Zack Snyder’s infamous director’s cut of HBO Max, the latest big streaming service, last week it would answer the call to release The Snyder Cut in 2021. One report suggested the extra work that would involve, including added visual effects, would cost the company up to $30 million.is quickly turning into a project of juggernaut proportions.
Head of HBO Max and WarnerMedia Bob Greenblatt has since suggested the “wildly expensive” Snyder Cut, which “does not exist” yet, will cost even more than that. We can also expect it to be a “radical rethinking”, after months of discussion on how to tackle the project between Snyder and the producers.
With millions of dollars, extra characters and a mini-series format in the mix of rumors, let’s run through everything we know so far.
What’s The Snyder Cut?
In a nutshell, The Snyder Cut is a version of 2017’s Justice League cut together by director Zack Snyder. His take on the superhero ensemble blockbuster never made it to theaters, after he was forced to step down in the final stages of the project.
After principal photography finished sometime at the end of 2016, Warner Bros. executives reportedly saw a rough cut of Snyder’s footage and, dissatisfied, wanted changes. But in 2017, Snyder stepped down during the editing process to deal the death of his daughter.
Joss Whedon came in to handle editorial and reshoots, but did not receive a director’s credit, suggesting the finished product contained most of Snyder’s original footage.
However, several plotlines were abandoned and the runtime hacked down from three and a half hours to 120 minutes. Snyder estimated the movie we saw in theaters contained “one fourth” of his contribution.
While we’ll probably never know the hard facts of what happened behind-the-scenes on the movie, which was torn to shreds by critics and disappointed at the box office, at least we’ll finally get to see how big the disparity between the two versions really is.
What’s going to be different?
A ‘radical rethinking’ and $30 million-plus
Snyder’s original crew is getting back together to cut the footage, with a different score, finished visual effects and additional dialogue from actors to fill in the gaps. All of this could cost up to $30 million, THR reported.
However, an interview with Bob Greenblatt saw the head of HBO Max and WarnerMedia suggest the movie will cost much more than that to complete. He explained the Snyder Cut “does not exist”, because Snyder is still building the “wildly expensive” movie, a “radical rethinking” of the 2017 version.
Here are his full comments:
“It’s been months of discussions with Zack and the producers to figure out how to do it,” Greenblatt said on the Recode Media podcast. “Because it isn’t as easy as just going into the vault and there’s a Snyder Cut sitting there to put out… it does not exist. Zack is actually building it, and it’s complex. Including — and I don’t want to get into too much detail that we haven’t already talked about yet — but new effects shots. It’s a radical rethinking of that movie, and it’s complicated and wildly expensive, of course a number I won’t quote… I’ll just say I wish it was just $30 million… It’s an enormous undertaking and very complex.”
In January, Snyder droppedfrom his original footage featuring Ryan Choi, aka Atom. The genius size-shifter, as well as Martian Manhunter, The Green Lantern and Darkseid, have all been dangled by Snyder as what you would get in his non-slimmed-down version.
Actor Ray Porter confirmed his involvement with the movie on Twitter: “I played Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s “Justice League”. There. It’s out now.”
That’s a lot of characters. To ensure Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg have ample character-building screen time, a mini-series, or six “chapters” could be in the cards, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (The other rumored option is a four-hour director’s cut, but let’s not encourage that.)
A different end-credits scene
In the end-credits of the theatrical cut, sword-wielding assassin Deathstroke joins Lex Luthor to create their own Justice League. Deathstroke actor Joe Manganiello suggested we would see a different scene, linked to Deathstroke’s involvement in Ben Affleck’s now-canned Batman film.
Why is it such a big deal?
Members of the cast, from Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Henry Cavill (Superman) to Jason Momoa (Aquaman), have all rallied behind The Snyder Cut, alongside a long-running fan campaign on social media urging Warner Bros. to release it. After trending on and off for a year, #ReleaseTheSnyderCutsurged on Twitter in the lead up to the two-year anniversary of Justice League’s release.
Now, in response to this massive outpour of support, WarnerMedia Entertainment (which owns HBO Max) chairman Robert Greenblatt released the statement:
“Since I got here 14 months ago, the chant to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has been a daily drumbeat in our offices and inboxes. 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.”
Snyder also dropped the big news to fans watching his Man of Steel quarantine watch party.
“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.”
When and where will it come out?
The Zack Snyder cut of Justice League will be released on HBO Max sometime in 2021. The streaming service, which will host loads of exclusive content from WarnerMedia and DC Comics, launches May 27. Here’s how to.
Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill respond
A bunch of the cast jumped on Instagram to congratulate Snyder following the news.
“I’m very excited Zack’s getting the chance to finally see his vision realized,” Affleck said on the Kevin Smith Podcast.
Henry Cavill wrote, “Big congratulations to you, Mr Snyder!”
Jason Momoa, aka prideofgypsies, wrote: “WE WANT finally it’s happening. your welcome. justice served. all my aloha to everyone who made this happen. all the fans. we love you. ALOHA J.”
And Ray Fisher, aka Cyborg, wrote: “For those who fought. For those who believed. Thank you.”
Finally, HBO Max released new posters of the gang.
Originally published May 20.
Update, May 24: Adds Ben Affleck’s response; May 27: Adds head of HBO Max’s comments, Ray Porter tweet.