Finally, it's getting #released. On Wednesday, director Zack Snyder confirmed via an image graphic on the social network Vero that his rumored cut of the 2017 DC superhero movie Justice League will release exclusively on HBO Max in 2021.
In a story on The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder revealed more detailed plans, including the next steps and the possibility of releasing the 4-hour epic as a multi-part miniseries.
The announcement came during Zack Snyder's second quarantine watch party on Vero, this time for his 2013 movie Man of Steel that kicked off the DC "Extended Universe" franchise. Joining Zack Snyder and wife/producing partner Deborah was star Henry Cavill (calling remotely via Zoom), plus a number of lucky fans who asked questions after the movie.
At the end of the Vero stream, the Snyders pretended there was a technical issue and then put up a graphic for a movie titled Zack Snyder's Justice League with a 2021 date for HBO Max, the new Warner Bros. streaming service. A specific date in 2021 was not revealed.
Shortly after the livestream, Warner Bros. confirmed the release of the "Snyder Cut" in a press release.
"After global passionate fan calls to action and the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement, HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that it will exclusively world premiere Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of the Warner Bros. Pictures/DC feature film Justice League in 2021," the studio said.
“I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized," Snyder said in a statement. "Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality."
When the news broke, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Snyder where he revealed his tentative plans for the Snyder Cut. Such plans potentially involve releasing the nearly four-hour cut into six "chapters," mimicking that of a miniseries.
Snyder said his cut will be "an entirely new thing" from what the theatrical version released back in November 2017. Sources also told THR the endeavor to finish the cut — including new sound mixing, music scoring, and finishing visual effects — will cost somewhere between $20 million to $30 million.
"You probably saw one-fourth of what I did," Snyder told THR about the 2017 theatrical version, which was completed by director Joss Whedon when Snyder left production of the movie after the death of his daughter.
Deborah Snyder added that a streaming service like HBO Max is where an "unlikely" movie like Zack Snyder's Justice League can find its audience. "With the new platform and streaming services, you can have something like this," she said. "You can’t release something like this theatrically, but you could with a streaming service. It’s an opportunity that wasn’t there two years ago, to be honest."
In 2017, Zack Snyder left the making of Justice League when his daughter committed suicide. The movie was completed by Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers and creator of cult-classic shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, who was initially brought aboard to touch up the script. When the movie was released in November 2017, it received a lukewarm reception from critics and had a mediocre box office performance. (The same month it was released, Thor: Ragnarok from rival studio Marvel grossed nearly $200 million more at the box office.)
Over time, fans learned from various outlets, including Inverse, of the existence of Zack Snyder's longer version of Justice League that contained more story and lore about the DC Extended Universe. Fans rallied behind a social media movement, with the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut to campaign Warner Bros. to release the movie. Snyder himself joined in, publishing set photos from deleted scenes that confirmed its existence.
In November 2019, the two-year anniversary of the movie, visible support for the release reached a fever pitch as almost all of the movie's principal stars, including Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, and even Ben Affleck tweeted their support for the Snyder Cut.
As Warner Bros. ramped up its own streaming service HBO Max, a new possibility for the Snyder Cut emerged. Now, that possibility has become a reality as the movie will stream on HBO Max at a yet unknown date in 2021.
Zack Snyder's Justice League will stream on HBO Max in 2021.