Zack Snyder fans have been clamoring for the release of the director’s fabled, perhaps nonexistent cut of the much-maligned DC superhero team-up movie Justice League since the film’s original release in November 2017. Now, the unthinkable has happened: The mystical “Snyder Cut” is real.
On Wednesday, May 20, Warner Bros. Pictures announced it would premiere Snyder’s director’s cut of Justice League in 2021 on the upcoming HBO Max streaming platform. It will be titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but no further information, including a release date, has been given at this point.
“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.
It’s unclear what shape the so-called Snyder Cut is in, or more specifically, what kind of sound mixing and effects would need to be added following Snyder’s departure from the Justice League project just before the film’s original reshoots to deal with the death of his daughter. (There are reports that dispute this and claim that Snyder was fired much earlier, however.) Avengers director Joss Whedon was called in to handle the movie’s numerous reshoots.
Snyder’s departure from the production sparked a theory that somehow, the movie Snyder would have made if he’d been allowed to see it through would be better than the critical and box-office disappointment it turned out to be. That version of Justice League was quickly dubbed the “Snyder Cut.”
It wasn’t until March 2019, years after fans campaigned to ask for its release, that Snyder confirmed the existence of his director’s cut to a fan while attending a fundraiser for the ArtCenter College of Design’s Ahmanson Auditorium. Yet his comments did not halt the back-and-forth about whether Snyder’s version of the film would ever see the light of day. The question remained one of the biggest across fandom internet — until today.
And last December, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot and ex-Batman Ben Affleck both tweeted support for its release — amplifying the volume surrounding the cut. Snyder himself also teased its release, posting alleged stills on his Vero social media account. At the same time, Warner Bros. insiders had downplayed both its possible release and even existence.
HBO Max launches on May 27. The subscription service will encompass existing HBO content, as well as Warner properties like DC Universe films and TV shows, Seinfeld, and Rick and Morty. There will also be third-party fare like Studio Ghibli films. But the most important part is that DC fans, who’ve waited this long for the Snyder Cut to be confirmed and see the light of day, finally have validation.