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.

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9.3
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10.0
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Spence has done it! I loved this edit. Makes the movie much more compact and well paced. This is a total recommendation to anyone who hasn't watched ZSJL looking for the go to version of JL.

The only qualm that i have is that Spence makes the decision to remove two particular scenes, namely Wonder Woman vs Terrorists and Barry saves Iris. Imho, these two scenes are the personification of style over substance, and sometimes you don't need to mind what a scene contributes to the plot if it's just plain amazing to watch.

That being said, i still recommend this edit very much. Chungs!

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8.5
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I agree with Spence's assertion that the ZSJL original version was overly long and bloated. The sequel set-ups were also very distracting considering the minuscule chance of them ever been followed-up on. Because of that, I ultimately considered that version merely ok. Spence deftly cuts through the fat to deliver an engaging and fast-paced cut without losing any of the story or the core of the main characters (refering to Cyborg and Flash).

I'm no editing or fan edit expert, but during the viewing I never saw the seams of the edits. Scenes flowed naturally from one to another. One minor quibble, the closing credits still list actors that do not appear in this Edit (like Jared Leto or Jesse Eisenberg).

I still have issues with Justice League, but those are linked to creative choices that cannot be modified (amongts them the underuse of Aquaman and some questionnable line reads from the cast). However, Spence has offered us film fans a massively improved alternative to both official versions of Justice League. For that I am thankful.

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Top 1000 Reviewer 2 reviews
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9.8
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Nice self-contained theatrical cut, no sequel baits, no Martian Manhunter, no Knightmare... adding some great stuff from other movies (I love the WW flight scene in the end and Superman's blue suit), perfect cut for a perfect trilogy.

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I totally enjoyed this version of the film! The right amount of scenes were edited into (or out of) the Snyder cut, and the cuts and edits were done and worked very well. The movie flows by and the decision to make the Flash almost the only one making jokes works really well (many of the other heroes' jokes scenes were cut) and gives him a more unique character. Also, Aquaman showing his human side sympathizing whit Cybor losing his father in different scenes shows more of his character. And finally keeping most scenes where the heroes literally act like heros (e.g. making saving innocents important to them) gives this movie more like a hero movie feel to it and makes it easier to root for them instead of just making them seem like a bunch of depressed people doing stuff together just for the hell of it (as it seems more to me in the original Snyder cut).
I could not detect any technical flaws, neither on the visual nor on the audio side, so I must and want to give this edit my full endorsement and recommend it to everyone who did not like the theatrical and/or the Snyder's cut since it somehow connects the best of both worlds without staying too long on a specific "impressionistic" scene (e.g. cemetary scenes etc.). A clear go from my side! :)

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9.9
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Nice work, Spence. I really enjoyed your cut. And I liked a lot that you used the "IMAX-Format " on and off throughout your version. I enjoyed the Snyder Cut too, but you removed/ changed exactly the right things to make the movie a brilliant and much fuller experience. Thanks a lot, I guess this could be my favorite version.

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