After two years of clamoring and grassroots lobbying by fans of the DC Extended Universe, the Zack Snyder’s never-before-seen director’s cut of Justice League will premiere on HBO Max in 2021, the filmmaker announced Wednesday.
“I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized. Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality,” Snyder said in a statement.
Fans of the DCEU — which includes the films Man of Steel, Aqua Man, Wonder Woman, Batman V. Superman and more — have demanded the release of the #SnyderCut since the blockbuster’s less-than-acclaimed arrival in 2018; Snyder left the production before its completion following the death of his daughter, with Joss Whedon replacing Snyder and changing many aspects from and severely shortening the runtime of his predecessor’s original vision. Whedon’s finished version was ultimately critically maligned and a box office disappointment.
However, In the past year, social media campaigns for Warner Bros to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut have amplified after getting support from Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill, with the studio finally capitulating to fans’ demands Wednesday.
“It will be an entirely new thing, and, especially talking to those who have seen the released movie, a new experience apart from that movie,” Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, adding that he has not watched the Whedon finished product but estimated “you probably saw one-fourth of what I did.”
The Hollywood Reporter writes that it’s unclear what form the Snyder cut of Justice League will take; with a runtime upwards of four hours, it could either be a long superhero film or a six-part TV series. Work on restoring the Snyder cut is now in production, with some of the actors involved reportedly recording new dialogue for the retooled blockbuster.
“Since I got here 14 months ago, the chant to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has been a daily drumbeat in our offices and inboxes,” Warner chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “Well, the fans have asked, and we are thrilled to finally deliver. At the end of the day, it really is all about them and we are beyond excited to be able to release Zack’s ultimate vision for this film in 2021.”