WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff says that the release of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” will complete the director’s superhero trilogy, reinforcing the studio’s de…
The campaign for #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has moved into a new phase. It’s now #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. What’s your reaction to this new campaign?
I appreciate that they love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his many contributions to DC. We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the “Justice League” to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy. We’re very happy we’ve done this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all the multi-dimensional DC characters that are being developed right now.
Ray Fisher has accused Warner Bros. executives of racially biased behavior and of trying to impede an investigation into alleged misconduct on the set of “Justice League.” Did your investigation corroborate any of his claims of racism on the part of your employees?
No. Our investigator, Judge Katherine Forrest, has issued statements specifically about [DC Films president] Walter Hamada, saying that there was no evidence of interference by Walter in the investigation. She said that the cuts made in the Joss Whedon version of “Justice League” were not racially motivated. We took it very seriously, so we hired one of the top investigators out there and gave her a tremendous amount of leeway.
Ray Fisher has previously stated that because of a non-disclosure agreement he can’t share specifics about the abusive behavior he endured on the set of “Justice League.” Is there an NDA that would prevent him from publicly sharing all the details of what transpired on “Justice League”?
Not that I know of. No.
Walter Hamada has been on the receiving end of a lot of fan criticism. What was his involvement in the production of “Justice League”?
Walter had nothing to do with “Justice League.” He was not running DC Films in 2017 when “Justice League” was completed and released. He wasn’t put in charge of DC Films until the following year. About a year ago, Walter, [Warner Bros. Pictures Group head] Toby Emmerich, me, [former WarnerMedia chairman] Bob Greenblatt, [former HBO Max content chief] Kevin Reilly, and [HBO Max original programming head] Sarah Aubrey sat around the table with Zack and greenlit the Snyder cut. That cut includes Ray Fisher’s entire story as Cyborg, which is something that he had been disappointed had been cut from the Justice League movie three years ago. Perhaps we’ve lost the plot a little bit which is that Toby and Walter were part of the green-lighting that allowed Zack’s vision to come to life, which includes sharing the full story about Ray’s character. There really was nothing that Walter did against Ray, in fact he offered him a role in the Flash movie.
Walter was promoted recently. I am fully supportive of Toby and Walter and their visions. I truly believe they are great executives. Walter happens to be a person of color, so he knows what that feels like. He is bringing in diverse voices at an accelerated pace, more than anyone has in the past.
You talked about enlisting a broad range of voices when it comes to charting the future of DC. Is there one person calling the shots?
The connective tissue in the middle is Jim Lee, who oversees DC Comics. Jim lives and breathes the canon of DC and he works with all of the divisions to make sure the storylines are true to the canon. He helps them come up with ideas for new storylines. Jim is very much in the middle of everything. But the group together helps spur on new ideas. But there’s not one person calling the shots, because I want all the voices in the room to offer their expertise and knowledge of their formats.