#SnyderCut: The DARKSEID v. THANOS Dichotomy

ballisticcinematheque

Administrator


Ever since Zack Snyder's Justice League began streaming on HBO Max, much of the buzz has been nothing short of positive. Of course, there ARE some who didn't like the movie for x-amount of reasons why. I did read one opinion on Sunday by someone who actually loved the film, save for its villain, Darkseid, who he felt was more of a lame, blandly-delivered contrivance, and a waste since the studio had no plans for a sequel.

Time will tell if that changes, and I for one think the CEO of WarnerMedia has some serious thinking to do if she seriously thinks the studio is accomplishing something by letting the Snyderverse end at Zack Snyder's Justice League. With this in mind, this person's opinion regarding Darkseid wasn't the only one I caught, particularly wherein comparisons were, and are still being drawn (inaccurately, in my view) to Thanos. The following is what I opined with in response to this person over the weekend, and looking back from the start with Man Of Steel and all the travails it took from Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and its ensuing Ultimate Edition home release up to there now being two versions of a movie, among which one now stands as the reigning champion. Read on:

"It wasn't as if the studio put in a good faith effort into Snyder's vision. It was dispensible from the get-go, and the only reasons why WarnerMedia went and funded the Snyder Cut to the tune of 70 million USD, was because of 1) the fan demand, and 2) The monetary value of using ZSJL an exclusve-in to boost HBO Max subscribership.

That's neither on Snyder, nor the supposed blandness of Darkseid; Steppenwolf was the main villain of the first film, akin to that of Loki in The Avengers, whereas Thanos would've been just as lame if Marvel gave said 2012 film the same throwaway treatment. But it didn't. The most key difference here is that compared to WarnerMedia and DC Films, Disney and Marvel actually had faith in its comic book movie IP, and it paid off - commercially, critically and narratively.

It's for these reasons I disagree with the blandness you posit toward Darkseid in your analysis of him as a worthwhile villain. I believe the reason for heretofore purporting him as a future franchise villain during the course of Steppenwolf's reign of terror in the Snyder Cut was to, in part, show WarnerMedia what they are losing out on having taken Snyder and his work for granted - this, now juxtaposed by the ongoing fan outcry as echoed by the milestone trends of the film on Twitter and the fan blowback against WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff for her comments about the movies and the fandom, speaking as if the franchise still has a chance to measure up to what Marvel Studios accomplished in all of ten years.

Sarnoff via Variety:

"...With that comes the completion of his trilogy. We’re very happy we’ve done this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all the multi-dimensional DC characters that are being developed right now."

This is pure fucking laziness. And it's why future DC movies will fail as a whole. They may succeed as individual projects between the big and small screen, but they will never cohese the same way, nor will they ever galvanize fans the way Marvel did from Phase 1-3, and is continuing to do going into Phase 4. And it's why I disagree with said "blandness". At best, Darkseid was a short-lived threat because of what we know on how the Snyderverse is being treated. But he wasn't bland. He was a threat in the backdrop of threats... yet to suffer a Thanos-style defeat that could've helped WB's DCEU measure up. But no, not bland at all.

And again, this speaks to the headline I chose for my review of the film elucidating it as a victory for Snyder. It won him the war on corporate discourteousness and malfeasance. Even if they choose to disregard this film as canon, Snyder has earned the respect he's getting all around. And the praise that's been accumulating for this movie is a total cherry on top."

It's funny. Before the final weeks leading up to the Snyder Cut, I couldn't really be bothered with writing as much as I have been lately with superhero movies. And now I can't shut the **** up.

Deary.



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