Toxicity in fandom isn’t limited to Star Wars. Every franchise has its trolls that people don’t like to talk about. Don’t feed them, don’t give them attention, and they’ll eventually go away. Unfortunately, even a bit of bad attention is enough for folks to thrive on. Fans are passionate, and when fans are passionate in equal but different ways, the fandom splits and near-war breaks out. Arguing is fine, it’s one of the things we as nerds do. A healthy debate helps drive things forward. If we didn’t cuss and discuss how things work, why they work, motives and histories, our fandoms wouldn’t grow to be as big as they are. But when does our passion get taken too far? When the drama around the fandom almost overshadows the hype around the things we love.
Zack Snyder has become a polarizing topic in nerd circles. His vision for Superman with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice went against what a lot of folks felt was the core of the character. His hope, his humanity, his ‘man’ before his ‘super’. But love or hate the films, the toxicity shown towards them, and Snyder, has created a backlash from pro-Snyder fans that have escalated things to a new level.
Fans and bloggers alike hold a huge amount of the responsibility for how this got started. MoS and BvS were torn apart by critics and cause heated debates even today. Want to know what someone disliked about MoS or BvS? Just ask. A hundred nerds will come out of the woodwork to tell you why. This created a sense of Us vs Them among the DC fandom. DC/Snyder fans have been regarded as toxic by bloggers, being painted with a large brush due to their views on Snyder’s movies and their actions towards WB, DC, and Joss Whedon since Justice League’s release.
While not every Snyder fan is toxic. That view and that opinion broadcasted so often has brought Snyder fans closer, bonding over not only their love for the films but wearing the ire they receive from bloggers with pride. All of this has given way to a fanatical desire to obtain their holy grail – The Snyder Cut.
There’s belief that there was a near-to-complete Snyder Cut of Justice League out there, a perfect vision of what Zack Snyder planned for the League and set up for Justice League 2. Rumors abound, with most creators denying there’s a Snyder Cut at all. Jay Oliva, storyboarder for Justice League and often collaborator of Snyder’s, says that there’s likely a kind of cut floating around out there, but it wouldn’t be complete. The VFX and soundtrack wouldn’t be finished, the cut would likely be something Zack threw together to show producers. The biggest problem with all that would be that Zack doesn’t own the rights to the movie. He’d have to finish the film on his own dime, and even then he couldn’t distribute it. WB isn’t likely to undermine their own movie with a release like this, not anytime soon. The Snyder Cut would be out of continuity of the current films moving forward, to shine a light on that would confuse things and take away from the direction they’re going in now.
There’s even a small movement on Twitter, campaigning to chant “release the Snyder cut” during DC’s Hall H panel at SDCC. This is where the drama begins to take over from the hype of other movies. Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam!, Aquaman, the cast and crew of each movie, deserve their time and hype at SDCC. Dragging out the Snyder cut release damages the buzz for those movies and isn’t fair to the crew or the fans.
Now we’re back to constructive ways to get what we want. Fans and bloggers that were against MoS and BvS could stand to look at the hate for The Last Jedi and do some introspective analysis of how they act as fans and journalists. But that initial rage against Snyder’s Superman doesn’t justify the actions of others moving forward.
Instead of lambasting Warner Bros., DC Comics, or Joss Whedon, the best way to move forward for Snyder fans would be to continue being vocal about what they want, without escalating to rage and vitriol. Keep asking for the Snyder cut. Keep #ReleaseTheSnyderCut alive. But also keep realistic expectations. If there is a Snyder cut and the WB will ever consider releasing it, it won’t be for a while and will likely be a special release all it’s own after the current DCEU movie hype dies down. It’s not impossible. But you have to do it right. Show that you’re fans, not trolls. Keep the hope alive and show them there are people who will spend money on it. Raging into the void and throwing temper tantrums, disrupting their other movies, will only harden WB against releasing any kind of director’s cut of Justice League. Hate very rarely directs a big change in Hollywood. Love for a movie or a TV show, showing that love and support, THAT gets TV shows turned into movies, or saved by another studio when canceled, or certain cuts released in a timely manner.
All of us as fans, with or without platforms, can stand to address the things we’re passionate about, for or against, with a little more respect and humility.
Do you want to see Zack Snyder’s director’s cut? Do you think it’s better left to myth and legend? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook!