Zack Snyder's Justice League dropped on HBO Max a little over ten days ago, and there has been quite the conversation surrounding the movie ever since. Some people have loved it, some have hated it, some were kind of eh on the entire thing, but the topic of how this movie came to be isn't going away anytime soon. For a long time, there didn't seem to be a lot of hope for the Snyder Cut because that would mean investing millions of dollars into a movie that already went over budget and underperformed and on a pure money standpoint that didn't make a lot of sense. A $70 million investment to boost a streaming service does make a little more sense, but for people who just wanted Zack Snyder's vision, there was a cheaper option; Zack Snyder's Justice League should have been a massive coffee table book.
Netflix, in recent years, has started sending out massive hardcover books for the movie they are submitting to awards season. The one that we will be using as an example for what I believe Zack Snyder's Justice League could have been is the book they sent out for The Irishman several years ago. Here are a bunch of pictures taken by my mother since I gifted the book to them.
When I would speak to fans trying to get the Snyder Cut made before HBO Max stepped in, I would tell them that they shouldn't be asking Warner Bros. to remake the movie. They should be asking Snyder to release the script, which is exactly what he could have done with a book like the one Netflix did for The Irishman. They could print the script into a massive book with high-quality images that are from both the assembly cut, both that have completed VFX, and some that don't. Snyder could have posted the script with annotations and notes about what a scene could have looked like or what kind of direction he could have given the various actors in the scenes. Some of the pages in The Irishman book have the script with notes on them.
Fans love to display things, and making this a book that maybe has a limited, numbered printing for the first run, think The Babadook book that was made for that movie, so they have something to really show off on their shelves or on a coffee table. They could take this book to meet-ups with the cast members at conventions and get it signed. There could have been pages at the end of the book where Snyder could have actually given credit to the people who made this happen. Snyder has often said that if you've tried to make Zack Snyder's Justice League happen, you can call yourself an associate producer. In a book like this, Snyder could have listed all of the people who signed petitions or donated right there on the page instead of something you put in a Twitter bio that comes across as more than a bit cringe.
Finally, proceeds or parts of the proceeds of this book could have been given to charity. The fandom often touted the hundreds of thousands of dollars they raised but releasing Zack Snyder's Justice League doesn't do anything to help those charities they say they are so invested in. A book is easier to track as far as sales and so easier for proceeds to go to charity. It wouldn't be $70 million to make the book come to life, and everyone would have been able to see what Snyder's vision looked like from even a prescriptive that we didn't get from a regular movie release. Snyder could have also used this book to show an outline for the movies that aren't going to get made and what kind of plots could have been explored in the other Justice League movies. Perhaps sharing the treatments for one or both of the movies so fans aren't left confused by any dangling threads.
Zack Snyder's Justice League has been released onto the internet, and now the conversation of #RestoringTheSnyderVerse has come up. However, if the recent week of Warner Bros. and DC releases are anything to go by, the SnyderVerse is not set to return. Perhaps Snyder will release some form of this book in the future, it would be an interesting thing to see, but maybe we could have saved that $70M for 10+ original movies by other directors if we had done it right out of the gate.