Justice League: The Spence Edit

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Faneditor Name:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2020
Original Running Time:
242
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
163
Time Cut:
79
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The Snyder Cut and the Theatrical Cut, mixed and blended to create a theatrically viable version of Justice League.
Intention:
ack Snyder’s Justice League is certainly one of the most interesting comic book films to ever come out, just because of the back story behind it. In many ways, the film's existence is a triumph for the fans, a celebration of the series, and a vindication for the film's director.

It’s also a 4 hour mess of an assembly cut with no sense of pacing, rhythm, drama, storytelling, or anything else most movies have to concern themselves with. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed watching the film and I’m glad it exists in its current form. It’s much better than the original 2017 theatrical cut in almost all regards.

But it’s not a functioning movie.

The goal with this edit would basically be to use Snyder's version as the "Assembly Cut" form which a theatrically viable 3 hours experience could be created.
Other Sources:
Justice League (Theatrical)
Special Thanks:
ArtisDead
ronin428
Workshed
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Most of the changes would be just trimming down unimportant scenes or scenes that repeat information elsewhere, or otherwise cutting and rearranging for pacing reasons. I also think all "sequel" bait needs to be removed, including the anti-life equation, Lois being pregnant, Martian Manhunter, the Knightmare, etc. It's pretty clear that we aren't going to get those films that these scenes set up, so all they do is muddy the story.

The only major change I would make that I think some might disagree with is the removal of the Wonder Woman vs. Terrorists sequence. It’s an absolutely fantastic action scene that provides a much needed action beat early in the film. Unfortunately, it takes up valuable time, interrupts the pacing of the plot, and doesn’t actually have anything to do with the story beyond showing Wonder Woman being active again. Since she’s going to be active again for the remainder of the film, it feels more important to get this part of the story moving forward faster. The Themyscira sequence would take its place as the first action beat of the story, now occurring about 15 minutes in. In my personal opinion, the first act would flow much better this way.
Cuts and Additions:
- Aspect Ratio will be 2:35:1 for the majority of the film, but switch to 1:85 for some of the bigger action sequences to give it that IMAX vibe. Snyder did this for BvS so it's in keeping with the prior films. This gave me a bit more freedom to edit certain scenes.
- Scenes from the Whedon version and other DC films will be color corrected as best as possible to match the Snyder color balance.
- The opening is a shortened version of the Snyder Cut credit sequence, but without the credits. I like the idea of Superman's death awakening the Mother Boxes, but I hate how long the sequence is. It moves a lot faster now. The sequence ends with "Alert the queen!" then goes straight into the credits.
- Credits are now the "everybody knows" credits from the Whedon version. Honestly, it's an awesome sequence, covers a lot of ground, and something I had assumed was Snyder's work as he has a habit of doing amazing credit sequences.
- After the credits, go straight to Bruce arriving at the fishing village. This whole sequence is a mix of Whedon and Snyder versions. I like the clippier dialogue in Whedon's version, but don't like some of forced humor.
- Use the 2017 version's ending to the fishing village sequence to remove the awkward song and get out of the scene cleaner.
- Cut the Lois being sad scene and Martha driving away from the farm, two scenes that are now covered in the opening credits.
- Cut Wonder Woman vs. the terrorists sequence. It’s a great action scene but has very little to do with the plot. Themyscira is now the first big action scene, which happens earlier than before and kicks the plot into motion.
- After Bruce and Alfred speak on the plane, go straight to the Amazonians. This sequence is in 1:85 ration. Trimmed it down a bit just to get things moving a little faster. It's the first big action beat of the film now, so it needs a bit more pace.
- Removed Valko scene, I don't feel like we really need him in the film. Similar ground is covered later with Mera.
- Cut Diana investigating the arrow and the cave paintings. She knows what the warning means and goes directly to Bruce.
- Cut a few Star Labs sequences for pacing. Lots of repeated information and over explaining.
- Keep Cyborg's origin story, but remove all the audio tape stuff. Just cut away before Cyborg starts listening to it. This will unfortunately remove the sequence where Cyborg plays around in cyberspace, a bit I personally like, but gets the movie moving. We pause the story for far too long to introduce two new characters. A little goes a long way.
- Cut Barry saving Iris. His first scene is when he speaks to his dad at the prison. Again, the movie stops dead at this point to introduce Cyborg and Flash. It needs to happen faster and feel more organic.
- Use the 2017 version of the “I’m rich” gag as I thought it played better.
- Use the 2017 version of the Mera/Arthur scene to retain her American accent for continuity with the other films.
- Cut Martian Manhunter completely out of the film. I thought the scene between Lois and Martha was quite nice, and it's kind of shame it's revealed that it wasn't really Martha.
- Cut any references to the anti-life equation and Steppenwolf finding it. The story is more or less "Darkseid tried to conquer earth and failed, so Steppenwolf is now trying it again to earn Darkseid's forgiveness."
- Cut some of the business with transporting Superman to the ship. They dig him up and then go straight into the truck driving in. I liked the pacing of this section of the film better in the 2017 version, but I also like the digging scene in this version better. So a compromise between the two.
- Cut Alfred warning Bruce about reviving Superman. It doesn't really lead anywhere and the movie needs to get moving at this point.
- Cut hint at Lois being pregnant.
- Cut Cyborg’s vision of the Knightmare.
- Cut Bruce explaining the Knightmare to Diana.
- Cut Darkseid's dialogue at the end. He just sees the team through the portal and seethe's. This would make it apparent that he's not done with the Justice League, but doesn't offer an explicit promise of what's to come next.
- Cut most of the epilogue, including the Lex scene, the Knightmare, and the Martian Manhunter scene.
- Ending montage: Victor no longer repairs the tape recorder as the scene where he crushed it earlier is removed. Added a shot of Diana flying from the end of WW84 to replace her picking up the arrow. It's more heroic. Aquaman's scene is replaced with him rescuing the fisher from earlier in the film. Superman is back in his Blue and Red costume at the end, and keep the shot of him flying away as the last image. End credits music has been replaced, but I retained the "For Autumn" subtitle.

User reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
8.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(3)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(3)
Audio Editing
 
9.7(3)
Narrative
 
9.0(3)
Enjoyment
 
8.3(3)
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(Updated: October 13, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
My only complaint is that you didn't cut out Amber Heard......just kidding.....mostly.

In all seriousness, great work here Spence. I saw Justice League in theaters, and watched the Snyder Cut the day it came out, I have not watched this film any more than those 2 times until now. The only difference I noticed between your version and the other two is that I actually enjoyed this one. There were a few lines of awful dialogue that remain (The amazons yelling WE HAVE NO FEAR in response to King Leonidas saying SPARTANS, WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?....no wait) but that's not a HUGE deal for me. I enjoyed watching the film this time around, and after some reflecting and reading your cutlist, I remember the terrible bits that you removed or modified, and I say again that you did a great job. The crowning achievement of an editor is to fool the audience into believing it was original, and for me, you did that. All of the scenes that were cut were not even remembered, which is exactly the idea. Well done, sir.

(I gave a 9 for enjoyment because of those lines that made me roll my eyes, I'm sorry!)

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
S
Top 500 Reviewer 17 reviews
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 2 1
Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This is BETTER than the Snyder Cut.

The Snyder Cut plays like a kitchen sink assembly cut.
The Spence Cut plays closer to a proper theatrical cut.

Some elements of the Whedon version are lightly used here and there, but this is still 90% Snyder's interpretation of super-heroism, which I must admit I am not the biggest admirer. So for me, this does slightly affect my enjoyment level. But this is no fault of the editor, as Spence has expertly met his set editing goals.

For me, there are many great editing choices throughout this edit. The removal of Wonder Woman's terrorist battle is not missed in the slightest. Neither is Aquaman's ocean saving/bar drinking scene. And the trimmed back Cyborg origin is perfect. Also, thoroughly loved the repurposed images for Dr. Stone's epilogue voice over -- particularly for Aquaman and Wonder Woman. And thankfully, the non-sensical Anti-Life Equation subplot is gone.

Technically, a very strong edit. The colour matching of Whedon footage to fit with the Snyder narrative looked right to my untrained eye. On the very minor nitpicks side of things, I noticed one or two audio dips and for me (and this is subjective) the new opening, did not flow quite as smoothly or organically as it could have. Also, this edit employs alternating aspect ratio, which I must admit, I am not the biggest fan of even though I know many Hollywood blockbusters do it. I think I would preferred if the entire movie had been the fuller 1:85 as it just looks glorious filling the entire screen with no black bars.

All in all, a solid and entertaining alternate version of the Snyder Cut.
Thumbs UP!
:)
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 3 0
Overall rating
 
8.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This edit does a lot of things right, but I think it needs a little bit more work.
The pacing is greatly improved, for one. The Snyder Cut was impressive but so SLOW, and I was impressed by how Spence's use of the Josstice League scenes allowed him to trim so many redundant scenes and bits.
A lot was trimmed, to be sure, but the narrative works well. The new main plot line is clear - Darkseid tried to conquer our planet but failed, so Steppenwolf is now trying it again to earn redemption, and Batman gathers a team to stop them.
The editing is generally wonderful, except for three issues:
(1) Noticeable audio transition after "Men won't, but SHE will" (21:30)
(2) Weird sequencing immediately after the above timestamp. While it's nice to see how the Amazons set the fire in the Parthenon, it is not necessary - Diana's scene at the Louvre is sufficient to convey that information in a more believable way. In the current edit, we have two scenes in which Steppenwolf begins searching for the other two boxes (Russia -> STAR Labs ), and then we stop that to see Diana's reaction to the fire.
My suggestion: Cut the scene where Queen Hippolyta shoots the Arrow, and instead show Diana's scene at the museum, followed by her scene with Bruce and the exposition dump. After the line "if he's here, where is he?" cut to the Chernobyl sequence, followed by STAR Labs. You can cut Stone's apartment and instead show the interrogation of the Atlanteans. And move Lois's scene to someplace later - it feels disjoint from everything else happening.

(3) Some more trimming is needed. For example, Steppenwolf explains (?) to the Parademons about the Unity for some reason, but then Diana's story about the Age of Heroes explains it again - in a better way. Another example: Cyborg's origin story is referenced multiple times in the film, and that - together with the Flash's introduction - slows down the film to a near halt.

All in all I enjoyed the edit, but I think a little more editing can make it a true candidate to be THE definitive cut.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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