The Snyder Cut is real. All of it. And it’s about to be released.
Long rumored but consistently dismissed by the studio as being true, there is indeed a complete version of director Zack Snyder‘s 2017 DC Universe blockbuster Justice League, the DCEU mega-tentpole follow-up to Batman V Superman.
After suffering a family tragedy during early post-production of Justice League, Snyder was unable to oversee re-shoots or complete a final edit. As a result, Joss Whedon (writer/director of the first two Avengers films) was brought in to finish the project, including handling the rewrites, helming the re-shoots, and guiding post. The final result, released in November of 2017, was largely panned as an incoherent mishmash of styles. (I felt that critique was a bit harsh, but I was still mixed on the results, too.)
Ever since, hardcore DC fans have been screaming for Warner Bros. to release Snyder’s original, darker vision. The hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut became the most-tweeted hashtag of any movie that Warner Bros. has ever made. Nevertheless, the cries were met with silence despite Snyder’s confirmation that his cut did indeed exist.
How things change.
Between looking for prime content to premiere on their new streaming service HBO Max and also struggling to fill that order in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, suddenly Justice League: The Snyder Cut became a very tempting proposition, one that ultimately proved too delicious to pass up especially considering the recent success of the very dark Joker.
According to Warners and Snyder, while his cut does exist, much of it is still in raw form without completed effects or fine-tuned editorial:
- According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zack Snyder and his wife/producing partner Deborah Snyder “are now in the midst of reassembling much of their original postproduction crew to score, cut, add new and finish old visual effects, and, yes, maybe bring back many of the actors to record additional dialogue.” Stars Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot have been supportive of releasing the Snyder Cut, so it likely won’t be difficult to procure their involvement.
Snyder’s original cut was around four hours long. He later submitted a 2-hour and 20-minute version, per the studio’s demand, that proved to be a concession he wasn’t happy with. Currently it is unknown which form HBO Max will release, whether his final theatrical cut, the full 4-hour opus, or possibly air the latter in six TV-style episodes.
The cost estimates of completing the cut weren’t officially announced, but sources peg it to be somewhere between $20 million to $30 million. That sounds like a hefty price tag until you consider what it will mean for the fledgling streamer service.
No doubt more details will emerge as post-production develops, including what the film’s rating will be.
Personally, I was never anxious to see this. Nevertheless, alt-versions of big projects always intrigue me so now I find that my interest has suddenly piqued, particularly since we’ll be given one more dose of Ben Affleck’s Batman; he was easily the best part of Snyder’s DCEU until director Patty Jenkins took on Wonder Woman and made it her own. (James Wan‘s Aquaman was blast, too.)
Whatever form it finally takes, The Snyder Cut of Justice League will premiere on HBO Max sometime in 2021.
ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Only on HBO Max 2021. @ZackSnyder https://t.co/cfXCK1B6pA