Learning to respect the creative vision - Denny Scott editorial
I’ll warn our readers ahead of time that there’s going to be some pretty modern pop culture in this column. However, the message is a timeless one: respect the creator's vision for his or her creations. Oh, and millennials are just the worst, aren’t they?
Earlier this year, the “Snyder Cut”, or its official name Zack Snyder’s Justice League, was released. It’s a re-imagining of the 2017 superhero mash-up movie Justice League. The story behind the film is that Zack Snyder, the original director of the movie, had a much different vision for the film than what ended up on the screen in 2017. Snyder, due to a personal catastrophe, stepped away from the film during its development, leaving now-maligned Hollywood mainstay Joss Whedon to take over and finish the movie. Whedon’s take on the film was controversial and critically panned. In the months following its release there came whispers about the “Snyder Cut”, the film as it was meant to be shown, leading fans to try and pressure Warner Brothers to release the cut.
Surprisingly, a completely different cut of the film, which would’ve cost millions to make, didn’t exist. However, Warner Brothers, undoubtedly looking for a way to connect with streaming audiences, decided it should release the cut, giving Snyder the chance to reshoot scenes and adding two hours to the film, resulting in a final length of over four hours. The film was then streamed on Warner Brothers’ fledgling streaming service HBO Max. The entire experiment cost $70 million, or just under a quarter of the original film’s $300 million budget.
The decision may have been a good one as film-critic-aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that audiences have rated the new cut at a 95 per cent positivity rate, while critics give it an average rating of 70 per cent. That’s definitely better than the 71 per cent audience rating and 40 per cent critical rating the original film received.
However, in my mind, I can’t help but see this as the ultimate appeasement to millennial whining. They weren’t happy with the movie they got so they whined until something better was provided.
With one poor choice, Warner Brothers has opened the floodgates of entitled millennial groups that want to push for what they feel a story should be, and for anyone thinking I’m being dramatic, it’s already started.
Another superhero mash-up film, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and the entire “Marvel Cinematic Universe” is now being picked apart with fans wanting Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man/Tony Stark character brought back to life.
Unlike the Justice League, 2019’s Endgame is a nearly perfect film according to critics, who gave it a 94 per cent rating, and audiences, who gave it a 90 per cent rating. Apparently that wasn’t good enough. One die-hard fan, through a giant billboard in
Los Angeles, asked fans unhappy with the departure of Iron Man to flood Twitter with the #BringBackTonyStarkToLife over the weekend.
I won’t go too far into how I felt about the movie, but I will say that Stark’s death felt well done and the perfect ending to his character arc, so yes, I do have a bias on this.
Bias aside, there are some forms of creative media that can’t, or shouldn’t, be changed just because the fans don’t like it. Movies, television shows, books and others should exist as they are: we don’t need to edit them to fit our modern sensibilities, our biases or, and maybe especially not, our personal preferences.
Some forms of creative media do allow for changes: music, for example, changes with the age of the performer and even between performances. Theatre performances change with the different people performing it and the scripts are changed year-by-year and playhouse-by-playhouse.
However, even in theatre, the important parts of the play have to stay the same: Meatloaf’s “Bat” is always heading out of or back into hell, Romeo and Juliet still die; The Phantom continues to stalk Christina Daaé and The Pigeon King is always going to get caught.
Bad movies, bad television shows and bad books happen. Heck, some of them are so bad they inspire cult-followings as a result and find success, but regardless, bad art is made.
There’s a whole slew of movies, television shows and video games that I wish had turned out better, including the second Ghostbusters movie, Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern flick, the most recent Indiana Jones movie, the last season of Scrubs… it’s a long list. However, that doesn’t mean I’m about to say the production companies, directors, cast, crew and everyone else needs to go back to work to remedy what I see as being a slight against the intellectual properties I enjoy.
In conclusion, it seems to me there’s a whole world of people (again, likely millennials) who need to learn that art is what the creator makes, not what we demand. They all need to take a step back, realize the world doesn’t revolve around them, and find some other movie to grab their attention.