“I never saw the Joss Whedon version”: The Last of Us Showrunner Pledged His Loyalty to Zack Snyder After Claiming He “Really Liked” His Justice League Version

"I never saw the Joss Whedon version": The Last of Us Showrunner Pledged His Loyalty to Zack Snyder After Claiming He "Really Liked" His Justice League Version
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Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released after a massive movement from Snyder fans that pressured Warner Bros. The movie, with a runtime of 242 minutes, was released as an HBO Max Original and was widely praised as a far better version than Justice League. What happened to Justice League is a long story of unfortunate events along with some poor studio decisions, as highlighted by this revelation from the creator of the hit show, The Last of Us.

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Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)
Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Craig Mazin started as a screenwriter for comedy movies and later took on more series projects like HBO’s spine-chilling series, Chernobyl. Mazin won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for Chernobyl before taking on the critically acclaimed The Last of Us.

Also Read: “I just always thought that was cool”: Zack Snyder Claims His Director’s Cut Approach Was Inspired By Robert De Niro’s 1985 Sci-Fi Movie

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Craig Mazin Was A Fan Of Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Craig Mazin
Craig Mazin with his Emmy for Chernobyl

Zack Snyder’s initial plan for DCEU included five movies – Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, and Justice League trilogy. However, Batman v. Superman was not well received among audiences who criticized the film for its dark tone, lack of humor, and slow pace. Snyder was well into the production of Justice League by this time, but due to the negative feedback from the earlier movie, Warner Bros. wanted him to rework the current movie.

Snyder invited friends and family to watch his cut of the film and suggest changes for the reshoots. Among those friends was Craig Mazin. Mazin appeared on his podcast, Scriptnotes, along with John August, and stated that he really liked Zack Snyder’s vision for the film. Although he suggested a couple of tweaks for the film, Mazin was content with the final output Snyder had created. Mazin shared on Scriptnotes:

“I think there were three or four of us, writers, to watch the movie in the state it was in and then just have a conversation about some things that they might be able to do to tweak some things up over the course of a week of writing. And I, you know me, I’m not like a huge superhero movie guy, but I really liked it. I liked it. I thought it was really good. I thought there were a couple things, like ‘OK here’s some suggestions and things.’”

Interestingly, it is unknown whether Mazin’s suggestions ever made it to the original Justice League released in 2017, as Warner Bros. did not approve of Zack Snyder’s methods for improvement.

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Also Read: “So it’s like Watchmen?”: ‘The Boys’ Almost Became a Movie Before Studios Compared Steve Carrell’s $133M Movie Director’s Pitch to Zack Snyder’s Movie

Warner Bros. Was Not Satisfied With Zack Snyder’s Steps To Improve The Movie

Zack Snyder with Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot
Zack Snyder on the sets of Justice League

Zack Snyder took the criticism for Batman v. Superman very sincerely and tried to make the changes for the Justice League. However, the studio was not impressed with his efforts and hired Joss Whedon to rewrite the script. Another mandate from the studio, which proved detrimental later, was to cut down the runtime to below two hours.

Snyder tried to work alongside Whedon when tragedy struck with his daughter’s death. Although Snyder continued working for two more months to distract himself, he left the project in May 2017. Whedon wrote an additional 80-page script and did extensive reshoots, to the extent that the final output only had about 10% of what Snyder had envisioned. Justice League was released to poor reception from fans and general audiences alike.

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Craig Mazin also admitted his allegiance to Zack Snyder, stating that he never saw the Joss Whedon version. Mazin mentioned about Snyder leaving in his podcast:

“And then Zack left the project. And so that was it. Literally, I think he left like the next week. And I never saw the Joss Whedon version.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League turned out to be the superior of the two and was supported by multiple cast members and other directors in the DCEU. The studio also realized that they made a mistake with Joss Whedon’s version and hence complied with the fan request to release the Snyder cut.

Also Read: “That’s a movie I would have liked to have seen”: Not Just Ben Affleck, Tom Cruise’s Top Gun Director Almost Directed ‘Man of Steel’ Before Zack Snyder Became Christopher Nolan’s Favorite Pick

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For fans still contesting the superiority of the versions, they can make their own judgment after watching both films, which are now available for streaming on Max.

Source: Scriptnotes

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Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1506

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.