Well, it’s official. HBO Max will #ReleaseTheSnyderCut of Zack Snyder’s ill fated Justice League movie. After years of social media buzz, and a quiet campaign of hint dropping from the director himself, Zack Snyder’s original unfiltered vision for Justice League will see release on the new streaming service.
“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,” offered Zack Snyder in a statement.
The press release doesn’t offer any other details about the form that the film will take. Snyder had completed most of the filming on Justice League before leaving the project after a family tragedy. He was replaced by Joss Whedon, and the project underwent significant rewrites, re-shoots, and some would say a tonal shift. It’s been said that Snyder’s vision for Justice League is much closer to what was on display in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice than the relatively lighter story we got in the Joss Whedon finished product.
“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,” added Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, Warner Media Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer.
The announcement is sure to excite elements of DC fandom to subscribe to HBO Max, if not immediately at launch, whenever the Snyder Cut arrives.
“When Zack and Debbie shared the extraordinary vision of where Zack wanted to take Justice League, my team and our counterparts at Warner Bros. took it as a mission to solve the many issues that stood in the way,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer at HBO Max, President, TNT, TBS and truTV. “Thanks to the partnership at Warner Bros. and the relentless pursuit of the entire WarnerMax team we are able to deliver this incredibly exciting moment for Zack, the fans and HBO Max.”
So what form will the film take? It doesn’t seem likely that this is a fully formed, finished product (despite the fact that much of the necessary filming was probably complete), as it has been rumored that post production to complete the film would run into eight figures. The Hollywood Reporter estimates that this will cost between $20 and $30 million to complete, and that the film could “be released as an almost four-hour directors cut” or as a six chapter “miniseries.” On the other hand, up until this week, it didn’t seem terribly likely that this film would ever see release in its director’s original vision, either, so what the hell do we know, right? Post production like this can be done remotely, and it’s not like Warner Bros. has a lot of product to put out while the world waits out the COVID-19 pandemic.
That “four hour” runtime lines up with the original studio vision for the film, which at one point was supposed to be released as a two-parter, a model that Warner Bros. saw success with in The Hunger Games and Harry Potter franchises. THR also reports “the Snyders are now in the midst of reassembling much of their original post production crew to score, cut, add new and finish old visual effects, and, yes, maybe bring back many of the actors to record additional dialogue.” So this isn’t a small operation.
HBO Max will launch on May 27.