Although not officially confirmed yet, if recent reports are to be believed then Zack Snyder’s Justice League will finally debut on HBO Max in March, giving fans their long-awaited definitive version of the failed 2017 DC Comics tentpole. As a four-hour-long miniseries, this will be a very different version of the film that Warner Bros. and director Joss Whedon savagely recut before theatrical release after Snyder had to step away due to family tragedy. But exactly how different is it? Or rather, how new?
It was widely reported that WB had forked out over $70 million for this “Snyder Cut”, so fans were left a bit boggled last year when it emerged that Snyder had shot less than five minutes of new footage. That couldn’t be right, right? But chatting to ComicBook Debate (via ComicBook.com), Snyder has now confirmed that this is exactly the case, having only filmed two new scenes (One of which is the rumoured addition of Jared Leto’s Joker).
A very small portion of the movie is the new stuff that I shot… First of all, let’s just clarify, there’s like two bits that I added. One bit that I had really sort of hoped to shoot in post but never got the chance to and then one, that scene, with Jared. This whole little piece with Jared. The truth is, the rest of the four hours of the movie are really just what I shot.
So where did the rest of that money go then? Well, simply put: Fixing up everything else. Despite what die-hard Snyder Cut disciples would have had you believe during their years-long internet crusade, up until Snyder was officially given the greenlight by WB a year ago, this form of the movie did not exist outside of a very rough workprint that was definitely not fit for public release. And that’s what all the money was for: All the extensive VFX work Justice League required.
Like 80-something percent of the movie has never been seen by anyone, visual effects-wise, and that’s not even including the scenes that you guys have never seen that don’t have visual effects. That part’s really exciting and I can’t wait for everyone to experience this giant scale adventure the way I intended everyone to experience it.
As Snyder continued, he explained that he had all this unpolished footage in the can already because he had always wanted to make this bigger movie even though WB disagreed. And so he just shot everything he wanted anyway.
The truth is I was in a struggle with the studio, you know and famously we had a lot of stuff we had to do, and make it funny, and all that stuff. I just kind of, in a slightly subversive way, just kept also doing my thing at the same time so I would have, what I believed would be closer to what I wanted to do without any influence. I always try to shoot that way anyway. I always try to shoot what I think is right. Putting the movie back together was like an archaeologist, pulling all the pieces, what I had, what I had shot, and what would never have seen the light of day even though I had shot it.
So with all this work that went into hammering Justice League into the shape Snyder wanted, you would think this was a future investment. Especially since WB is leaning so heavily into the cinematic multiverse concept which means that this “Snyder-verse” offshoot can exist right next to the main Worlds of DC film universe. But recently, WB’s DC Films President Walter Hamada ruffled some fanboy feathers when he revealed that the studio considers Justice League to be a one-and-done “cul-de-sac”. Now Snyder has also spoken out to confirm that there’s currently “no plan” to explore this divergent corner of the DC universe any further. For now.
Look, I never thought I’d be here doing this. I didn’t think I’d be finishing Justice League. The truth is, and it’s been widely reported, and I have no issue, this is an old movie. This is a years-old movie I’m working on. The DC universe has gone and branched off and done its own thing and that’s fine. As far as what I did and as far as what my vision for what I wanted to do with these characters and the journey I wanted them to go on, it’s well known that I planned on more movies, five movies or something, but I’m busy. I’ve got a lot going on.
Is it cool that the fans have so much faith in the trajectory? Yes, it’s amazing, and I couldn’t be happier and I’m excited for them to see Justice League so they can really drink the entire elixir of Justice League. But, would I continue? I have no plan to. But as I said, I didn’t think I’d be here, so who knows?
As much as I’ve given the “Snyder Cut” bros grief in the early days, I am genuinely hyped to see this version of Justice League. Partially because I believe in allowing an artist to express their vision fully (and based on past directors cuts of his work, Snyder is definitely a better filmmaker when allowed to cut loose) but also because I really want us to close this chapter off now. Hopefully, Snyder’s Justice League blows our socks off and he leaves the DCEU on a high.
Last Updated: January 6, 2021