And the saga of the Snyder Cut continues! Immediately following the unexpected announcement that filmmaker Zack Snyder’s long-awaited “Snyder Cut” of Justice League (or Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as it officially got titled) was getting a 2021 release on HBO Max, Warner Bros execs quite clearly stated that the original cast was not returning to shoot additional scenes. But in a massive plot twist, that is now apparently changing.
Before being forced to abandon the 2017 film in mid-production due to personal family tragedy and having Warner Bros and new director Joss Whedon completely rework his plans, Snyder had famously claimed to have shot a whole bunch of early footage that Whedon never used. WB allocated $30 million to Snyder to finish off the visuals and audio for that footage and edit it all together again. Many wondered though how the filmmaker would get around the fact that his Justice League was supposed to be the opening chapter of a two-parter, if he couldn’t shoot new footage.
But now THR brings word that WB has gone back on their initial claim and will bring back Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg for extra reshoots. Missing on the roll call is Ezra Miller as Flash and Jason Momoa as Aquaman, but it probably just means that they are not needed for whatever new footage Snyder wants to shoot. What is more surprising though is the inclusion of Fisher who is currently involved in a very messy public spat with the studio after the actor accused Whedon of undisclosed “gross” behaviour on-set and certain studio higher-ups from trying to cover it all up.[UPDATE: Since the time of writing, Henry Cavill has reportedly stated that he won’t be doing any reshoots. He is currently in London shooting The Witcher season two which will make the logistics all but impossible.]
Either way, it’s reported that the reshoots will only last for a week, so the new footage probably isn’t too massive. I would bet its rather just extra character beats to tie off story threads that were originally left open-ended for the sequel that is no longer being made. Not that Snyder doesn’t already have enough footage as this new version of Justice League is being released as a four-part miniseries with each episode being one hour long. And this rework is apparently going to cost a whole lot more than initially thought.
According to a report from The Wrap, the budget for the HBO Max release is now instead sitting at around $70 million. That’s more than double the original claim, but actually not that surprising. While not giving out any actual figures, HBO Max boss Bob Greenblatt said in May that “I wish it was just 30 million and stop there” and that the upcoming release will be “wildly expensive”. Thanks to all the extensive reshoots Whedon had done for his version for the film when it originally released in 2017, the original budget for Justice League was already sitting on an alleged eye-watering $300 million. And that was before you added in huge marketing costs. The film’s theatrical run brought in $657.9 million worldwide, and even then it was said to have still lost WB around $60 million. And now they’re adding another $70 million on top of that!
Personally, I’m pretty hyped to see what Snyder has cooked up when his Justice League releases on HBO Max sometime in early 2021, and I’m definitely not the only one. The passion of the film’s fanbase is how we got to this point to begin with. But no matter how popular it may be, I just don’t see how WB is expecting to actually get a profitable return on their investment here. At least we’ll get to see how this saga wraps up though.
Last Updated: September 25, 2020