many, the first sign of trouble with the production. When news of the replacement broke, Junkie XL released the following statement: “As my mentor Hans Zimmer told me — you haven’t made it in Hollywood as a composer until you get replaced on a project. So I guess [I] finally graduated this week. It pains me to leave the project, but a big thanks to Zack for asking me to part of his vision…” That was in 2017. Now, four years later, Junkie XL is back with his own score for Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the infamous Snyder Cut that fans have been waiting for.
It’s my duty to recap what happened every time I write about this movie, just in case you’re somehow in the dark, so here goes: Zack Snyder was originally supposed to direct Justice League. But following a family tragedy, he departed the project. Upon his departure, Joss Whedon stepped in to finish the film – and a huge chunk of the movie that was released in theaters was shot by Whedon. The end result was severely lacking, and Snyder’s die-hard fans began insisting that if Snyder’s true vision had been realized, Justice League would’ve been much better. They began demanding to see the Snyder Cut.
There was just one problem: the Snyder Cut didn’t really exist. Not in any coherent, finished form, at least. Snyder had a rough cut of the footage he shot, and he screened it for studio execs before his departure. But despite a whole lot of hoopla, there was no completed film sitting on a shelf, waiting to be released. That didn’t deter the fans, though – they kept up their campaign. For a while, it seemed like it was all a pipe-dream. But then HBO Max came on the scene. The fledging WarnerMedia streaming service realized they could hook a whole lot of new subscribers if they promised to finally #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, and so they decided to do just that.
But again: no such completed cut existed. Which meant Snyder had to go back and finish what he started. And to do that, he would need money. How much money? According to reports, $70 million. And that’s a shitload of money, folks. So just what the heck did Snyder spend it on? There were announcements that several actors would be returning for reshoots, which sounds like it could eat up some cash. But as it turns out, rumors of those reshoots were greatly exaggerated.
During an appearance on the LightCast podcast (via The Playlist), Justice League producer Deborah Snyder revealed that only one new scene was shot for the new cut: “People kept thinking, ‘Oh, they went and shot so much more stuff’ and I go, ‘We literally shot one scene, like one additional [scene]. I shot three days here. That’s it. That’s what we captured.”
And we already know what that one scene is: the addition of Jared Leto’s Joker to the “Knightmare” sequence that we first glimpsed in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Batman has a vision of an alternate world where everyone is wearing duster jackets and Superman is evil. However, other actors besides Leto got involved, too.
“It was also weird because Ezra [Miller] was shooting [Fantastic Beasts at the time] and he’s in the scene,” Snyder said in the podcast interview. “So, we shot him remotely. Zack Zoomed in because he was on Fantastic Beasts. Luckily, their crew is amazing they were like, ‘We’ll help you!’ So, we got a green screen and they had a camera feed and a Zoom. He got to direct Ezra via Zoom and we put him in.”
This still begs the question: what did they spend all that extra money on? The answer seems to be visual effects. As Snyder explained:
“The running time is just about four hours. If you think about it, about how much extra time that is, and then you think about how visual effects-heavy these superhero films are, we had to do, in six months, 2,650-some-odd visual effects shots. And normally, when you do these movies, what happens is, as you’re shooting, you start turning over shots. Listen, we had a lot of assets built, but I think the way the theatrical release was done, they changed a lot of things. And through the process, as we were working on the movie, [there were] some of the things they wanted Zack to change, some of the designs of the characters. So, we want back to the original intention, of Zack’s intention, in terms of the characters and had to rebuild those models. But then there were just so many shots to do.”
I still have my doubts that all of this needed a hefty $70 million price tag, but that’s me. Zack Snyder’s Justice League hits HBO Max on March 18, 2021.
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