Wagner is at the top of his game working on major projects on the big and small screens. He has also been at the heart of two of the biggest fan backlashes in recent memory. Over a million fans have signed a petition asking HBO to remake the highly divisive final season of Game of Thrones. Thousands of fans continue to bombard Warner Bros with demands to release the rumoured “Zack Snyder cut” of Justice League. Wagner worked on both but he totally agrees with the fans about only one of them…
Wagner was the principal cinematographer on Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3, The Long Night. Otherwise known as The Battle of Winterfell, this episode was when the tide turned and HBO’s acclaimed show suddenly, unexpectedly, divided fans and critics.
Much of the criticism levelled at this episode centres on how dark and murky the visuals were. Wagner defends his work here, saying he believes you can see everything you need to see and any problems are to do with the compression and inferior colour levels of some home screens.
He does not, however, defend the WB final cut of Justice League, which was shepherded to the screen by Joss Whedon after Snyder parted ways with the project after principal photography was completed.
Wagner worked side by side with Snyder and does not hold back on his heartbreak over what happened next.
Asked if he had seen the big-screen version, Wagner didn’t mince words: “I have, unfortunately.”
Discussing whether he could tell exactly how much had been changed, his response was even stronger. Wagner told Comic Book Debate: “It’s really hard to say because I was watching it and I think I was crying all the way through.
“So it’s hard for me to say exactly how much was changed, but a lot was changed. It looked very different, and it’s sad for me because I loved working with Zack; I had the best time of my life. It was just a great shoot, and so it was a shame to see the film the way it turned out to be, unfortunately.
“If you watch the first three trailers you can see how the film should have looked and how it looked when we were shooting it.”
Wagner added: “It’s a shame Zack didn’t get to finish it the way he did want to shoot it.”
In fact, he fully supports the ongoing demands to see the full materials Snyder completed shooting: “As a fan and as a guy who worked on it with Zack, then f*** yes I would love to see it! The fans are doing a great job. I think the ‘Release the Snyder cut’ campaign is incredible.”