Recently, the internet celebrated what can be considered a grand coup: their collective petitions and whining had forced Warner Bros.' hand and the Zack Snyder cut, reportedly an hour longer than the compromised theatrical release, of Justice League will premiere on HBO Max at some point.
The popular belief amongst fans who refuse to accept their favourite properties are being mistreated onscreen was that Snyder had shot enough of his version of the movie that it's sitting in a vault waiting for the studio to release it. Given the timeline, it's likely Snyder had an assembly cut at best - a collection of everything he shot wretchedly edited and largely unwatchable. The internet goaded a studio to dump $20 million into a film that was never even close to being finished.
Nevertheless, the movement has sparked others to call for artists' unheralded works be presented in their original vision. But just because a DVD labels a release an "extended" or "director's cut", it's usually far from accurate.
Though George R.R. Martin said that art is not a democracy, here are some long-storied cuts we'll never see, but would've loved to.
10. Practical Magic
Griffin Dunne's largely forgettable romantic comedy found Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as two sisters who practiced witchcraft - charming enough, save for the fact that any man the sisters fall for is destined to die.
“I love Practical Magic. Practical Magic for me is also a movie where there was a different version, which — weirdly in the same context we were discussing, how the world has become more interested in this range of dark and light in the same narrative object. Which I think is more recent. That you can have significance and depth and loss in fantasy or science fiction in ways that are more nuanced," said co-writer Akiva Goldsman when discussing the upcoming HBO Max show that will follow the film and novel upon which it's based.
While the film does dabble in dark subject matter, it underwent a severe reshoot schedule that lightened the tone significantly. Goldsman claimed he used to have a copy of the original film before it was tampered with, but it's gone missing.
Furthermore, his thoughts on a screen-ready print of Practical Magic offer further insight into why the Snyder cut is such an ill-informed idea:
"[Workprint] cuts are almost never finished. Typically what happens is, you screen these things where the visual effects are still temp. You’re testing while they’re temp. The score is not finished. So for me, the one great version of this in my career is I Am Legend, where the version that we made originally is called the alternative cut, but that’s this weird treat where I can literally go ‘That’s the one we meant to make,’ and ‘That’s the one we made later'."
I Am Legend's alternate cut is notoriously better, more faithful to the source material, so one can only wonder the differences a darker Practical Magic would have made. We'll soon know - in episode form.