Zack Snyder, who recently released his four-hour cut of Justice League on HBO Max, has a new zombie film, Army of the Dead, on the way later this month for Netflix. He appeared on Justin Long’s podcast this week and gave a candid hour-long interview. Snyder spoke to the family tragedy that initially led to his departure of Justice League, and while he didn’t speak to the controversy surrounding Joss Whedon, he reiterated that he still hasn’t seen Whedon’s version after his wife and Christopher Nolan warned him off of it, fearing it would turn him into a “disgruntled employee.”
Interestingly, he did speak to why he had enough footage to make a four-hour cut, and some of that had to do with the backlash he received from “bloggers” and social media from Batman vs. Superman. He explained to Long that Warner Brothers had wanted Snyder to make nice with the new generation of “bloggers” or “gate keepers” on Twitter by inviting them onto the set “and get them to like you by showing them that you’re making it funnier.” It was a “dog and pony” show that he “hated,” but he went along with it because that’s what the studio wanted. However, he “passive aggressively” continued to shoot additional scenes for his own version of Justice League, which is why he had so much footage from which to choose when he put together the Snyder Cut.
Another “passive aggressive” addition he made to Justice League, meanwhile, were a number of Easter Eggs referencing Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead, a novel that Snyder has long loved.
Thematically speaking, Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead is about individualism versus collectivism, which provided the seed to Rand’s Objectivist movement, which is “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” It is not a particularly popular movement in 2021 among the “bloggers” and “gatekeepers,” of which Zack Snyder spoke, which is why Snyder won’t be directing the movie anytime soon.
“It’s a book that is so politically charged,” Snyder said to Long, “that we need a more liberal government to do The Fountainhead so that everyone won’t freak out or something.” Here’s more:
“To me, it’s like, if you’re a filmmaker, you sort of understand if you’re looking at it from that lens, building a building (the subject of The Fountainhead) and making a movie are very similar. You’re making little compromises constantly. Maybe one story less, and it’ll be very good. Does it really need all those fancy window frames? Maybe just make the windows. You wanted a mansion, and you end up with something that sort of looks like a house. For me, that’s always what The Fountainhead was about. For a lot of people, it’s a big political thing, but for me it’s not so much about that.”
In making Justice League, Snyder compared himself to Howard Roark, the intractable protagonist of The Fountainhead, “only we said yes. We compromised. We’re the least Roarkian filmmakers ever. And that’s fine. That’s reality.”
The other reality, of course, is that the political climate right now cannot sustain a big studio-backed version of The Fountainhead and until there is a more firmly established liberal government, progressive America is not ready for a film based on a novel that espouses individual happiness at the expense of the collective.
Source: Life Is Short with Justin Long