Fans of the DC Extended Universe are in ecstatic mood following the release of Zack Snyder’s four-hour-long cut of Justice League (2017) on HBO Max on Thursday.
This has since been a trending topic across social media platforms, bearing the hashtag #SnyderCut.
The Snyder’s cut presents Justice League — the fifth film of the DC Extended Universe — as director Zack Snyder had intended it before he left the production of Justice League in 2017 due to the suicide of his daughter, Autumn Snyder.
The director of The Avengers, Joss Whedon, was brought in to complete the film in 2017. Whedon oversaw reshoots and other changes that infused a brighter tone and more comedy while cutting down the runtime heavily in accordance with a mandate from Warner Bros.
Upon release, Whedon’s version of Justice League enjoyed little commercial and critical success.
After learning that an original cut existed, fans of DCEU started to clamour since 2017 for the release of Zack Snyder’s version, while berating Joss Whedon for deviating from Snyder’s aesthetic and making the film too light-hearted.
On social media, the hashtag #ReleasetheSnyderCut has been used since 2017 by fans calling for a new version of the film.
According to the film publication, IndieWire, on January 6, 2018, a group travelled to Warner Bros headquarters in Burbank, California, to protest for the cut’s release.
In March 2019, Snyder confirmed his original cut does exist and said that it is up to Warner Bros to release it.
On May 20, 2020, Snyder officially announced that HBO Max will be releasing his cut of Justice League on their service in 2021.
It cost $70 million to complete the cut’s special effects, musical score, and editing.
Some of the cast in the original film also returned for the cut, including Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, and Ezra Miller (remotely).
The cut was originally planned to be released as both a mini-series and a four-hour film, but plans for the miniseries were scrapped by January 2021.
Reacting to the cut, @TimeyinFreedom1 tweeted, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2021. We all know the story. With 4hours 2mins long, over 3hours of unseen coherent footage, splendid intro, exciting cameos, multiple fun interactions, this blockbuster was worth the movement, N def recommended. The sequel must happen.”
Twitter user @LiveLoveLupe recalled the resilience of DCEU loyalists who rallied for the release of Snyder’s cut, writing, “You know how a bunch of random fans on the Internet bonded together against a powerful multinational conglomerate to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut? The story of the #SnyderCut started during the BvS wars of 2016 …”
Although critics have talked down its runtime, the general consensus seems to be that Snyder’s cut is much better than the 2017 theatrical version.
Zack Snyder was also director of 300 (2007) and Watchmen (2009); as well as the Superman film that started the DC Extended Universe, Man of Steel (2013), and its follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
The Zack Snyder cut of Justice League is dedicated to the memory of Snyder’s late daughter, Autumn.
The cut streams on HBO Max.