10 Alternate Versions Of Films To Watch Before The Snyder Cut

It's finally happening! The Synder Cut is coming! But it's not the first big change to a film...

Superman II The Donner Cut
Warner Bros.

Making movies is a long process, one that requires as much time in the editing room as any other part of production. There are many examples throughout Hollywood history where much more time should have been spent in the cutting room, while conversely there are many examples where too much time was spent.

Studios have also often interfered with the film before the process is complete. It is not a new thing, with studio mandated changes to productions going back to the early days of the industry.

Why then is the upcoming release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League getting such traction? The production was infamously troubled, with much of the film being recut and reshot under Joss Whedon after Snyder's tragic departure.

While the film released to theatres was very far from a success, it could still be viewed as something of a triumph over adversity. The fact that it managed to be released at all is an achievement.

What are some other examples of films that have either been released through meddling, or revisited by the director in the years after initial release? Also, what qualifies to be considered alongside the Snyder Cut in the pantheon of Hollywood films? There is no guarantee that any film, once revisited, will either improve upon or give any meaningful expansion to the original - here are some that tried.

10. The European Cut - Brazil

Superman II The Donner Cut
Embassy International

There are three distinct versions of Terry Gilliam's dystopian film Brazil. They can be more or less separated by naming them the European Cut, the American Cut and the Love Conquers All Cut, with the European Cut being Gilliam's intended version.

The American Cut was edited by Gilliam for the purpose of syndication. It was a shorter version of the film, with several scenes cut out to make the film fit for home viewing. The opening and closing of the film bear minor differences.

The Love Conquers All Cut is a different beast. This was prepared for release by Universal Boss Sid Sheinberg. It differes significantly from Gilliam's vision. It was edited from 142 minutes down to 94 minutes. Many of the scenes are chopped entirely from the film, or watered down so as to play better on television.

Many of the fantasy scenes are removed and characters explicitly stated to have died in Gilliam's version are simply forgotten here. Some of the violence is toned back and much of the swearing is dubbed over. There is also a scene that implies the Ministry has special, supernatural powers as Harry Tuttle is attacked by paper, without the dream revelation of Gilliam's version.

Gilliam would win the war to have his version released, though both were released for the Criterion LaserDisc and DVD collections. Watching the two of them in comparison isn't quite like watching two films, though it is like watching one film through a thin lens.


Writer. Reader. Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick