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Zack Snyder Fans Are Asking Warner Bros. To #ReleaseTheSnyderCut Of "Justice League"

Fans say they want Snyder's original vision for the film.

Posted on January 16, 2018, at 5:47 a.m. ET

Earlier this month, over a dozen cosplayers protested outside Warner Bros. Studios with one demand — release the "Snyder cut" of Justice League.

Fans gathered in front of Warner Bros. HQ today to take a photo and ask them to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut

The protest was a key moment in months of online campaigning by fans of the film. It started last year, when Justice League was released in cinemas to mixed reviews.

Following the reception, some fans began to speculate that the film under Snyder's direction would have looked a lot different. Prior to its release, coverage of the production focused heavily on last-minute reshoots done by Joss Whedon, who took on directing duties from Snyder after he left the project due to a family tragedy.

With the movie's release, some viewers focused on what seemed to be weird edits — most notably, actor Henry Cavill's mustache being removed with CGI. A producer on the film estimated that 15–20% of the final product was Whedon's work.

During weeks of speculation, one fan, Roberto Mata, decided to make a petition addressed to Warner Bros.

In the petition, Mata gave a timeline of events he said were "red flags" for fans leading up to the release date. These include the change of composer, the cutting of the film to under two hours, and the removal of scenes involving characters from the Flash and Aquaman universes.

To "right" this, Mata suggested Warner Bros. release a director's cut of the film for home release, as Snyder had for Batman v. Superman.

Mata told BuzzFeed News that he started the petition as a way to communicate effectively with Warner Bros.

"Warner Bros. seemed to be quite reactionary when it came to critics and journalists' opinions towards the realistic and serious tone of the DCEU [DC Extended Universe], which ironically is what DC Comics is known for," he said. "Of course studios being reactionary is nothing new in the film industry, but in doing so, they were interfering with their filmmakers' work, as an attempt to reach a wider audience."

Mata believes the final Justice League cut is disrespectful to Snyder's vision and didn't enjoy the film.

He says he is aware the petition is unlikely to reach Warner Bros. and instead is happy that it is serving to unite fans.

While the petition gained popularity, theories about what the film should have looked like began to surface.

The Wrap theorized that footage from trailers and inconsistencies in the film showed that significant changes had been made following Snyder's departure. It also pointed out that Justice League was originally supposed to be two films, which suggests numerous plot points from both may have been condensed into one.

There were similar posts on Reddit that claimed to have details of what the Snyder version was meant to look like. Rumors began circulating about the existence of a "Snyder cut" – a version of the film without Whedon's involvement.

DC fan and actor Kevin Smith talked about deleted scenes on his podcast. The film's cinematographer, Fabian Wagner, said he "loves" the Snyder cut. In a now-deleted a tweet, a fan also claimed that Steppenwolf actor Ciaran Hinds also disliked the theatrical version of the film.

On social media, the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut galvanized the campaign.

I would rather see The Zack Snyder Cut of #JusticeLeague than #Avengers: #InfinityWar. The Theatrical Cut of Justic…

And yes, there are memes.

"Execution of Justice League" portrayed circa 2017 #DCEU #JusticeLeague #DCComics #ReleaseTheSnyderCut @wbpictures

SAY NO stupid jokes from @wbpictures, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut sign the petition

The fight against #Steppenwolf was disappointing at every possible level. It should have overcome the fight between…

However, the campaign has not been without controversy. Accusations have been made that a number of the signatures on the petition were fake.

Turns out a lot of those "signatures" on the Zack Snyder Justice League cut petition could be fake. Talked to a few…

In response, Mata said, "petitions have always had faulty signatures and in the case of our petition, sent me an email saying that they were erasing 2,000 signatures of what was at the time 150,000 signatures."

A fan also circulated a screenshot that appeared to show a conversation with Justice League stuntman Richard Cetrone. He told BuzzFeed News that the screenshot was actually fake.

The gathering at the Warner Bros. building marked the first time the campaign had manifested in real life.

The organizer, who asked to be identified as Itzmoe, is a 32-year-old from Los Angeles. She told BuzzFeed that she wanted the protest to be a "visual representation of the love and support Zack Snyder has from his fans that we can spread on social media."

Itzmoe said having seen the Batman v. Superman director's cut, she strongly believes in Snyder's unedited vision. She said she enjoyed Justice League, but having heard of the edits made via Smith's podcast, she believes it could be better.

Itzmoe said that the meeting was not a protest, but a show of love for Snyder: "This is not an anti-Warner Bros./Joss Whedon event. It’s to support Zack Snyder and show him love."

With the home release date of Justice League set for March 2018, fans may have to wait a while to find out what Snyder's vision could have been.

BuzzFeed News asked both Mata and Itzmoe how they'd feel if the director's cut wasn't what they had hoped.

Mata said that if Snyder's cut isn't up to scratch, he "would be the first to say it" but would still feel it was superior to the theatrical cut. "One thing is for sure, Snyder's cut will be better than the abomination Joss Whedon reshot and edited and Warner Bros. released. If anything, it would be the true vision Snyder always intended since the release of Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, two films that in my opinion are masterpieces — thought-provoking and relatable themes and characters."

Itzmoe said that she did not expect Snyder to go back and put together a new version of the film. Rather, she would just like the opportunity to see deleted scenes.

"We would be happy if those scenes would be included in the 'deleted/extended scene' section of the Blu-ray/DVD release. Even if they're just animatics and not complete, just so we can have a better idea of what Zack's vision really was," she said. "And if Snyder fans don't like his work, oh well. But we will never know if we never get the chance to see it."

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.