Aaron Michael Johnson told MulDiversity that his original NEW GODS script was supposed to be tied to Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman and Zack Snyder's Justice League... He wanted to tell a Lord of the Rings style mythological epic, diving in deep into Jack Kirby's Fourth World.
He said it would give us a glimpse into the fall or Ares. Ares teams up with Uxas to kill the Old Gods, with Uxas absorbing their power through the Omega Effect. Ares is cast out of Olympus by Zeus, but Uxas then kills Zeus, increasing his power. This is narrated by Metron.
Metron would guide is through the origins of New Gods, Darkseid's origins, Izaya aka Highfather, the great battle of New Genesis. We would see Darkseid riding a giant hellhound as his steed with his army ready to destroy New Genesis.
Darkseid believes that if he can destroy the source of Life itself, then it would lead him to the Anti-Life Equation. He had the original 4 Furies, Kalibak, and the fight gets so bad that the Source separates them. Meanwhile, Metron sat above them watching.
Darkseid and Izaya look to Metron for an answer. Darkseid and Izaya bring their sons Scott and Orion for the trade. This is when we meet a young Barda teaching Scott about Apokolips. Granny Goodness introduces herself to Scott. This is the prologue.
By the way, Aaron then revealed that while WB loved his script and told him they were moving forward. Shortly after Zack Snyder stepped away from JL 2017, they told him to remove connections from the SnyderVerse. They had him remove references from Earth events and Steppenwolf.
They had him remove things about Orion's parentage, Steppenwolf, Tigra, the "betrayal" DeSaad was referencing in ZSJL, and hints of Barda potentially being an Amazon.
Aaron says that Josstice League and the shake ups at WB and DC were creating a shift in how New Gods could be approached as potentially its own thing disconnected.
He started getting script notes from someone who actually knew about the New Gods source material. The theory was that since Geoff Johns became head of DC Films, he was possibly the one giving notes.
Suddenly, Aaron's twitter was getting followed by countless random New Gods accounts that were likely set up by marketing. He was getting congratulations from numerous people, even someone from Marvel. Aaron hadn't even announced his script publicly yet.
Here's where it gets messed up. Aaron's script reader told him that he had a great idea, a great script...but he didn't have a producer or director attached. He then ghosted Aaron. This was January 2018. Two Months Later:
Yes. I heard. It's less than that, though. For people with an agenda the rules fold and rize depending on what they need and they tend to fall back on mockery for their own arguments when it doesn't suit them. Honest discussion is currently not something we see amongst the 'professional' circuit.AT&T reportedin the first quarter of the year, bringing up the total to 44.2 million domestic subscribers for HBO/Max; for a service that's mostly in the US and not available worldwide that's still a lot of revenue.
The report is just for 2.7 million new subscribers in general, which brought their sub count up to their Q4 2023-projected amount in advance by 3 years. No one in their right mind should be calling that a failure nor any movie in that quarter "underperforming" because the subs metric on its own is a success. They won't release specific numbers for ZSJL because subs don't necessarily correlate to views unless they poll users directly (I'd personally love that, I've already sent them customer feedback saying as much) or do something wild like a special release to theaters to get money that way. Or they run some secret algorithm behind the scenes and do know the exact views in relation to subs, but that takes too much thought and not enough transparency. Anyway, the best figures that have come up are view counts from outside of the U.S. and from non-Max streaming services.Yes. I heard. It's less than that, though. For people with an agenda the rules fold and rize depending on what they need and they tend to fall back on mockery for their own arguments when it doesn't suit them. Honest discussion is currently not something we see amongst the 'professional' circuit.
The truth is, the situation is not as simple as 'they only made 2.7 million subscribers for ZSJL.' Myself, for example. I got HBOMax on a sale that was 20% off for 6 months, which would end on the last day of February, so, even though I only got it for JL, I did so well before the movie released. How many people got it for WW82 on the same sale or decided to keep it till MK? Did they run a survey, because they didn't ask me. Just how many different accounts have accessed the SCut? How many subscriptions did they get after the news of the release and so on and so forth? It's not as simple or dry cut as that.
Of course, people like this Scott Mendelson will not hear of it. He's too busy poppin champagne at his hollow victory, which I'm sure he jumped at posting about it before thinking about it because that would get in the way of his facerubbing.
For this, I'm playing the long game. I am waiting at least 6 months to see the results of this and assume nothing, either way.
WB are idiots. Other breaking news, water...wet.The report is just for 2.7 million new subscribers in general, which brought their sub count up to their Q4 2023-projected amount in advance by 3 years. No one in their right mind should be calling that a failure nor any movie in that quarter "underperforming" because the subs metric on its own is a success. They won't release specific numbers for ZSJL because subs don't necessarily correlate to views unless they poll users directly (I'd personally love that, I've already sent them customer feedback saying as much) or do something wild like a special release to theaters to get money that way. Or they run some secret algorithm behind the scenes and do know the exact views in relation to subs, but that takes too much thought and not enough transparency. Anyway, the best figures that have come up are view counts from outside of the U.S. and from non-Max streaming services.
I got my subscription the literal evening of ZSJL's debut and I've kept it for GvK and MK. I've left customer feedback with HBO Max saying as much. The amount of people who subbed before the movie are a nonzero amount, but most people are like you (don't buy unless there's a deal) or me (don't spend money until we have to, on the eve or day of). And there are people who are probably waiting for a deal to come up for HBO Max right now just so they can watch ZSJL now that it and critic reviews are out.
I'll just keep track of the news and keep an eye out for a collectible version of ZSJL. Even if I cancel my Max sub, I'll still want to watch the movie, so. I might specifically drop Max to pick up Netflix and watch AotD and related works. And if there's a box in the unsub page asking why, I'll put that as the explanation. Lmao.
Grass... green. Sunrise.... East.WB are idiots. Other breaking news, water...wet.
Oh wait, but I thought people weren't interested in ZSJL? And GvK outperformed it at everything ever despite coming out in the last day of the quarter?? And even Judas and the Black Messiah had more viewers???Hehehehhe
You must be registered for see medias
Well, that's one of the things that kept coming up when the movement was going, that directors have a vision in mind, they film it, and more often than not the studio comes in and demands alterations, specially if they feel it will make more money. In Batman's case they want to sell toys.Speaking of darker, more psychological cuts of previous movies:
You must be registered for see medias
Yeah. They really seem to want to downplay the appeal of these movies. They especially want to tell us that the Snyder Cut did very poorly.
Well, that's one of the things that kept coming up when the movement was going, that directors have a vision in mind, they film it, and more often than not the studio comes in and demands alterations, specially if they feel it will make more money. In Batman's case they want to sell toys.
I did not know this. Is that why he stepped off with Batman Forever?"It had the same light, jokey tone [...] while that route was probably fine in the case of SUPERMAN, there was absolutely no exploration or acknowledgement of the character's psychological structure and why he would dress up in a bat suit."
Likely a contributing factor, yeah.I did not know this. Is that why he stepped off with Batman Forever?
WB is all the answer you need on that one. IMO, Schumacher accepted more responsibility than he should have on B&R's failure, but WB were the ones that fast tracked production on the movie because of Batman Forever's success, and it started principal photography in 1996 for a 1997 release as well as being seriously toned down and distanced from the darker productions like Batman Returns precisely in order to sell toys ( [...] corroborated by Chris O'Donnell's quote: "On Batman Forever, I felt like I was making a movie. The second time, I felt like I was making a kid's toy.").You know, Joel Schumacher is an excellent director. One of my favorites of his is a George Clooney movie called The Peacemakers. How the guy who made that ended up directing B&R is beyond me.
But don't you know? It's Batman. He's a household name in terms of comics popularity. His presence alone should earn a billion dollars off the back of the Nolan films, even though the trilogy only broke a billion on/after The Dark Knight, not immediately during Batman Begins. Establishing characters? What's that? Man of Steel sequels with Russell Crowe that were originally planned? Who cares? Dawn of Justice being a two-parter? Naaaaahhhhhhhhh.WB seems to have this history, then, of having an idea of how they want things to be and not allowing their creatives to implement their visions. With MoS, I thought it was a perfectly good start, but they should've made a second one before they started adding Batman.
Yeap. Ray Fisher and Chris Terrio worked on Cyborg's lines if it wasn't Fisher actually talking to Snyder. Jeremy Irons wrote/fixed his own lines for the theatrical release of JL because the script written for him was dumb. Cavill wanting a proportional pay raise and instead getting his head cut off in a Shazam cameo (not literally!) sounds like something they'd do. And then they would wonder why he went for Mission Impossible and The Witcher.Apparently, it's not just their creatives but their stars, too. Henry Cavill wanted a pay raise and executive producer power with his role in Superman. As he is the face of a franchise you'd think there'd be room to negotiate. Not only that, but from what I've heard, Affleck wrote a lot of the lines for Batman in BvS in costume, and Ray Fisher had constant contact with the writer of JL so they could develop the character together. With that in mind, I think all the actors had a part in shaping their characters. I think Cavill helped in some ways to shape Clark and he wanted to have the executive power to shape him more. I just don't think WB is that kind of company, though. Not from what we've seen of them.
Funny you bring that up. The Rock's agent happens to not only be his ex-wife but Henry Cavill's agent, too. The two of them did a thing on social media a while back to promote black Adam and the story goes that The Rock doesn't just want his Back Adam to fight Shazam, he wants him to fight Superman. Cavill's Superman. WB probably isn't stupid enough to pass on The Rock's ticket selling power but the story goes that they're not in a great financial position, either. Snyder movies are not particularly cheap to make so when you take all this into consideration, well, it's an uncertain future.All in all, this is ridiculously dumb for WB to make a fuss over. Even if Cavill was asking for Affleck amounts of money, Dwayne Johnson is literally right over that way, and guess what? He's not any cheaper. His name alone gets people into seats and elevates otherwise shlocky films. If people crowd for Black Adam, he's going to want more money than he's already being paid. He's going to be far more expensive than even Cavill.
Supes vs Black Adam? Sounds like a better way than any to show Superman being weak to magic, outside of a Kingdom Come sequence where Billy gets brainwashed. I can dig it. Or they could do it like that Superman/Shazam animated film.Funny you bring that up. The Rock's agent happens to not only be his ex-wife but Henry Cavill's agent, too. The two of them did a thing on social media a while back to promote black Adam and the story goes that The Rock doesn't just want his Back Adam to fight Shazam, he wants him to fight Superman. Cavill's Superman. WB probably isn't stupid enough to pass on The Rock's ticket selling power but the story goes that they're not in a great financial position, either. Snyder movies are not particularly cheap to make so when you take all this into consideration, well, it's an uncertain future.
This being my source on this. Like anything else, take it with a grain of salt.
You must be registered for see medias
Zack Snyder had no handcuffs on him while making his new, funny, violent zombie romp, Army of the Dead, meaning he could do whatever he wanted. It takes place in Las Vegas; there is a zombie Elvis and a Liberace. A zombie horse and a tiger. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? plays in a corpse-strewn casino. Were there any ideas he decided went too far? “Yes,” he nods. “We had a sequence where one of the male strippers had a huge penis with a bite taken out of it.” He pauses. “We thought that was too much.”
So if this film faced no constraints, what handcuffs have been on him before? “Well, if you compare the two Justice Leagues, it’s not a hugely deep dive,” Snyder says, with a frown. In 2017 he rather notoriously directed the mega-budget mash-up of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, before leaving for personal reasons, only for his work to be torn up by his replacement, Joss Whedon, to fan and critical dismay. In March Snyder’s four-hour cut of Justice League was released. It holds a 71 per cent positive critic score on Rotten Tomatoes; a 95 per cent audience one. “Also, almost all my movies have director’s cuts. Maybe I’m problematic? I don’t think I am. And I would argue the director’s cuts are better. Look, I’m not a crazy person. I spent ten years in advertising. I don’t not know what sells.”
He is speaking from his office in Los Angeles: perfectly framed on Zoom with a cabinet of memorabilia over his shoulder. There is a musket his wife bought him, a broom — he likes brooms — and some axes. “I have a lot of axes,” he beams, as he holds one up. Snyder is a boyish 55, something you would expect from a man who crafts meticulous blockbusters for adolescents and older, from the brash Spartan soldier epic 300, to a run of big DC Comics movies, via his bold take on Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The 27th highest-grossing director of all time, he is an enthusiastic presence and there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful. Army of the Dead should do very well indeed. However, it has been a tumultuous few years.
You must be registered for see images
The original Justice League release had a runtime of 120 minutesSnyder left Justice League in May 2017 after his daughter Autumn took her own life. She was 20, and Snyder and his wife Deborah, who also produces his films, needed to grieve. Whedon reshot parts of the film and changed the tone, from the operatic darkness of Snyder’s version to something more comical and messy. What followed was a fan effort — #ReleaseTheSnyderCut — that led to Warner Bros stumping up $70 million for a gargantuan reboot, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which, unlike most films about superheroes, has an artistic vision and rare amounts of peril and threat.
“I was very interested in consequence,” Snyder says of his plans when writing the film. “As an exercise, superhero movies are fine, but I wasn’t sure the world is better off with these giant films where hugely horrible things happen and nobody gets hurt. I don’t know how healthy that is. And, frankly, we would put a little bit of humour into our superhero movies, but I always felt it was false.”
Justice League ends with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, as covered by Allison Crowe, who sang the song at Autumn’s funeral. In Snyder’s reboot he also added Distant Sky by Nick Cave, thought to be about the loss of Cave’s son Arthur, who also died too young. Cave’s recent albums have been a great solace to Snyder — “I was suffering through a grief he was able to use his art to speak to” — and the song plays over Lois Lane mourning the death of Superman from Snyder’s prequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
“It’s ironic the movie was already about grief,” Snyder says of Justice League. “Famously, I’ve never seen the theatrical version so don’t know exactly what they did, but the parallels in relationship to grief, family and healing, frankly, were really present. Then, of course, things evolve. Distant Sky certainly was not part of my original vision, but it was in that sequence when Lois leaves a coffee shop to walk down to look at the memorial. It just strikes me in a different way now.”
Was editing Justice League a cathartic way for him to work through his grief? He nods. After all, the film is partly about how far parents can care for their children.
“For me,” he begins, slowly, “whether a film-maker, sculptor, writer, carpenter, gardener — I believe if you look deep enough, your personal mythology is reflected in the things you do. And this was just a really public version of that. Listen, I make movies. It’s what I do. So if I had been, say, a potter or maker of pool cues, or axes, I would have expressed [my grief] through that. It is going to come out.”
He is quieter when he talks about Autumn. Still shaken. His voice cracks. She was a writer, suffering from depression, who told stories about being in battle with things from another dimension that no one can see. Which seems like the sort of film Snyder would make? “Absolutely. Autumn’s work is amazing, and we plan for people to read it. It’s still too hot for us, but we want to honour it. We do have a plan and, as a family, talk about it. But it’s one of those things that will take a lot of courage.”
The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign was unprecedented. Billboard adverts; banner planes over the Warners studio. When Snyder said he backed the idea, he did not think it would amount to anything. “I was more worried the studio would sue me. Do something to silence me,” he says, but it grew and, of course, it worked. However, it turned murky. Elements of the fandom were toxic, and some journalists enjoyed stoking the ire on social media. The Snyder Cut became a meme, a target, a joke.
“Here’s the reality,” Snyder says. “That fandom raised $750,000 for suicide prevention and mental health awareness. They’ve saved lives. That’s a fact. But on the other hand, was it fun to provoke them? For a clickable thing? Yes. And they were an easy target. But they continue to raise money. There are not a lot of fan communities whose primary objective, other than seeing work of a guy they like, realised their other main thing was to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention. For me, it’s kind of hard to be mad at them.”
When Snyder started to make his films about Batman and Superman, he wanted to challenge the genre. It was at the height of Marvel’s power; interlocking films about the Avengers that value quips over the quixotic. “But I cut my teeth on Watchmen,” he explains. “So, for me, it’s hard to go back to just selling a toy. ‘Quit f***ing around and just sell a toy! Why do you have it up your arse that you can’t make a movie people want to see?’ ” He laughs. Such were comments he faced. In fairness, Snyder’s Justice League does not show Batman in his suit for two hours. “Probably!” Which is not ideal for selling toys. “Possibly. But I also think it’s a rich mythology, and the by-product will be selling toys. Look at Lord of the Rings. At the end, you want a Legolas toy because of what he does, not because he shows up.”
You must be registered for see images
Army of the Dead will be on Netflix from May 21There is, clearly, a huge confidence to Snyder. So much so that the title credits to Army of the Dead show a vibrant zombie takeover of Las Vegas, essentially an entire film in the introduction. He enjoys that brashness, I assume? “I do.” Vegas is in lockdown and there are temperature checks on humans, a neat twist being that if yours are lower, you are a zombie. The film finished shooting pre-pandemic, but were Covid nods added? “All coincidental!” he laughs. “But the more I saw what was happening, I didn’t know if the movie would be cathartic or scary.” Well, people watched Contagion. “Yeah, but that was masochistic.”
“But of course George Romero,” Snyder continues, of the legendary zombie director whose Dawn of the Dead he remade for his debut film in 2004, “said it was all social commentary. And we felt obliged to do that with this movie. Editorialise a little bit and zombie movies are a great place to talk about us as a people. Ours is a monster movie where the monster is us. It is a social movie more than a science movie — the science is pretty iffy!” I felt that you humanised the zombies? “Yes, and that was the trick. I wanted to endeavour, like any good villain, to make the zombies as sympathetic as possible. I want to get you on Team Zombie.”
Netflix and Snyder have plans to turn Army of the Dead into a franchise — a world of the director’s own making, and that suits him now. He is an auteur among mainstream directors and there is little place for that in blockbuster film-making.
“Where it gets difficult,” he says, “is when you take a director with a personal point of view and ask him to participate in a thing that is not asking for that. The journeyman film-maker? There are a lot of them, and they’re good. I just happen to have a specific point of view. The lesson I’ve learnt is it’s much easier for me, as a film-maker, to create a world and invite you into it. As opposed to me saying, ‘Let me put my cog in your wheel.’ Like, I would love to make a Star Wars movie, I know a lot about it — but I don’t think I would survive that.”
Blockbuster directors can be undervalued. It’s easy, when bombarded by special effects, to assume the joy is purely spectacle and brains are parked at the door. Sometimes that is the case, sometimes, it is not — but it is hard to shift perceptions. “Outside of the fandom,” Snyder says, nodding along, “there would be a lot of people who’d be surprised to know there is a very dedicated fandom I interact with. They long for, study and talk about, to great extent, all of the subtleties and small details I endeavour to put in. I mean, Alan Moore is a genius and the underlying work, Watchmen, is well considered, one of the great works of fiction ever created. It’s on Time magazine’s 100 greatest books of the 20th century. It’s not like I pulled it off a bubblegum wrapper. It’s a hugely complicated political deconstruction of America and power and politics. It has nothing to with modern superhero movies. But for 90 per cent of the audience and maybe it’s marketing, or how the world works, but they just go, ‘Oh superhero fare — put it over there.’ ”
Instead, which is a diversion, he had plans to adapt Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead — the novel about an architect versus the system. That film is on hold, partly thanks to Donald Trump praising the book and making it political. But, still, I wonder what its appeal was. It would definitely be the least fantastical of his works, even if his plans were to shoot it “super-stylised; like David [Fincher] did with Mank”. He was keen because Rand wrote the novel in response to being a Hollywood screenwriter whose script was edited to pieces.
“The parallels are pretty easy,” he says. “And by the way, making a movie and building a building are similar endeavours. You need a crew. The relationship to the client is similar — they pay for it. For a film-maker, The Fountainhead is a relevant book. And that was always my take on it.”
Army of the Dead is on Netflix from May 21