Warner Bros.

Perhaps the longest fan social media campaign ever has finally paid off, as Warner Brothers will release “The Snyder Cut” of the box office disappointment ‘Justice League’ via HBO Max.  Zack Snyder himself made the bombshell announcement following a Vero Watch Party for one of his other WB DC movies, ‘Man of Steel’.

Warner Brothers will spend an additional $20-30 million on “The Snyder Cut” for added special effects, score, and editing.  It doesn’t appear that any reshoots will be done, even though Snyder reportedly had plans for some additional scenes which were not filmed, for instance, a Martian Manhunter cameo.  However, it is believed that some of the cast will be brought back to record some new dialogue.  “The Snyder Cut” will be released in 2021 and will allegedly be four hours long (!) or may be broken up into a six-hour miniseries (!!).  (via The Hollywood Reporter)

As Snyder explained:

“It will be an entirely new thing, and, especially talking to those who have seen the released movie, a new experience apart from that movie. You probably saw one-fourth of what I did [in the theatrical version].”

Warner Bros.

Snyder previously directed ‘Man of Steel’, which grossed $668M at the box office on a budget of $225M.  Not a smash hit, but Warner Brothers executives had been taking heat from stockholders who pointed at the success of Disney/Marvel Studios’ shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, and wanted to know why WB was not exploiting its DC Comics properties on the big screen in a similar fashion.  ‘Man of Steel’, it seems, was successful enough that WB opted to use it as the foundation for its own shared universe– sometimes called the DC Extended Universe.  Snyder was set to be one of the main architects of this endeavor.

Unfortunately, Snyder’s follow-up, ‘Batman V Superman’ was a disaster.  It made more than ‘Man of Steel’– $873M, but its budget was also higher– $250M.  And pretty much everyone hated it.  (Mostly.)

But WB and Snyder had moved quickly to launch this shared universe and Snyder had helmed almost all of the next movie in the series, ‘Justice League’, which was meant to be DC’s answer to Disney/Marvel’s ‘Avengers’.  Snyder was allegedly fired with Joss Whedon, who actually directed ‘Avengers’, tasked with editing Snyder’s footage and helming reshoots.  Whether or not Snyder was fired or not is debatable, as the director himself stated that he withdrew due to a very real family tragedy.

Warner Bros.

On a budget of $300M, ‘Justice League’ only made $657.9M at the global box office.  Viewers had had enough of this dull and somber DCEU.  Well… most of them.

Even though ‘Batman V Superman’ was widely and loudly criticized, not everyone hated it.  Fans were looking forward to seeing what Snyder had planned for ‘Justice League’.  It is believed that Whedon’s version was much lighter and more comedic than what Snyder would have delivered.  Junkie XL (real name Thomas Holkenborg) had co-written the scores for ‘MoS’ and ‘BvS’ with Hans Zimmer.  For ‘JL’, Zimmer chose not to return, so Junkie XL went to work on the score only to be replaced by Danny Elfman.  It now seems that Junkie XL will be brought back to finish what he began on ‘JL’.

A campaign to “Release the Snyder Cut” has been chugging along since 2017 and has remarkably not lost much steam, even though many associated with the film and Warner Brothers have insisted that Snyder never assembled a cut of the movie and had departed well before that stage of the process.  But Snyder himself has insisted that he has put together his own cut, and furthermore, that he has never seen Whedon’s theatrical edit.

Snyder stated:

Warner Bros.

“I always thought it was a thing that in 20 years, maybe somebody would do a documentary and I could lend them the footage, little snippets of a cut no one has ever seen.”

Snyder’s wife and production partner, Deborah, added:

“With the new platform and streaming services, you can have something like this. You can’t release something like this theatrically, but you could with a streaming service. It’s an opportunity that wasn’t there two years ago, to be honest.”

“The Snyder Cut” won’t be released until some time next year, however, so there is still quite a wait before the faithful will be rewarded for their persistence.

‘Justice League’ starred Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash/Barry Allen, Ray Fisher as Cyborg/Victor Stone, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as MARTHA!!!, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, J. K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Amber Heard as Mera, and Joe Morton as Silas Stone.

HBO Max will launch next week on May 27.