The world was stunned when filmmaker Zack Snyder announced during an online screening of Man of Steel that the DCEU-culminating film Justice League was in fact going to get the legendary Snyder Cut treatment. The new version of the film — which Snyder left partway through because of the death of his daughter — will see the director bring his vision to life without the restructuring efforts of Joss Whedon, who came in to finish the original film. What's unclear, however, is how Zack Snyder's Justice League will actually look when it hits HBO Max in 2021.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder and his wife/producing partner Deborah Snyder are still undecided on whether the project will manifest as a gigantic "four-hour director's cut" movie or whether it will be "split into six 'chapters,'" like a Justice League miniseries. All that's official is that Warner Bros. is backing the idea and was actually moved by the sheer volume of social media posts made by the fanbase. "#ReleasetheSnyderCut is the most-tweeted hashtag about a movie that WB has ever made, but it's a movie they've never released," Snyder said. "It's a weird stat, but it's cool."
"This is real. People out there want it," Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures, said. He asked the Snyders the day after Justice League's second anniversary: "Would you guys ever consider doing something?" That anniversary saw a massive outpouring for the cause, with even stars Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck using the hashtag to petition for the recut. How much will this cost WB? Somewhere between $20-30M, THR's sources estimate.
At a time when most productions have ceased due to the coronavirus pandemic, a major piece of superhero content with a built-in fanbase for a new streaming service seems like a much better deal than it did mere months ago — which is when it was originally greenlit. It was at a February meeting, which featured Snyder screening a black-and-white version of the film, where the filmmaker toyed with the concept of episodes and cliffhangers in his pitch for making the cut.
Now visual effects work, which would be most of the work that would need to be done, is some of the safest work available in the industry and one of the few things still up and running remotely. However, the cast will still be involved with fixing things up for the new version ... just don't expect it anytime soon.
HBO Max drops on May 27, with Zack Snyder's Justice League coming in 2021.