It was a big day for DCEU fans on Wednesday, May 20, when, after years insisting that it would never happen, Warner Brothers executives officially confirmed that the “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League would be seeing an official release after all.
The term “Snyder Cut” refers to director Zack Snyder’s original vision of the DCEU crossover film. Snyder, who was also responsible for 2013’s Man of Steel and 2016’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, was initially attached to the project with a dark, gritty vision for the film and a plan for two sequels creating a Justice League trilogy. However, he was forced to step down from the film following the passing of his daughter Autumn.
A new director, Joss Whedon, was called in to make significant changes to the film after Snyder’s version performed poorly in front of test audiences. Whedon performed significant rewrites and re-shoots, aimed at giving the final film a brighter color palette and more upbeat, humorous tone. Its runtime was also cut down to 2 hours following an official mandate from Warner.
Unfortunately, the hybrid Whedon-Snyder version of Justice League also performed poorly, grossing only $658 million and receiving mixed to negative reviews from critics. Many fans and reviewers found the film to be inconsistent, describing it as a “Frankenstein-like” mish-mash between Snyder and Whedon’s visions and tones.
Over the next several years, fans clamored for a “director’s cut” style release of Snyder’s original film. The hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut maintained a constant presence on various social media, and some dedicated fans even rented billboards and held protests at several comic conventions.
Now, the “Snyder Cut” is coming. Here’s everything we know so far about Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as the brand new edition of the film will officially be titled:
- It will release exclusively via the Warner-owned streaming service HBO Max sometime in 2021 (no official date has been announced, but Snyder has said he is continuing to work on the project despite the global COVID-19 pandemic)
- The film’s runtime will exceed three hours, possibly even winding up closer to four
- Warner executives have not yet decided whether the cut will be released as a single film or a series of six episodes
- As many as ten new comic book characters who did not appear in Whedon’s version will be introduced, including The Flash’s love interest Iris West (Kiersy Clemmons), future Atom Ryan Choi (Zheng Kai) and potentially shapeshifting alien Martian Manhunter and an unknown member of the Green Lantern Corps
- More time will be devoted to telling the stories of Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), with the latter in particular being described by Snyder as “the heart of the film”
- Batman will have another nightmare—forgive me, Knightmare—in which the Caped Crusader will get a glimpse at a dark future where the League loses their battle.
- Several of the actors involved in the film will return to re-shoot scenes as their characters, but this will reportedly not include Henry Cavill as Superman, which means we might be stuck with his uncanny-valley digitally-erased mustache even in the Snyder Cut
- Between editing, re-shoots and all other necessary post-production work, the project will allegedly cost upwards of $35 million to complete
- Legendary DC villain Darkseid, whom Snyder intended to serve as the primary antagonist of the now indefinitely delayed Justice League 2, will appear in the film. Snyder gave fans a sneak peek at the character’s design on his Twitter:
He's coming… to HBO Max pic.twitter.com/tthWwAqzWp
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) May 27, 2020
Presumably, more news will be released as the project gets closer to completion. Snyder has hinted that a trailer of the film is coming, so right now, we’re on the edge of our seats eagerly awaiting our very first look at the long-awaited cut.
Are you excited about the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League? Let us know!