Streaming columnist NICK OVERALL tracks a fascinating and unlikely move by Warner Bros, under internet pressure, to release an unfinished director's cut of a movie and therefore chuck its original $US300 million film under the bus.
NEVER before has a movie studio as big as Warner Bros allowed an internet movement to call the shots, but the release of “Justice League: The Snyder Cut” on Binge changes that, and is a fascinating example of the power of an online ruckus.
For those who don’t know, “Justice League” is the DC Comics team up of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and every other super Tom, Dick and Harry that Warner Bros desperately hopes can take on the much more influential “Marvel Avengers” film franchise (on Disney +).
The “Justice League'' film was originally released in 2017 to a reception less than super. It started under the direction of Zack Snyder, known for his dour, more political approach to superhero stories, who had to leave the production due to a family tragedy.
In his place, Warners hired Joss Whedon (widely known for directing “The Avengers”, go figure) to inject the film with some happier, more upbeat zest.
The final product was Frankensteinian, with visions from two very different directors stitched together in an awkward mess audiences swiftly rejected.
However, a quixotic, controversial, perhaps to some even heroic movement on the internet known as #ReleaseTheSnyderCut quickly kicked into gear, calling for Zack Snyder’s original work on the film to be released for viewing. A “do over” of the movie if you will.
A cult following racked up nearly 200,000 signatures for an online petition, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut was tweeted 770,000 times in a day, thousands of letters were sent to the head of Warner Bros, $20,000 was raised to fly a plane over San Diego with the banner reading “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut”. Even a book was published about the whole fiasco.
Warners actually listened, though. Snyder has come back to stitch together his original footage into a gigantic four-hour cut of the film being brought straight to streaming on HBO Max, meaning in Australia it’ll be on Binge from March 18.
It's a fascinating and unlikely move; by releasing it, the studio's essentially chucking its original $US300 million movie under the bus, but it is certainly clever to have taken the heat of movement and turn it into a steam train of publicity.
This is another example of how the entertainment industry and the internet are becoming ever more entangled, not just in terms of how audiences watch their movies and TV, but also how they interact with them.
MAKING other streaming news this month: Amazon Prime is continuing its rollout of slick sports docos, this time promising viewers “unrivalled access” to the AFL with the seven-episode series called “Making their Mark”.
It follows six teams across the intensely challenging 2020 season, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the sport in a similar fashion to “The Test”, another doco on the platform that follows the Australian cricket team.
ON March 29, Stan will get a second season of the promising drama series “City on a Hill”.
It puts Kevin Bacon up front as a corrupt FBI veteran in ‘90s Boston, who forms an unlikely bond with a district attorney in a case that entirely reshapes the city’s legal system.
Season one had everything there to make for a riveting, bureaucracy battling legal drama, but it didn’t quite burst on to the streaming scene as much as producers would have hoped.
Back for a second string of eps, it’s got the stage to show an audience whether or not it can become one of the hard-hitting modern dramas it wants to be.
“THE One” is another show offering up an interesting thought experiment to Netflix subscribers this month. Based on a best-selling novel of the same name, it poses the characters of its sci-fi world the question of whether they’d take a DNA test that matches them up with their “perfect” romantic partner.
Take notes, Tinder.
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