After years of (extremely) vocal fan enthusiasm, billboard ad buys, and one of the world’s biggest film studios continually course correcting their efforts to match their biggest competitor in the superhero movie wars; WB and Zack Snyder are reuniting to bring his version of Justice League to the small screen where it will debut on HBO Max next year.
The official announcement came as part of Snyder’s live-stream on Vero, (the social media platform that the director almost exclusively utilizes) where he provided live commentary for Man of Steel – his initial 2013 foray into the DC Universe. There had been rumors floating all about the twittersphere that something big would be announced during said livestream, but as many know, the number of false starts where the fabled “Snyder Cut” was concerned is legion. And while the livestream itself was an entertaining look into an underrated film (for my money) and probably the overall best work of his career, with the director sharing reams of concept art that was sitting right at his lap throughout. It was like having him sit right there with you.
But what everyone was there for was the possibility of a big announcement. And things really started to ratchet up when Henry Cavill suddenly dialed in to join Zack and his production partner and wife Deborah Snyder for the call. Cavill, the former/current (?), Superman even sported a mustache for the occasion. Poking fun at his much lampooned appearance in Justice League or pandemic inspired laziness? I’ll let you decide. But after some fun rapport, they were joined by a number of Snyder Cut diehards for the call, all sporting their shirts in support of this heretofore unreleased iteration of the film.
After a number of questions that were specific to Man of Steel, one of the fans asked directly, “when are you going to release the Snyder Cut?” and at first, Snyder played coy…stating that “it wasn’t up to him” and it if was he’d probably just leave a thumbdrive in a bathroom someplace to be leaked out. Good joke. Everybody laugh.
But finally, Cavill cut to the chase, relieving the tension of potential disappointment after a few days (and frankly months, even years, really) of build up and said “I think you should release it”, to which Snyder said…”well, I can’t release it, but I can show you this:”
Snyder specifically says that they have a bit of a work to do on it still, and it’s unclear exactly how much post-production that might entail. There have been reports that his “director’s cut” of the film is around 3.5 hours long, and according to Borys Kit over at THR, the studio is considering either a four-hour director’s cut, or six tv-style chapters for their presentation of this new version of the blockbuster team up. According to the report, the Snyders are now currently reassembling their post-production crew to, and I quote, ” to score, cut, add new and finish old visual effects, and, yes, maybe bring back many of the actors to record additional dialogue.”
This is, for lack of a better term, huge. While we’ve seen studios react to the internet in how they shape their populist leaning offerings, it’s unheard of that a version of a film that was shelved and seen release in a completely different form would then be revised due to the clamor of fandom alone. Of course, surely this all hit a boiling point this past November, when stars like Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck, himself a fairly rare tweeter, both called for the Snyder Cut’s release. It certainly didn’t escape WB chair’s Toby Emmerich‘s notice either, and thus, the seeds were planted in a phone call between Emmerich and Snyder’s agent, and then culminating in a screening this past February for a number of WB and HBO execs, including DC Publisher and CCO Jim Lee.
It clearly went very well, and the rest as they say, is history, with the studio expected to spend somewhere around 20-30 million dollars on the endeavor. But the bottom-line: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is going to be a real thing, that you can watch next year, and things may never be the same again.