Zack Snyder knew he was going to be the butt of a “Barbie” joke well before the blockbuster comedy opened in theaters from Warner Bros. In a new interview with Men’s Health, the “Rebel Moon” director revealed Warner Bros.’ film co-chief Michael DeLuca informed his wife and producer partner Deborah Snyder earlier this year about the joke and the studio’s intention to keep it in the film’s final cut.
The Snyder Cut joke in “Barbie” arrives during a critical moment in the film. Ryan Gosling’s Ken has introduced Barbie Land to the patriarchy, brainwashing the once-independent Barbies into existing solely to serve the Kens. America Ferrara gives an impassioned, feminist speech that lifts the spell, prompting a Barbie played by Alexandra Shipp to describe her time being under the patriarchy as the following: “It’s like I’ve been in a dream where I was really invested in the ‘Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League.'”
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“They gave us a heads-up,” Snyder said. “And he said, ‘Hey, there’s a reference to ‘Justice League’ in the movie. It’s cool and whatever, I hope you guys understand, we think it’s awesome.’”
“I thought [‘Barbie’] was great,” Snyder added. “And I think the joke is pretty good.”
Snyder agreed “a hundred percent” that the joke was more of a crack at the fandom than a personal dig at him. Nonetheless, that his fandom could become such a pop culture staple to become a joke in a major Hollywood tentpole left Snyder a bit gob-smacked.
“The thing that I said to Debbie is—the thing that you need to take a second and think about is that your name is so seamlessly sewed together with a pop-culture phenomenon so big it can exist as a joke in a movie about Barbie,” Snyder said. “That’s pretty insane. You just need to step back for a second and go like, ‘Whoa, what did we do? What happened? How is that a thing?’”
The Snyder Cut joke references the toxic fandom that surrounds the director, most evidently seen in the campaign for Warner Bros. to restore the director’s cut of “Justice League” after he left the project and Joss Whedon was brought in to oversee reshoots and overhaul the film’s tone. “Barbie” is also a Warner Bros. release, which is why the joke took many moviegoers by surprise.
“I didn’t even really realize that,” Gerwig told ComicBook.com after “Barbie” opened about the joke potentially being divisive among Snyder fans. “I didn’t even…Because I don’t have a dog in this fight, I didn’t even really know. I knew it was a thing. I don’t know the contours of all the ins and outs. But it’s the kind of thing that I vaguely know. But I think that was the thing, that it was like if [Writer Barbie] had a vague knowledge of, and then all of a sudden in a certain state, it really meant a lot to her, and then it went away.”
Snyder told Men’s Health that he “sometimes” feels misunderstood, adding, “So you’re like, ‘Oh, Snyder’s a fucking male, toxic masculine fuck.’ I have fucking nail polish on my fucking thumbs, for God’s sake.”
“Barbie” is now available to rent or purchase on VOD and digital platforms. The movie begins streaming exclusively on Max starting Dec. 15. Snyder is back on screens later this month with the first installment of his new space opera “Rebel Moon,” streaming Dec. 22 on Netflix.
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