After more than two years of fan demand, Warner Bros. is finally going to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Director Zack Snyder never got to realize his vision for Justice League, which originally hit theaters in November 2017. But the studio is now giving Snyder the resources he needs to bring his vision to life, with the Snyder Cut set to be released on HBO Max next year.
Billed as Zack Snyder's Justice League, this will provide DC fans with the version of the movie the filmmaker originally intended to make. There are so many questions raised by the impending release, especially for more casual fans who haven't been following the situation for the past couple of years. There are still many questions that need answering but for now, here is everything we know about the Snyder Cut.
When is the Snyder Cut release date?
Confirmed: Zack Snyder's Justice League will be released on March 18, 2021 on HBO Max as one 4-hour long cut, and not a miniseries as previously rumored.
Where Can You Watch Zack Snyder's Justice League?
The Snyder Cut will be streaming on HBO Max. The streaming service is set to be a major part of WarnerMedia's business going forward as they look to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and NBC's Peacock in the streaming game. DC is one of the strongest brands the company has at its disposal, and given the demand to see Zack Snyder's vision brought to life, the hope is that this will help drive subscribers. So expect this to be an exclusive release on HBO max, at least at first. We can't rule out a physical home media release down the line, but for those who want to see it right away, a new streaming subscription will be necessary.
What is the Snyder Cut?
Those who are perhaps not steeped in the world of DC fandom may be confused about what exactly the Snyder Cut is. Zack Snyder directed both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, with Justice League set to be the third entry in his version of what we now know as the DCEU. However, the response to BvS was quite divisive and Warner Bros. didn't seem to be prepared for that. But production on Justice League began mere weeks after the movie's release. The train was already moving down the tracks.
As the story goes, Snyder screened an early assembly cut for executives. Sometime thereafter, the filmmaker faced a personal tragedy and left the production. Joss Whedon, known as the director of The Avengers, stepped in to oversee rewrites/reshoots. It's said Whedon contributed as much as 80 pages, which is hugely significant. The movie that was released in theaters didn't at all resemble what Snyder had originally envisioned.
Not long after, a vocal group of fans began calling for Warner Bros to "release the Snyder Cut." For more than two years, the movement grew and became much more than just a niche group of fanboys and fangirls who wanted to see what the director originally had in mind. So, in short, the Snyder Cut is the version of Justice League that Snyder originally intended to make before things went off the rails.
Several Posters Have Already Been Released
Shortly after the official announcement for the Snyder Cut came, a few posters were revealed. HBO Mas released the first image, which sees The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman gathered together. Zack Snyder then took to Twitter to share a new poster that features the Justice League logo, providing the simple caption, "This is real." Several character posters were also shared. Interestingly, black and white has been a focus in these posters, which is in stark contrast to the colorful nature of the theatrical cut. It's also worth noting that, save for the poster Snyder shared, it seems these are largely recycled promotional shots from the first time around.
Does the Snyder Cut Have an Official Title?
While the movie is most commonly referred to as the Snyder Cut, thanks to the extensive fan campaign that convinced the brass at Warner Bros. to release it in the first place, that will not be the official title. Instead, when Snyder revealed that the cut was finally going to be released, the image he showed fans revealed that the official title will be Zack Snyder's Justice League. This is leaning into the idea that this new cut will indeed represent his original vision.
How much will the Snyder Cut cost?
It was widely-reported in the years that following the theatrical cut of Justice League that the fabled Snyder Cut wasn't release-ready. The cut that had screened for studio executives was an assembly cut that still needed a lot of work. Visual effects. Additional filming. It wasn't a completed movie. With Warner Bros. opting to release the Snyder Cut, they will need to provide the financial resources to make that happen. It was initially expected that this will cost the studio between $20 and $30 million. But that figure was later updated to $70 million or more. That represents a sizable investment, especially considering they already lost money on the movie during its initial release. Because of the extensive reshoots, it's said the project's budget ballooned to approximately $300 million, which made its $657 million box office haul profit-prohibitive.
Is the Justice League Cast Returning for reshoots?
Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller and, in particular, Jason Momoa, have all shown their support for Zack Snyder's vision in the past. Once the release was officially announced, it was revealed that all of the cast members were contacted in case they were needed for additional voiceover work, or possibly reshoots. Before the announcement was made, Snyder had teased that they would need to do some additional filming and even auctioned off a prize for a fan to visit the set during said reshoots, should they ever take place. Reshoots did indeed take place. While they weren't overly extensive, Jared Leto's Joker was added and Joe Manganiello returned to shoot more scenes as Deathstroke.
How Long is the Snyder Cut Going to Be?
No official running time has been confirmed for Zack Snyder's Justice League yet, but expect it to be long. In a report from THR detailing the behind-the-scenes goings on that led to the release, it was revealed that the director's original cut would have been four-hours long. Whether or not that is the actual length it ends up being in its final form remains to be seen. It was also teased at one point, with Snyder sharing some film canisters, that the running time for his assembly cut was 214 minutes, or 3 hours and 34 minutes. That is likely why it may be split up as a miniseries on HBO Max upon release.
Will Darkseid be in the Snyder Cut?
The short answer to this question is yes. Darkseid will be in the Snyder Cut. In the years following the release of Justice League in theaters, Zack Snyder shared a number of social media posts offering glimpses at his vision for the movie. Steppenwolf was the main villain in the theatrical version, but Snyder made it inescapably clear in his posts that Darkseid would have been included in his cut. It has since been confirmed in reports that the villain will appear, though just how much screen time he will get remains to be seen. Actor Ray Porter had been cast to play Darkseid before Snyder left the project originally. In one of his posts, Snyder teased a massive battle sequence featuring the villain, which we will likely see in the final version. This will mark the character's live-action debut, which is significant. Especially since Ava DuVernay has teased that he will also be included in her New Gods movie, which is currently in the works.
Will a New Green Lantern Appear?
In the theatrical cut of Justice League a lesser-known Green Lantern member named Yalen Gur appeared in a flashback battle sequence. It was a small moment, but not insignificant, as it represents the first time we had seen a Green Lantern of any kind in the DCEU. But will we see a well-known member of the Green Lantern Corps. in the Snyder Cut? Perhaps Hal Jordan or John Stewart? That hasn't been confirmed just yet, but Zack Snyder has hinted that his version of the movie would contain just such an appearance in the past. One rumor suggested that Jeremy Irons' Alfred Pennyworth was actually meant to come face-to-face with the mystery Lantern in a deleted scene that didn't make it into the theatrical cut. For now, there is no definitive answer, but don't be surprised if we see Green Lantern in a more significant capacity.
Is Martian Manhunter Going to Appear in the Snyder Cut?
Confirmed: Martian Manhunter will appear in Zack Snyder's Justice League played by Harry Lennix.
One character that has yet to appear in the DCEU, at least not officially, is Martian Manhunter. However, actor Harry Lennix, who appeared in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as General Swanwick, was originally supposed to be revealed as the intergalactic hero in Justice League. In October 2019, taking to Vero, Zack Snyder made the reveal. "I was able to shoot all of it except for the Harry Lennix side," Snyder revealed in his post alongside some concept art. "It was my intention to do that in LA," he revealed. Now, does this mean Martian Manhunter will appear in the Snyder Cut? It would seem so, but that could depend on how much Snyder gets to accomplish in reshoots and if Lennix is available. But this seems possible, if not probable.
How Much Work Needs to be Done on the Snyder Cut?
Over the last couple of years one of the biggest questions about the Snyder Cut is just how complete is it. Several prominent individuals involved with the movie, such as Jason Momoa, claimed to have seen it. Others had suggested the cut didn't exist at all. Or, at the very least, it was far from a completed version. Since the announcement, new details have come to light. Zack Snyder had an assembly cut of Justice League before leaving the project. This means the scenes were put together in sequence, but there were virtually no visual effects and much work still needed to be done. That is where Snyder will be picking up. So this won't be just adding a few tweaks here and there. A great deal of post-production work, and perhaps even some reshoots, will be needed. This will be a major undertaking for Snyder and the studio.
How Much New Footage Will be in Zack Snyder's Justice League?
Sometimes director's cuts include minimal bits of new footage. Occasionally they improve upon the theatrical cut a great deal. But an extended cut, or something of the like, oftentimes won't consist of a great deal of new material when compared to the whole. The Snyder Cut is, however, not a typical situation. The theatrical cut of Justice League clocked in at two hours. Zack Snyder has indicated that his original version would have been four hours. Not only that, but Snyder said that we "probably saw one-fourth" of what he did in the theatrical cut. That means we can expect to see a ton of new footage in this new version of the movie. If the full, uncompromised version makes it out there, it could be as much as three hours of additional material.
Will Superman Wear his Black Suit in the Snyder Cut?
This is something that goes back a long way, even before the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement became a thing. Way back in August 2016, Superman actor Henry Cavill shared a post on Instagram that appeared to be a zoomed-in look at the hero's iconic black suit from the pages of DC Comics. For those who may not be familiar, this version of the suit first appeared in the Death and Return of Superman arc. Following the famed Death of Superman storyline, which was loosely adapted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the character was brought back to life. But when the hero emerged, he had ditched the iconic blue and read in favor of a jet-black look. Aside from Cavill's social media tease, it has been hinted in the past that the suit would factor into Snyder's version of the movie. As for how prominently it will be featured? That is the big question, but at the very least, expect to see it on screen in some way. Just don't expect to see Cavill rocking the black mullet from the comics.
Will the Snyder Cut be released in Theaters?
This is a difficult question to answer. For now, Zack Snyder's Justice League is only set to be released on HBO Max. This is undoubtedly to help bolster interest in the streaming service and amass subscribers. What can almost certainly be ruled out is a widespread theatrical release. Instead, if anything, we may get some sort of limited engagement in theaters, which is something Snyder has teased in interviews. Perhaps a one-night-only fan screening, or something along those lines. With the studio investing millions in the director's cut, they will surely want to do everything they can to capitalize on it. That may include a limited big screen run. That having been said, this is largely going to be a streaming play, with a possible physical release on home media down the line.
Is the Snyder Cut Going to Be Released as a Miniseries?
Zack Snyder's original vision for Justice League is said to have clocked in at roughly four hours in length. That is far longer than even the longest movies. With that in mind, there was some talk that the Snyder Cut could be released as a four-part miniseries. In some ways, it made sense for HBO Max. Aside from not wanting to release an overly-long movie all at once, dividing the cut into episodes, perhaps released week-to-week, could help bolster the benefit for the streaming service, in terms of holding interest and maintaining subscribers. But Snyder has confirmed that it will be released as a movie, all at once. So plan your bathroom breaks accordingly.
Will Zack Snyder's Justice League Have a New Post-Credits scene?
Confirmed: Zack Snyder's Justice League will not have a post-credits scene.
The original release of Justice League contained two post-credits scenes, but it seems neither of them was part of Zack Snyder's vision. The first scene sees The Flash and Superman finally trying to settle the age-old debate about who is fastest. The second, however, was far more significant in terms of the future of the DCEU, as it featured a true-to-form Lex Luthor, once again played by Jesse Eisenberg, who meets up with Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke on a yacht. Luthor proposes that they put together a team of their own, setting up a supervillain team, perhaps the Legion of Doom or the Injustice League.
But once the news of the Snyder Cut release came to light, Manganiello teased that we could see something quite different in this version. The actor posted a cryptic tweet that reads, "The original end credit scene..." along with bat, skull and sword emojis. As DC fans may well recall, back when Ben Affleck was set to direct and star in The Batman, Manganiello had been tapped to play Deathstroke, who was presumably the main villain. It seems the original post-credits scene would have set that up. With any luck, it will be included in the upcoming release.
This Version Will Include More Character Exploration
Team-up movies are a tricky thing to handle. Especially when major characters such as Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg only appeared in brief cameos before Justice League. But fear not, as Zack Snyder assures that his cut of the movie will include more character exploration. "What's so lovely about this is that we get to explore these characters in ways that you're not able to in a shorter theatrical version," Snyder said speaking to The Hollywood Reporter following the announcement of the release. So we should get some more depth for the heroes, and possibly the villains as well. Steppenwolf, as was presented, was not the most compelling villain in the eyes of many fans and critics.
It Will Probably Set Up Sequels, But Will We See them?
One complicated thing about releasing the Snyder Cut is that it represents a version of the DCEU that Warner Bros. has since moved on from. Originally, Zack Snyder had a five-movie arc mapped out, and Justice League was going to be the third part. It would have set up at least one, if not two additional sequels that would have paid off some arcs that were already set up in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Primarily, we got a glimpse at what the world would look like under Darkseid's rule during Bruce Wayne's nightmare sequence. In it, we see that Superman has turned evil and Earth has become a post-apocalyptic wasteland overrun with Parademons.
Bruce is eventually visited by a version of Flash from the future who says "Lois Lane" is the key. Zack Snyder, at one point, explained in detail what the long arc would have looked like. We would have eventually wound up in that future, with Superman succumbing to the Anti-Life equation, turning him evil. Ultimately, the group would hatch a plan to send Flash back in time to warn Bruce, which explains the scene from BvS. Just how much of this will end up in the Snyder Cut remains to be seen, but it seems we could be left with something of a cliffhanger. But with Ben Affleck already retired from the role of Batman and DC Films soldiering on, it seems unlikely that whatever future stories are set up will ever be resolved. Then again, many never thought we would ever see this movie released, so stranger things have happened.
When will we see the Justice League Snyder Cut Trailer?
We have indeed seen a couple of different trailers for Zack Snyder's Justice League already released. The first trailer was surprisingly filled with quite a bit of footage we had already seen, though we did get a glimpse at Darkseid in action, which is big. The trailers have also showcased Superman in his black suit, Steppenwolf's redesign and much more. We are almost certainly going to get at least one more trailer leading up to the release, and we'll be sure to keep you posted on that front.