Happy Justice League-aversary! Yes, today marks three years since Warner Bros and Joss Whedon’s cut of Justice League belly-flopped into theatres. Well, actually it was yesterday, but thanks to those pesky time zones it was still 17 November in the US at the time of writing this, which is when original director Zack Snyder took to the internet a to share a whole lot about his upcoming four-hour-long “Snyder Cut” miniseries version of Justice League to be released on HBO Max.
Firstly, we got a new trailer. Kind of. Some of you may have noticed that a few weeks ago, the Justice League trailer that debuted at DC FanDome went missing online. Some fans panicked and thought that was a sign that the expensive production hit some trouble, but actually it was just annoying copyright problems. It appears Snyder’s use of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (a song he must have intentionally picked to thumb his nose at those critics who dunked on him using the same song back in the day in Watchmen) had ruffled some legal feathers. But everything has now been sorted out which meant Snyder could release the trailer again. And this time he added in some snippets of brand new footage! There’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s still neat.
This was actually not the first version of the trailer Snyder released last night. A few weeks back, in anticipation of today’s anniversary, Snyder spoke to The Film Junkee (via ScreenRant) about Justice League and revealed that even this four-part cut is not his ideal version of the film.
My ideal version of the movie is the black and white IMAX version of the movie. That, to me, is the most fan-centric, most pure, most Justice League experience. Because that’s how I lived with the movie for two years, in black and white… when I do the live-stream of the trailer, Steph and I colored a black and white version of the trailer. So the first version that I’m going to put out, and probably what I’m going to talk about on Tuesday, will be the black and white version of the trailer.
And that’s exactly what he did! Before the trailer above debuted on the official HBO Max channels, Snyder shared a black and white version of it on Twitter.
In that same interview above, the filmmaker also let the cat out of the bag a bit about the surprising recent addition of Jared Leto’s Joker. The Oscar-winning Leto’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime in 2016’s Suicide Squad was highly divisive and hadn’t been seen on-screen since (Birds of Prey instead used an animated version for flashbacks), but apparently Snyder had an idea on why he needed him back.
For me, though, in my world, if Joker was going to make an appearance, it would be the Jared Leto Joker…I had this idea for a scene. I had a version of this scene that I had written maybe three years ago. Slightly different, but very similar. But then, for whatever reason, for a multitude of reasons, I didn’t do it. [Presumably alluding to when he left the film] Then I was talking to [his wife and producing partner] Debbie, and I was like, “I have this…do you think it would possible? Am I crazy? Should I just cold call him?” So I called him…it was a cool conversation. When I pitched him the idea, I feel like he hooked onto the ‘why’ of it, because there’s a big ‘why.’ And literally, he said to me, ‘We’ll talk more.’ I kept calling him, we talked over a while, and he agreed to do it. It was a great experience working with him.
Notice that Snyder is speaking about a scene. Singular. That then lines up with my thinking when Snyder recently revealed that the $70 million reshoots he recently completed would only constitute “maybe four minutes” of extra footage. Clearly, this – and probably also Joe Manganiello’s extra appearance as Deathstroke – will just be a brief cameo.
But while those reshoots will barely give enough time to make two bowls of instant noodles, there’s still a ton of other extra footage. When Snyder had to exit the film due to a family tragedy, new director Whedon reshot a huge chunk of the Snyder’s work, tossing it out. All of that footage – which includes stuff Snyder had already left on the editing room floor – is now being added back in to give us this four-part, four-hour-long epic. And chatting during a Vero stream last night (via CinemaBlend), Snyder revealed that altogether this new version of the film will boast “probably a solid two-and-a-half hours of unseen footage”.
It’s funny because I’m editing the movie now. While editing, I am looking at the actual visual effects shots, because the cut is locked. We are just looking every day at these shots as they come in, and it’s really exciting. I’m excited for you guys to see the giant amount of movie that you have coming your way in 2021 (on) HBO MAX. Don’t also forget, it is probably a solid two-and-a-half hours of unseen footage in this movie, I would imagine. Something like that. That’s going to be fun, for everyone to experience this for the first time.
On top of Snyder’s interviews and the new trailers, we’ve also got some new pics courtesy of Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, Aquaman actor Jason Momoa, and the film’s cinematographer Fabian Wagner, all boasting the #UsUnited hashtag (a nod to the final line spoken in the trailer by Ben Affleck’s Batman).
Out of all these new pics though, the one we really need to keep for last and talk about is this brand new image of Steppenwolf shared by Snyder on Vero. The theatrical cut of the Justice League villain (voiced by Ciaran Hinds) was a dull-looking CGI mess, which drew some harsh criticism when compared to the realism of Marvel’s Thanos. Well, they’ve definitely added more detail to him this time around. And by detail, I just mean a crapload of small pointy bits.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Or is it Justice League: Director’s Cut? ecause the trailer above uses both titles) still doesn’t have an official release date yet, but is expected to premiere on HBO Max sometime in early 2021. A feature film version
Last Updated: November 18, 2020