The Justice League Snyder Cut is real, and it's coming to HBO Max in 2021. The film is a new version of 2017's pretty bad Justice League movie, finished by its original director Zack Snyder, who left the project during production at the time for personal reasons. Expect a vastly different and far longer film this time, possibly split into episodes.
Originally intended as the DC Comics equivalent to Marvel's enormously successful Avengers films, Justice League was a follow-up to Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice that didn't feel like it was part of the same series of films. The Snyder Cut should correct this, but whether it'll be a great film or not is yet to be seen. Expect a fascinating finished result, though.
Here's what we know about the Justice League Snyder Cut so far, including all the new information following the DC FanDome event in August 2020, plus the release date, budget, trailer and Darkseid's appearance in the movie.
What is the the Snyder Cut of Justice League?
The Snyder Cut is a new version of 2017's Justice League movie, which is coming to the new streaming service HBO Max in 2021. It's the movie as envisioned by original director Zack Snyder, who left production halfway through to deal with a personal tragedy along with his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder.
Avengers director Joss Whedon stepped in to help finish the film, which was ultimately a critical and commercial flop. Justice League was mocked extensively for its reshot scenes featuring Henry Cavill's CG'd upper lip, the result of him being forced to retain a mustache during reshoots to finish filming Mission Impossible: Fallout.
Following Justice League's release, fans started petitioning to release the Snyder cut of the film, with actors Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck joining in on an extensive hashtag campaign. In December 2019, Snyder confirmed the cut was real in a post on social media network Vero.
In early February 2020, a group of Warner executives went to Snyder's house to watch a cut of the movie, and to figure how much finishing it will cost, according to a THR interview with the director. Warner greenlit the project and announced it for HBO Max in May 2020, and the Snyders have begun the process of finishing the movie, which involves rehiring their original post-production crew. As well as being edited and scored differently, it's possible actors will return to record more dialogue. Extensive effects work will be required to finish the Snyder Cut, too.
There will also be revised or "retellings" of scenes from the original 2017 effort. We know that the Snyder Cut will follow on directly from Batman vs Superman as Bats and the Man of Steel almost annihilate Metropolis to the sounds of 'The Times They Are A-Changing', but we also know the second shot from the trailer - Superman fighting Doomsday - will be the movie's opening. It'll certainly be a nice change from Superman's suspect CGI upper lip.
The Justice League Snyder Cut will be four hour-long episodes
The Justice League Snyder Cut will release on HBO Max in its 214-minute-entirety as four hour-long 'episodes'. "I always thought that was a potential for the film, the way I shot it,” Snyder said in a chat with the Reel in Motion podcast. “When they said two hours, they kept telling me two hours. I literally thought it was a joke." Snyder believes that maybe a quarter of his work ended up in the final cut, so expect an entirely new movie at the end of all this.
The finished film should feel like a more suitable follow-up to Man of Steel and Batman Vs Superman. "This movie was the culmination of a hero’s journey that all these characters went on," producer Deborah Snyder told THR. "And the idea was always to build them up to be the heroes people expected them to be." Hopefully, it'll make for a more satisfying viewing experience generally.
The finished result of 2017's Justice League is likely a more complicated matter than being a single person's fault, though. In this interview with Holt McCallany, who briefly appears in Justice League as a criminal chased by Batman across Gotham's rooftops, he mentions his scene was re-edited at the behest of the studio and not director Joss Whedon.
Justice League Snyder Cut trailer: Watch the FanDome reveal
Following the teaser a week before it, we got our first Justice League Snyder Cut trailer at DC's virtual FanDome event. Including scenes originally left on the cutting room floor, we see Superman and Cyborg featuring much more prominently. so it looks like we'll be seeing more from them in this new version. But that's not the only thing that's different: the Snyder Cut seems darker than the original.
We also get to see more from Darkseid, and the backstories of Cyborg and The Flash. "Cyborg is the heart of the movie. He's the thing that holds the team together in the end. I'm excited for fans to see how that's realized on camera," Snyder explained at the event. He also mentioned that "You're going to see tonnes more of The Flash... a little bit more of his emotional arc, and I hope the fans enjoy seeing that."
For more on what we thought of the first trailer, here are 5 things we love, and 2 things we don't like about it. In short, Darkseid looks bad, and more Cyborg and Superman can never be a bad thing.
Justice League Snyder Cut release date: 2021 on HBO Max
The Justice League Snyder Cut release date is set for 2021 on HBO Max. However, the director doesn't want any region which doesn't have the service to miss out: "I promise you, you’re gonna get a chance to see it,” Snyder said at FanDome 2020.
What is the Justice League Snyder Cut budget?
The Snyder Cut budget hasn't been confirmed, but it's upwards of $30 million. WarnerMedia's chairman Bob Greenblatt spoke to Vox's Recode Media podcast on the matter. "I'll just say I wish it was just $30 million, and stop there!"
Will the Justice League Snyder Cut be any good, though?
Zack Snyder's DC Comics movies have proved enormously divisive, but they're singular creations that stand apart from the Marvel movies. We're not convinced an amazing movie is waiting for us, here - arguably it's pointless, but everyone will watch it and, plus, it can't be worse than the version of Justice League we have now. Besides, Snyder deserves his shot at finishing this film, given the circumstances that led to his original exit.