How important is the ‘director’s version’ to filmmakers?

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After more than 4 years of a fervent fan campaign and nearly $ 70 million in post-production edits and additions to visual effects, the long-awaited Justice League Snyder Cut has finally been released.

Those familiar with the filmography of director Zack Snyder recognize that this is not the first time that the director of Madrugada dos Mortos and Watchmen has returned to work after the launch of the project to try to put more action, exposure, violence and emotion in every minute of filming. left on the editing room floor.

Snyder is far from being the first to get involved with the indulgences of revisionism brought about by the release of “director’s cuts”, a term used to refer to the director’s favorite version of his film. Filmmaking is a collaborative enterprise, with many authors and producers, cast and crew members working together to realize an idea.

The concept of the director’s version can be found in the origins of the cinematographic medium itself, with cinema legend Charlie Chaplin credited as one of the first to release his 1925 silent film, The Gold Rush, almost 17 years later, with a new score and reduced execution time.

Considering this, it is worth noting the evident history of those who most often had the opportunity to create and launch a version of the director, that is, white male directors, predominantly, versus those who often do not have these opportunities, for example, female directors or non-white directors, among others. Still in 2021, few conventional films are directed by women, and there are hardly any prominent examples of them having the chance to return to a previous job.

Even so, the director’s version remains a fascinating exercise, and each raises the same question: what do these reissues really accomplish in the eyes of their directors?

In order to answer that question, one can analyze some of the most notable cuts of the director in the history of modern cinema.

From Zack Snyder himself, the movie Watchman, released in 2009, had two expanded versions that were released 1 year after the first screening of Zack Snyder’s film in theaters. A “director’s version” with 24 minutes of additional footage, including expanded action sequences and more exposure, and a final version, which added more than 53 minutes of footage, including interwoven segments from an animated adaptation of the comic book Contos do Cargueiro Negro to imitate the role of the story within the narrative of the original HQ.

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