Just as he promised in the days leading up to the virtual DC FanDome convention, Zack Snyder dropped the official first trailer today for his much-talked-about director’s cut of “Justice League,” widely known across the internet as the Snyder Cut. Snyder has been teasing fans with quick glimpses of new footage on social media ever since WarnerMedia confirmed May 20 that it would be allowing Snyder the opportunity to complete his director’s cut for a 2021 release date on the new streaming platform HBO Max. Snyder said during the panel that his cut will unfold as four one-hour installments, and that a distribution plan is in the works for audiences who don’t have access to HBO Max.
Fan demand for the Snyder Cut has raged on social media ever since Snyder stepped down from directing “Justice League” following a personal tragedy in May 2017. The film was Snyder’s next effort in the DC Extended Universe after “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the latter of which earned critical pans for its overtly grim tone. Warner Bros. brought in Joss Wehdon to oversee “Justice League” reshoots and complete the movie in post-production.
The exact details of what happened when Whedon joined the production remain murky. It’s common knowledge that Whedon overhauled Snyder’s darker tone, adding a lighter atmosphere and more jokes to the theatrical cut. In recent weeks, “Justice League” cyborg actor Ray Fisher has accused Whedon and producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg of demonstrating “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior during the reshoot process. WarnerMedia is currently investigating Fisher’s claims.
Whedon’s theatrical cut of “Justice League” opened in November 2017 to dismal reviews and disappointing box office numbers, prompting DCEU fans to demand the release of the Snyder Cut with greater fervor. A highlight of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement arrived in summer 2019 when Snyder fans crowdfunded $20,000 to market for the movie at Comic-Con. Fan efforts paid off with the May 2020 announcement that the Snyder Cut had the greenlight.
Completing the Snyder Cut is no small endeavor as the majority of the footage Snyder shot for his version of “Justice League” was scrapped before VFX was completed. HBO Max boss Bob Greenblatt said in May that WarnerMedia was preparing to spend over $30 million to complete Snyder’s version of “Justice League.” Many of the actors, including Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, are returning to provide any additional dialogue as needed.
The Snyder cut of “Justice League” will world-premiere in 2021 on HBO Max. Watch the first official trailer for the superhero tentpole in the video below.
Ryan Lattanzio contributed reporting.