Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Everything We Know About it
Movies that flop both critically and commercially rarely get a second shot at success, but that’s exactly what happens with Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
As a result of a long-running (and some would argue, aggressively venomous) fan campaign, the Justice League’s “Snyder Cut” features an expanded, re-cut version of the Warner Bros. Pictures superhero team film from 2017 that is more closely related to Snyder’s is the original vision for the project. After Snyder left the film prematurely due to a family tragedy, many fans blamed the film’s poor performance on changes by the studio and director Joss Whedon.
Since Zack Snyder’s Justice League is slated to premiere on March 18 on the streaming service HBO Max, here’s everything we know about the Snyder Cut so far.
Release date and platform
On May 20, 2020, Snyder confirmed that the Justice League’s “Snyder Cut” was not only in the works, but would also debut on WarnerMedia’s recently launched streaming video service HBO Max.
#ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Only on HBO Max 2021. @ZackSnyder https://t.co/cfXCK1B6pA pic.twitter.com/hqeA9i7tTL
– HBO Max (@hbomax) May 20, 2020
In January, Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally got an official release date: March 18th.
The premiere announcement was accompanied by three new promotional images for the film, each showing a different image inspired by classic DC Comics imagery in the black and white tone that Snyder and WB adopted for the project.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League premieres exclusively on HBO Max on March 18. #SnyderCut pic.twitter.com/BnJsUjZCLq
– HBO Max (@hbomax) Jan 29, 2021
After the first trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released and removed a few months later, a new trailer for the film (see above) premiered in November. The new trailer contained a lot of fresh footage from the project and was set to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah similar to the previous trailer (but now apparently free of licensing problems – more on that below).
And because everything about Zack Snyder’s Justice League is valuable, Snyder then published a black and white version of the trailer on Twitter. (It’s more artistic that way.)
– Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) November 17, 2020
DC FanDome preview
Warner Bros. Pictures gave fans an expanded look at Zack Snyder’s Justice League during the online DC FanDome event, August 22-23, but Snyder teased the big reveal – it was essentially a preview of a preview – by posting new footage on Twitter a few days earlier.
Teaser premiere 8/22 2:30 p.m. (PDT) #DCFanDome pic.twitter.com/bxxPLuCyv3
– Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) August 20, 2020
The expanded preview of Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released online on August 22nd as part of the DC FanDome virtual convention, but was later discontinued – reportedly due to licensing issues for Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah, which was used in the trailer.
HBO Max released the first footage from Zack Snyder’s Justice League on June 18.
The 30-second preview, dubbed the movie’s “first clip,” shows Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) examining a drawing on a wall depicting an image of DC Comics villain Darkseid. The voice of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) can be heard over the footage, and the scene then switches to Darkseid himself standing in front of his army.
How much did the Snyder Cut cost?
The changes Snyder made to his director’s cut of Justice League were initially both extensive and expensive. WarnerMedia chairman Bob Greenblatt suggested that this new version of the film would cost more than $ 30 million to release. It was later reported that after adding the visual effects and new footage, that number was $ 70 million higher.
Justice League was already one of the most expensive films ever made, with a production budget of more than $ 300 million and a reported breakeven point of $ 750 million (hence, it is a “flop” status despite being worldwide Earned $ 657 million). As a result, there’s no small amount of pressure on the Snyder Cut to prove that the studio’s heavy investment was worth it.
How will it be different
According to Snyder, only a quarter of his original work on the Justice League ended up in the motion picture of the film. The Snyder Cut is reportedly going to restore its original work and add a lot more to the story.
That is real. # releasethesnydercut @ HBOMax pic.twitter.com/Cnvupwg48W
– Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) May 20, 2020
Adding all of this material is expected to add significantly to the film’s original running time of 120 minutes, and HBO Max plans to release Zack Snyder’s Justice League as a single extended-length feature.
The finished product will likely resemble Snyder’s grim films Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice that preceded the Justice League, with the lighter moments that Joss Whedon poured into the project cut from the film. Snyder has stated that Zack Snyder’s Justice League will not include any material Whedon shot for the film’s theatrical release.
With that in mind, the Snyder Cut is also rumored to end on a dark note – and possibly a cliffhanger, due to the filmmaker’s original vision for the Justice League, which resembles a two-part story similar to Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War Avengers: Endgame.
Ready for @zacksnyders JUSTICE LEAGUE on @hbomax? Here’s a breakdown of today’s big news ???? https://t.co/oykpWbSNXe pic.twitter.com/iTsaYqjHqv
– DC (@DCComics) May 21, 2020
Various other rumors and unconfirmed reports suggest that Snyder’s original plan for the Justice League included Green Lantern, Lois Lane’s death, or a host of other elements that never made it into the movie’s theatrical feature. It remains to be seen which (if any) of these plot points will be brought to the Snyder Cut.
Will Darkseid appear?
One of the biggest differences between the Justice League movie and the Snyder cut is that it features a character that was hinted at in the DC Extended Universe films but never fully featured on screen: Darkseid.
He’s coming … to HBO Max pic.twitter.com/tthWwAqzWp
– Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) May 27, 2020
In May, Snyder confirmed that DC Comics’ cosmic conqueror would actually appear in his version of the Justice League. The infamous villain was originally supposed to be the main antagonist in a second Justice League film, but that project was discontinued after the poor performance of the first film.
Although Snyder didn’t reveal exactly what the character will look like in the Justice League, the image he posted offers a nightmarish vision of Darkseid’s plans, with the character appearing against a backdrop of massive war machines on the broken, molten surface of a planet.
How we got here
Originally intended as a two-part finale to the saga Snyder launched with the 2013 Superman franchise reboot of Man of Steel, the studio’s plans for the Justice League were derailed when Zack and Deborah Snyder (his wife and production partner) opened the film in May Left in 2017 because of her daughter’s death.
Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed The Avengers in 2012, was commissioned to complete the film. In July 2017, extensive new recordings were planned, which cost an additional $ 25 million and pushed the production costs of the film over the $ 300 million mark.
The Justice League hit theaters in November 2017, and although some of the world’s most iconic superheroes starred in Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the film received disappointing box office results and poor reviews from both professional critics and the general public Audience. The Justice League was the first DC Extended Universe film not to exceed $ 100 million on the opening weekend, and became one of the lowest-grossing films in the DCEU domestically and abroad.
The bottom line is that the film did almost as badly with the reviewers as it did with the audience. It received only 40% positive reviews – making it one of the lowest rated films in the DCEU (after Suicide Squad and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice).
Although Zack Snyder’s two previous DCEU films (Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman) both received negative reviews, fans of the franchise were quick to blame Whedon and Warner Bros. Pictures for the Justice League’s mistakes. A campaign to release a film clip by a director began almost immediately, with supporters using the hashtag “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut”. The campaign gained momentum as supporters used aggressive fan activism to persuade the studio to release a re-cut version of the film.
As the # ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement gained traction, it also drew significant criticism for the use of aggressive threats and cyberbullying by some of its supporters to drive the campaign forward. DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson was among the campaigns targeted with coordinated harassment that drove it off Twitter, while entertainment journalists who rated the film negatively – women in particular – were also targeted.
In the years that followed, Snyder and the Justice League casting and creative team continued to fuel the campaign, dropping evidence that a director’s cut of the film existed, and encouraging supporters to demand its release. Despite the questionable tactics of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign, backers were rewarded in May 2020 when Snyder officially announced that his version of the film would actually be released.
WarnerMedia and HBO Max then confirmed Snyder’s announcement, stating that the Snyder Cut of Justice League would debut on the streaming service in 2021.