Back in 2017, director Zack Snyder was hard at work on Justice League when he had to step away. Due to a family tragedy, Snyder was unable to finish the film, so Joss Whedon stepped in to complete it. The movie hit theaters two years ago this month. Despite its staggering box office take–just under $700 million–it’s considered a bomb. Critics didn’t care for it and fans weren’t that happy, either. In fact, in the wake of the original release, many fans started clamoring for the so-called Snyder Cut of Justice League to be released. This week, some of the cast members even joined the movement. But what’s this all about? And does it have anything to do with the future launch of HBO Max?
What is the Justice League Snyder Cut?
Image via Warner Bros.
Although Snyder was nowhere near finished with the movie when he stepped away, he had amassed a healthy chunk of material. Fans familiar with Snyder’s past work in the DC Extended Universe knew that his home releases were often extended cuts of the theatrical versions. They assumed it would be the same for Justice League. In addition, as they were unhappy with Whedon’s version–Josstice League, as they call it–they hoped that Snyder’s vision would be the movie they had wanted. When fans created the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement, though, they had no idea if the cut actually existed. However, Snyder confirmed this year that it does.
That said, there’s no clear consensus on how much material there is or how finished it might be. Speculation from industry sources has suggested, for example, that it might be around three and a half hours long. Snyder himself has said that it’s mostly finished and only needs a few visual effects. As that could cost as much as eight figures, it seems unlikely that Warner Brothers would pony up.
Justice League Stars Join the Movement
The fan-led movement, after all, hasn’t really generated much buzz. While they crowd-funded billboards at San Diego Comic Con, that doesn’t show demand. Put simply, they just don’t seem to have the numbers. The largest petition at Change.org, for instance, garnered about 180k signatures. That’s respectable, but it ain’t a Warners-opening-its-wallet number. However, that might change soon.
This week, amidst the 2-year anniversary of the film’s release, two of the movie’s biggest stars joined the cause. Along with Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg, both Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck tweeted their support for releasing the Snyder cut. Affleck tweeted just the hashtag (#ReleaseTheSnyderCut), while Gadot posted this moody on-set shot:
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) November 17, 2019
Both were retweeted by Snyder himself. While this may or may not spur interest in the hashtag and the fan campaign, it is curious. Many of the fan tweets using the hashtag also tagged HBO Max, the pay channel’s upcoming streaming platform (and part of WarnerMedia). Although The Hollywood Reporter has written that there are no plans to release the cut on the streamer, that may not be the point, as they also mentioned. This could all be a coordinated attempt to demonstrate the Snyder Cut’s drawing power. And it might work. With WarnerMedia needing to fill the streamer with content, as well as wow enough people to subscribe, the Justice League Snyder Cut may see light after all.
But will y’all be watching? Let us know in the comments or come join the cause with us on social media.
featured image via Warner Bros
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.