The countdown is on! Zack Snyder is all set to unleash his Director’s Cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE and from the looks of the latest trailer, the stakes have never been more apocalyptic as DC Comics’ most iconic heroes team-up and face the darkness!
It would appear that in Hollywood, you truly get another turn up at bat, second chances are a reality — especially if you’re Zack Snyder. The filmmaker behind the millennium’s most stylistic epic blockbusters including 300 (based on Frank Miller’s work) and the big-screen adaptation of Watchman was tasked with the impossible: match the success of the competitor’s expanded cinematic universe and take the DC movie heroes to the next level. Although Warner Bros. had unprecedented success with its Batman franchises, it didn’t hit the ball out of the field with its other movie heroes.
It was tough enough to have to follow the success of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy which rebooted and reinterpreted Batman for a more sophisticated palette, but Snyder was determined to prove that DC and Warner Bros. were indeed up to the task. After several bumps in the road, it appeared that perhaps the course had become steady.
Snyder’s first installment into establishing a connected continuity was to (re)ignite interest in Superman’s theatrical bankability with Man of Steel (2013) which similarly reestablished the origins of the world’s greatest superhero in a hyper-realistic style that matched or sat similarly to Nolan’s own take on Batman. The film firmly established its star Henry Cavill as the proper torchbearer of the “S” shield and cape, although Brandon Routh had also suited up for Bryan Singer’s 2006 homage to the Richard Donner classic.
And even with a modest box office to win over an audience, the much grittier and darkly saturated Man of Steel gave rise to a sequel. Warner Bros. and DC seized on the opportunity to turn its next feature Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice into its backdoor introduction to the larger, expanded theatrical multiverse that the studio and DC were so richly hoping to mine. That feature brought Cavill back as Superman, recast Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, and introduced Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, firmly establishing the DC Comics Trinity in film.
The movie also set-up for the introduction of The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg along with a much larger threat that would require the heroes to suit up for the ultimate team-movie. There was a lot riding on the anticipated success of Justice League (2017) which was directed by Snyder and produced by his wife Deborah Snyder. Unfortunately, due to a personal tragedy, the Snyders had to bow out of completing the film and handed the reigns to Joss Whedon who had delivered on the Marvel Studios hit films establishing the Avengers franchise.
Much to the disappointment of fans Justice League just didn’t pull the World’s Greatest Heroes together as solidly as anyone (including critics) would have expected, and the film performed admirably at the box office but was pretty much “unplugged” as the studios raced to erase their failure with solo films capitalizing on the popularity of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman (2017) and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (2018). Both were hits at the box office, and sequels were fast-tracked into production. Amidst the global pandemic Gadot’s Woman Woman 1984 was released.
Fans remained unsatisfied and aware that Zack and Deborah Snyder had a completely different vision of their Justice League and it wasn’t long before bits and pieces of “what could have been” started to make their way across the internet leading to the movement: #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Well, the fandom and the internet have spoken and Snyder and his team went back into the studio, combing through abandoned footage and unfinished special effects shots. It wasn’t long before Deborah Snyder enlisted the support of the film’s cast and wrangled them enthusiastically back into the fold.
With the advent of the subscriber-based HBO Max taking off, it was the perfect destination and ideal opportunity to seize on something new and exciting. Snyder has jumped deep into revitalizing Justice League inserting new narrative footage that expands on character backgrounds and enhanced special effects shots that have allowed him to beef up the real menace that imperils the team. When Justice League The Snyder Cut hits HBO Max on March 18 it will undoubtedly have many eyes focused on it.
The film is currently tasked at a near 4-hour long epic and will reunite the stars of the feature including Cavill, Affleck, and Gadot joined by a fully re-rendered Steppenwolf and Darkseid for them to take on, as well as establishing more expansive narratives into the lives of the other members of the team. There will be more revealed about Ezra Miller’s The Flash and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg will have his origin story as Cyborg fleshed out, so to speak. It is promising to be the event movie of the season — the one the Snyder hoped would have rocked audiences in 2017.
Here is the trailer for Justice League The Snyder Cut premiering on HBO Max in March:
JUSTICE LEAGUE The Snyder Cut | Premieres March 18 | on HBO Max | and stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Gal Gadot.