A couple of weeks ago, Zack Snyder announced that the Justice League Snyder Cut is indeed happening and will be hitting HBO Max in 2021. The Snyder Cut has become a reality after the fandom campaigned on social media for three years. The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement started after Justice League hit theatres in 2017. What we saw in theatres was a byproduct of major rewrites and reshoots done by Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Firefly), after Snyder left the project three-quarters of the way to deal with a personal tragedy.
However, the announcement of the Snyder Cut, along with the fan movement, has divided the internet. While the fandom rejoices, many critics argue that it could set a dangerous precedent — one where fans demand creatives to make the movie the way they want it to be, and studios oblige. Remember, fans also petitioned for the 8th season of Game of Thrones to be remade. And Sonic from 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog was redesigned following fan backlash after the trailer releases.
The Verge, recently got the chance to sit with Tony Goncalves, the CEO of AT&T’s Otter Media division that oversees HBO Max (and who reports to Warner Media). When asked if the Justice League Snyder Cut would set a dangerous precedent, Goncalves had this to say:
Look, definitely not a precedent.
And you’re right. There’s different types of fandoms. There’s the fandom you just described, and there’s other fandoms. My reference to the fandoms is the fact that we’re in a space where consumers are loud. Consumers guide, and we absolutely have to listen as industry. I had a boss that once said, “Industry and consumers aren’t always aligned, but consumers do tend to win.” It’s a fine balance. And I think when it comes to video, when it comes to entertainment, when it comes to content, consumers have never had more choice, and they’ve never had more of a voice. But that doesn’t mean that we will go and invest our dollars in every single fandom that exists.
But I think the reference to the Snyder Cut and the Friends fandom is the fact that consumers are speaking, and we have to listen. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to go redo every movie ever made. But I think that we definitely have to have our ear to the ground. And I think we do.
I just go back to look at the buzz that the Harry Potter library brought us yesterday. It was a wonderful surprise and delight. It’s because consumers are passionate about these franchises.