Those disappointed with the theatrical version of Justice League can breath a sigh of relief and, at long last, lay down their hashtags. The fabled “Snyder Cut” of the film is coming to HBO Max in 2021.
In 2017, director Zack Snyder walked away from the film, which was in post-production, after the tragic death of his daughter. He was replaced by Joss Whedon, who had been previously hired to write some new scenes for planned reshoots. He directed the new material and supervised a new edit which … well … even at the time we felt the clashing mixture of the two directors styles led to a fairly compromised end-product. But as Snyder’s previous DC films also left us unimpressed, we were happy to let the matter end with the whimper that was Justice League.
But a legion of the director’s fans would not let it pass — especially when they learned Snyder completed an early edit of the film before he departed — and demanded for years that Warner Bros Pictures, and eventually AT&T release the version Snyder intended. “Since I got here 14 months ago, the chant to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has been a daily drumbeat in our offices and inboxes,” Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, Warner Media Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, said in a statement. “Well, the fans have asked, and we are thrilled to finally deliver. At the end of the day, it really is all about them and we are beyond excited to be able to release Zack’s ultimate vision for this film in 2021. This could never have happened if it weren’t for the hard work and combined efforts of the teams at HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures.”
“I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized. Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality,” added Snyder, who is bringing back much of the original crew to finish the film.
According to various reports, the Snyder Cut will cost around $20 million to complete effects work and mount a handful of reshoots. And as this number has been floating around for awhile, it seems AT&T and Warner Media have calculated a profit to be made from the investment — the only thing really holding back the Snyder Cut all this time.
And even though we are not fans of Snyder’s work, it will be interesting to see if his version of Justice League is a more solid work than its theatrical counterpart. We genuinely doubt it will be much of an improvement, but at least its successes and missteps will be Snyder’s to own.