A couple of weeks back, Warner Bros. rocked the movie industry by unexpectedly announcing that they planned to stream all their big forthcoming releases on HBO Max on the same day the films debuted in theaters, starting with DC’s delayed blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day.
With all 17 of the studio’s 2021 movies suddenly heading to HBO Max, everyone from outraged US theater owners to Tenet helmer Christopher Nolan reacted to the move, which was not mirrored by rival studio Disney during their recent Investors Day. Now, Justice League director Zack Snyder, who has recently been welcomed back into the fold at Warner Bros. with open arms, has also weighed in on the decision.
Snyder has already committed to streaming his cut of the maligned 2017 DC team-up film in several parts on HBO Max next year, but is also hoping to release the mammoth endeavor theatrically.
“I’m a huge fan and a big supporter of the cinematic experience, and we’re already talking about Justice League playing theatrically at the same time it’s coming to HBO Max,” informed EW. “So weirdly, it’s the reverse [of the trend].”
Snyder tried to see both sides of WB’s announcement, and seems to be aware of the fallout from the announcement, which Nolan described as a messy “bait and switch” that used the pandemic “as an excuse for sort of grappling for short-term advantage”.
“It felt like a pretty bold move and that maybe the implication wasn’t 100 percent thought out,” Snyder mused. “I feel like there’s a lot of people panicking during COVID. I hope that, in the end, that’s what this was — some sort of knee-jerk to COVID and not some sort of greater move to disrupt the theatrical experience. I thought we were kind of already getting very close to the ideal theatrical window where you still had marketing material out there and you hadn’t forgotten about the film by the time it came out on DVD or streaming. I thought we were starting to hone in on that sweet spot, but this kind of throws a monkey wrench in the works.”
Snyder has also been hyping up his forthcoming cut of Justice League again, and this time he’s revealed his prediction that the film will be slapped with an R rating due to its increased level of violence and swearing.
“Here’s one piece of information nobody knows: The movie is insane and so epic and is probably rated R — that’s one thing I think will happen, that it will be an R-rated version, for sure,” Snyder said. “We haven’t heard from the MPAA, but that’s my gut.”
The director cites both an ‘F-bomb’ from Batman and added carnage from villain Steppenwolf as reasons that the MPAA won’t be as kind to his new version of Justice League.
“There’s one scene where Batman drops an F-bomb,” he confirmed. “Cyborg is not too happy with what’s going on with his life before he meets the Justice League, and he tends to speak his mind. And Steppenwolf is pretty much just hacking people in half. So [the rating would be due to] violence and profanity, probably both.”
The Snyder Cut of Justice League will come to HBO Max in early to mid-2021 as a four-part miniseries, and a proposed four-hour theatrical release is set to follow.