When DC’s Justice League premiered in 2017, it – to put it mildly – was a hot mess, failing to deliver on pent up fan anticipation and trailed miserably against the juggernaut that was the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While controversial and polarizing, Snyder’s dark and gritty take on the DC Cinematic Universe was arguably consistent. However, he had to step away before he could finish Justice League because of a family tragedy, and Avengers‘ director Joss Whedon stepped in to complete the film. So, instead of becoming DC’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers, we instead got a film that was panned for its poor plot, weak villains, a lack of narrative and thematic consistency, and… Henry Cavill’s infamous CGI non-mustache.
When Snyder stepped away from the film and the resulting film being such a disappointment, fans started wondering about an Elseworlds‘ version where Snyder was able to complete it according to his vision. This led to rumors about a version of the film that Snyder had indeed worked on that was vastly different from the theatrical release. It didn’t help that Snyder that, though the film had his name on the marquee, the final version wasn’t really his (in fact, Snyder maintains that he has yet to watch the theatrical version that was released).
Soon, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut began spreading across the interwebs and becoming a fan movement, which saw a Times Square billboard, a chartered plane that flew a banner over Comic-Con, and even a Change.org petition that collected over 100,000 signatures just five days after the movie’s release. Some of Justice League’s stars even added their voices to the movement – asking for the Snyder Cut to be released, with some even claiming to have seen it.
Snyder also fed into the movement: sharing teaser images from his version of the movie or storyboards on social media. Two years after Justice League was released, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut trended worldwide and became the most tweeted hashtag about a movie that WB ever made, but never released.
From Elseworld To Real World
And now, after years of outcry, we’ve reached the tipping point and Snyder’s just announced that The Snyder Cut is real and is happening: Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be released some point in 2021 on HBO Max!
This version will be a new cut of Justice League, approved and completed by Zack Snyder and is reportedly going to cost an additional US$20 to 30 million. The legendary Snyder Cut, after all, was still only a four-hour assembly cut without completed visual effects. So, there’s going to be quite a lot of post-production work required: extensive retooling, additional dialogue by the original actors, and new visual effects. The current length of the cut might also result in either a four-hour epic or be broken in to several chapters when it is finally released.
“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. You probably saw one-fourth of what I did.”Zack Snyder, to the Hollywood Reporter
It’s taken us quite a ways to reach this point – so we can certainly wait until 2021 to finally see the fabled Snyder Cut. Until then, this is us raising our glasses to toast the power of fandom – without which the Snyder Cut would have remained only a legend and internet meme.
Edit, 23 May 2020: The good folks at HBO Max just released a video of the moment Zack Snyder announced that they going to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut!