It’s actually happening: Zack Snyder is getting to release his director’s cut of Justice League. Made possible by a passionate (some would argue too passionate at times) fan campaign that has spread like wildfire online ever since Warner Bros’ superhero team-up movie’s original 2017 theatrical release, this “Snyder Cut” will debut in 2021 on the HBO Max streaming service. To finish off his version of the film, Snyder is reportedly assembling the original post-production crew and has been given in the region of $20-30 million to finish the VFX, create a new musical score, re-edit the footage, and record new dialogue.
You may have noticed something missing in that list, and it’s something we picked up on as well when we reported on the news last week: No mention of shooting any additional scenes. Corroborating THR‘s original report, a new report on TheWrap by Umberto Gonzales (who has been 100% on the money with all his Snyder Cut scoops thus far) confirmed that Snyder wanted to reassemble his original cast for reshoots, but the WarnerMedia-owned HBO Max wouldn’t let him.
There’s not going to be any reshoots of any kind with any actors. It’s just additional dialogue. Here’s something that hasn’t been reported yet: [Snyder] did want to shoot and he wanted to do additional photography, but HBO Max said no, that’s not happening. We’ll give you money for post-production, for special effects, for scoring, and even ADR, but no reshoots of any kind on this movie.
Some #ReleaseTheSnyderCut faithful had long held to the belief that by the time he had to give up the director’s chair to Joss Whedon following a personal tragedy, Snyder had filmed all the raw footage he had planned for and it was just post-production work needed. If that were true, then there would be no need for the very costly and logistically complex task of getting together all the original stars once again to film more scenes. But Gonzales throws an additional spanner in the works, as he continued in his report:
This movie is basically one and done. This is to… close the loop, to finish the story. Maybe not the whole story, cause he did have like a three to five-picture plan. But this Snyder-verse, I’ll call it, will end with the Snyder Cut. Don’t expect any spinoffs for Batman or with Ben Affleck as Batman or any of that.
It’s that “not the whole story” bit that’s key here. Snyder’s five-picture plan had meant for Justice League to be a two-parter. Certain characters and story beats were only meant to be introduced in the 2017 film before being fleshed out fully in its sequel. This includes big bad villain Darkseid, whom actor Ray Porter has now confirmed he played originally in some fashion (probably voice and mo-cap based on storyboard designs of the character). Warner and HBO Max have not announced any plans to make that sequel, so without additional footage, how is Snyder going to get all the necessary plot points to actually line up and get closed off in a satisfactory manner?
Well, we don’t know exactly when in 2021 Snyder’s Justice League is set for release, so he could still have quite some time to figure it out. And who knows? Maybe Snyder figures out so well that his Justice League becomes a huge hit, big enough to make Warner Bros actually declare it the new canon in the DC Comics Expanded Universe, nullifying Whedon’s version. After all, all the films released since then in the DCEU have either been set in time periods before the events of Justice League or have barely made any reference to those events. Depending on how Snyder’s film plays out, it could potentially not contradict any other film and just slip neatly into the cinematic universe retroactively while also setting some rather major future plotlines, like tying Porter’s Darkseid into the New Gods film being developed by Ava Duvernay.
Of course, all of this is purely conjecture for now. At least now we’re talking about a movie that is actually happening instead of the pipe dream the Snyder Cut had been for years thought. And we may actually get a look at it not too far in the future as Snyder recently teased that he’s “working on” a trailer that may be available very soon.
Last Updated: May 25, 2020