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Report: Original mid-budget DC films coming to HBO Max (but probably not the Snyder Cut)

By Jacob Oller
Zack Snyder

While the big-budget films coming in the future of the DCEU may be influenced by Shazam!, Joker, and Aquaman, they're not the only DC comic films fans can expect from Warner Bros. Some won't be R-rated, won't be blockbusters, and won't even be in theaters.

That's according to a report from Variety, which notes not only the J.J. Abrams-centric future of the DCEU's big names, but the streaming possibilities of the lesser films. Specifically, HBO Max is reportedly looking for DC characters right now that could fit on its service via mid-budget movies. These streaming originals would "rely on up-and-coming actors and not established stars, with a goal of keeping production costs under $65 million," according to the report, which means a budget more in keeping with the Blade trilogy or Elektra than, say, the X-Men movies or the MCU proper.

That could lead to more offbeat, experimental films not specifically in the vein of the R-rated Joker, but with some of its standalone spirit. Less CGI, more characterization. The HBO Max exclusives would join some of the DCEU shows heading to the platform, including an upcoming Green Lantern show.

They likely won't be joining the legendary Snyder Cut of Justice League, however. The fabled edit from director Zack Snyder, who had to leave the project after the death of his daughter, is much desired by fans unsatisfied by the final version put out by WB and director Joss Whedon. But despite its recent A-list resurgence on social media, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign will likely gain no traction — even with HBO Max offering up a new home for DCEU films.

That's because there's "little appetite at the studio for spending the millions of dollars it would require to finish visual effects and editing work on Snyder’s version," with no plans to release a Snyder cut on the streamer or in theaters. One source cited by Variety was even more damning: “That’s a pipe dream. There’s no way it’s ever happening.” Sorry, Snyder truthers.

HBO Max is planned for a May 2020 launch.