Justice League: The Spence Edit

Updated
 
9.3 (16)
4812 0 1 0 8
jlspence_front
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

16 reviews
 
63%
 
38%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(16)
Visual Editing
 
9.9(16)
Audio Editing
 
9.8(16)
Narrative
 
9.4(16)
Enjoyment
 
8.9(16)
View all user reviews View most helpful
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This was a great edit. I tried to watch the ZSJL when it came out but couldn't get through it. I found to to be very labored and self-important (so much slo-mo nonsense, etc.). This edit streamlines the film and cuts out all the excess without making it feel rushed. I really think this is something close to the film we would've gotten had Zack Snyder been allowed to see his project to fruition uninterrupted.

Cutting out the Wonder Woman bank heist scene was the right choice, despite it being a pretty good scene. Maybe it can be repurposed for a WW '84 edit.

Simply a fantastic edit. It serves its purpose perfectly.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This is a great way to watch the ZSJL cut. Spence has streamlined the film in a way that keeps you invested . Overly used slow motion action that Snyder prefers is trimmed way down.
The pacing is excellent and I never felt like I needed a scene to just get moving.
I will not address what is missing and what should have been added because this edit works. Too many of today's movies are bloated with unnecessary information. Which in my opinion is why fan edits have grown so much in popularity.

Thank you Spence for bringing out the potential for this Justice League as it appears we won't be seeing this group together again.

Well done

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 2 0
(Updated: November 12, 2022)
Overall rating
 
7.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
This is probably the most functional edit Justice League that I've seen, and that's including Zack Snyder's Justice League and the Theatrical Cut. You've done an excellent job of cutting out all the dead end sequel set ups, while maintaining the tone Snyder intended. However, I think you over-corrected a bit in your attempt to get the film under three hours.

The biggest problems with the story editing here are that characters like Wonder Woman and Desaad have had their introductions cut, while characters like Aquaman and Steppenwolf no longer have understandable motivations. I understand why you cut the Aquaman/Vulko scene and the initial Steppenwolf/Desaad scene, but the movie doesn't work without them. As it stands, Aquaman disappears from the movie after his initial appearance, and Desaad just shows up with no explanation of who he is or what his role is.

As I said, I understand that you were trying to streamline the film, but I honestly don't think a functional version of this movie could be less than three hours long (to be fair, that is a problem inherent in the script).

Those issues aside, however, your editing is very smooth and seamless. You were able to trim down overlong sequences and skip past unnecessary scenes in a way that felt very natural. The best example of this is how you used Batman's "doesn't mean I'm wrong" to skip past the awkward song for Aquaman. The way you cut Darkseid's final conversation with Desaad was also masterful; it felt like that was how it should have been edited the begin with.

Also, by reintegrating the "Everybody Knows" title sequence (the best part of Whedon's version), you were able to give the beginning of the film a lot of much-needed energy, as it now feels like there is a cleaner transition from "Superman is dead and everyone is sad" to "alien invaders are coming and we need to prepare." That was a wonderful addition.

I have more notes and comments, but this review is already too long as it is. This was an enjoyable watch, and I think with another edit that doesn't shy away from letting the film be three hours, this could be the ideal version of JL.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
L
1 reviews
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
(Updated: November 28, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Quite possibly one of the best cuts of Justice League in existence, and that's not hyperbole. The "Wonder Woman vs the terrorists" scene and "Barry Allen saves Iris West" scene were great scenes in isolation, but did nothing to advance the plot and ultimately were not missed in this cut. Removing the Anti-Life Equation removed a giant plot hole, and again it was not missed.

I do miss Cyborg's vision of Darkseid, the little ship tease between Bruce and Diana, and Diana's interaction with Alfred that docked a point in the enjoyment scale for me, but overall this version of Justice League was just frigging awesome.

Very highly recommended. 9.5 out of 10.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Not much to say. Spence made a great, digestible version of the film Zack Snyder originally set out to make (with some ideas from the Theatrical Cut, but hey, they were good ideas). If you're curious & don’t have half a day to waste away, definitely check this edit out.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
View all user reviews