The debacle that is the Justice League film is one of studio interference and tragedy. Snyder removed himself from the film after a personal tragedy and the studio removed much of what he had filmed from the movie, hiring Joss Whedon to re-shoot 60% of what remained. You do the math. It’s a mess.
But finally, for better or worse, we are getting the movie as it should have been, as the director envisioned, with no studio intervention or light humor. At 4 hours long, it’s going to be a mammoth flick but will it be worth all the build up?
The cry to “release the Snyder Cut” always came from two directions.
There were the fans — who prayed that an Actually Good Version of 2017’s Justice League was out there and finished enough for a faithless Warner Bros. to unveil it after enough pressure — and then there was Snyder himself, who stoked the well-meaning-but-occasionally-toxic action. The director never went so far as to badmouth the finished product, which was reshot by Warner Bros. under the supervision of Avengers director Joss Whedon, but he spent years teasing what could have been, posting set photos, fan art, and snippets of blurry footage on his Vero account to make fans salivate.
The tactic worked: In May, WarnerMedia announced that a four-hour cut of Justice League would land on HBO Max in 2021. The movie they didn’t have enough confidence to put into theaters in 2017 would now be a gift to Snyder’s acolytes.
“The fans have asked, and we are thrilled to finally deliver,” Robert Greenblatt, chairman, of Warner Media Entertainment and direct-to-consumer, said during the announcement. “At the end of the day, it really is all about them and we are beyond excited to be able to release Zack’s ultimate vision for this film.”
The revival of Zack Snyder’s Justice League vindicated champions of the director as well as detractors: Technically, the movie wasn’t sitting around waiting for release, but there were enough bits and pieces that, with millions of dollars invested in post-production, there was a product to salvage. During the May announcement, Snyder said it was finally time for him to go away and spend a year finishing the new version. But in the grand tradition of the Snyder Cut, the director has remained in the spotlight of his fans, teasing what’s to come. It’s possible we might see the entire film in pre-color-corrected, .mp4 chunks before it arrives in full.
The tease campaign began with a low-res shot of the movie’s villain, Darkseid, standing in front of a battalion of alien warships. In June, we got a short clip of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman coming face to face with Darkseid’s past. Like a comic book movie advent calendar, July had its own surprise. During a panel at JusticeCon, a fan-organized event run in parallel to first-ever digital San Diego Comic-Con, Snyder released the first clip of a Henry Cavill as Superman, donning a black costume that’s become legendary to Snyder Cut proponents. The suit is a reference to the celebrated Death of Superman comic.
“We’re going to see it in all of its massively glorious action. But a nice, slow walk-up might be nice to see it for the first time,” Snyder said of the clip, in which Superman meets Alfred for the first time. You can watch the footage at 31:43 in the panel video.
As Snyder notes, fans have seen a bit of this costume in action before. The black suit appeared in an early trailer for Justice League, and a colorized version of the clip was packaged as a deleted scene. The black suit has become something of a symbol of Snyder’s original vision, and to see it alive on screen is proof for handful of diehard fans yes, this is all really happening.
“There will be no chance on Earth that I would use a shot that was made after I left the movie,” Snyder said. “I would rather destroy the movie, I would set it on fire, then use a single frame that I did not photograph. That is a fucking hard fact.”
Snyder is set to tease even more of Zack Snyder’s Justice League at DC Fandome, the DC Comics digital event, which begins on Aug. 22.
It’s like the old days all over again as rumor and hearsay surround the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League. It can be seen in the trailer that Alfred is addressing a character who gives off a greenish hue in one scene so I always suspected that GL was going to turn up and was disappointed when that didn’t happen.
While the Green Lantern movie was a dud, Reynolds has new cache as a film star thanks to the Deadpool movies. Having him appear as the emerald guardian could be easier than re-casting the part. But we shall see.
Ryan Reynolds has morphed into an A-list actor, becoming a box office staple in films like Deadpool and Detective Pickachu. His journey to becoming a beloved star wasn’t always the easiest for Reynolds, who was often straddled with underwhelming big-budget projects early in his career. Along with playing a bizarre version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds starred in DC’s long-awaited Green Lantern adaptation. While the star brought his usual charm to the project, he was sadly straddled in a thankless blockbuster that did little to reinvent its familiar formula.
Considering its’ been nearly a decade since that film bombed with critics and audiences alike, many assumed that Reynold’s time as Hal Jordan was over for good. Well according to Grace Randolph, Ryan Reynolds could potentially return as the Green Lantern, with the actor rumored to have a cameo role in the Snyder Cut of Justice League. The YouTube personality goes on to explain how Reynolds has always been a vehement supporter of Zack Snyder’s original vision for Justice League, believing that Reynolds and Warner Brothers are close to finalizing a deal.
The movie that fell so far from its mark, Justice League is a mess. The studio reduced much of Snyder’s cut down to fit into a shorter run time then reshot sequences by Joss Whedon, changing 70% of the finished product from where it had started.
Finally fans will get a chance to see what director Zack Snyder intended his film to look like. The teaser hints at the inclusion of Darkseid, something that was part of the two movie concept initially conceived for Justice League. The movie will be presented on HBO Max as a miniseries.
When Zack Snyder was hired to direct the Justice League movie, everyone knew what to expect. Plenty of dark brooding scenes. Dark action and violence. General darkness. When the film was finally released after much of it was reshot by Joss Whedon, it was a disaster. The tone of the movie was all over the place and the forced comedy was awful. And then there’s Cavill’s upper lip to deal with. The movie bombed but fans were left with the question, “what had Snyder intended?”
There had been a rumor that a Snyder-directed cut existed for some time and while there have been many nay-sayers, it can finally be revealed that not only does it exist, but we’re going to get to see it in a novel way.
HBO Max will debut the project in 2021 — possibly in a four-hour director’s cut or in six TV-style “chapters” — as the helmer gets the gang back together with the original postproduction crew to score, cut and finish visual effects.
It was very early on a Monday morning in November when director Zack Snyder and his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder, received a call from their agent. Let’s be a bit more precise: It was 7 a.m. But more importantly, it was the day after the second anniversary of the release of Justice League, the DC superhero movie that Snyder was forced to exit due to a family emergency, which was then substantially reshot and retooled by replacement director Joss Whedon.
In the time since its release, something unusual happened: A growing movement of fans, rallied by the hashtag #ReleasetheSnyderCut, had called, agitated, petitioned — even bought a Times Square billboard and chartered a plane to fly a banner over Comic-Con — for Snyder’s version to be released. And on the film’s second anniversary, the hashtag had its biggest day ever — with even the movie’s stars Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck adding their voices on Twitter.
So here, the morning after, was their agent saying that Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures, was acknowledging the movement, and more importantly, was willing to accede. “This is real. People out there want it. Would you guys ever consider doing something?” was what Emmerich was asking, Zack Snyder recalls.
The answer to Emmerich’s question, a whispered-about secret for months, was revealed Wednesday when Snyder confirmed, at the end of an online screening of his 2013 movie, Man of Steel, that his version of Justice League was indeed real. And that it will be coming to HBO Max, the WarnerMedia digital streaming service launching May 27, and is expected to debut in 2021.
It is currently unclear what form Snyder’s Justice League will take. Whether it will be released as an almost four-hour director’s cut or split into six “chapters” has yet to be decided, but the Snyders are now in the midst of reassembling much of their original postproduction crew to score, cut, add new and finish old visual effects, and, yes, maybe bring back many of the actors to record additional dialogue.
Also unclear is the cost of the endeavor. One source has pegged the effort in the $20 million range, although another source says that figure could be closer to $30 million. The parties involved had no comment.
“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,” Snyder tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that, to this day, he has not watched the version released in theaters.
“You probably saw one-fourth of what I did,” the director notes, basing his judgment on what has been shared with him of Whedon’s version.
Before Emmerich came calling, says Snyder, “I always thought it was a thing that in 20 years, maybe somebody would do a documentary and I could lend them the footage, little snippets of a cut no one has ever seen.”
But, adds Deborah, “With the new platform and streaming services, you can have something like this. 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.”
It is a very unlikely development, and the latest twist for a movie that has, like the Man of Steel himself, seen death and rebirth.
Snyder was in a unique position when he shot Justice League in 2016. Warner Bros. had entrusted its universe of DC characters to one filmmaker — him — and he had been building toward a great onscreen team-up, though not without some bumps in the road. He began with Man of Steel, which grossed $668 million worldwide, then followed up withBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the 2016 blockbuster that polarized fans with its dark take on the iconic titular heroes and took in $873 million globally.
In January 2017, Snyder had what he considered his optimal version of Justice League, almost four hours long, although he knew it was something the studio would not release. Warners wanted a cut in the two-hour range, and he delivered a rough version with an approximate two-hour, 20-minute running time. That was the first cut the studio saw. Both sides agreed that there was much work still to be done before the November release, but tragedy struck the Snyders when their daughter, Autumn, died by suicide. A month and a half later, Snyder officially stepped away and Whedon was brought in.
League opened Nov. 17 to weak reviews and sluggish box office, eventually taking in $658 million worldwide. However, almost immediately a movement was born. Fans unhappy with the film created the now-infamous hashtag. A Change.org petition for Warners to release Snyder’s version had already garnered over 100,000 signatures less than five days after the movie’s release.
Forget that the version that fans wanted technically didn’t exist. What did exist was a semi-unfinished work, with no visual effects, no postproduction. One person who had seen that version described it like a car with no panels, just a drivetrain and some seats. And it sat on a hard drive in the Snyders’ house. “When we left the movie, I just took the drive of the cut on it,” says Snyder. “I honestly never thought it would be anything.”
In the year following their daughter’s death, the Snyders closed circles around their family as they tried to heal from the tragedy. “The first year was about the milestones and the holidays,” recalls Deborah. “Now, it’s not those but other moments, like songs that trigger memories, that hit me unexpectedly.”
Adds the director: “As a family, as a couple, I think we have grown in a way that has made us stronger. We’re doing our best. You really can’t hope for more.”
The duo also became involved in suicide-prevention charity work and plotted a return to movies with Army of the Dead. Meanwhile, #ReleasetheSnyderCut became more organized and visible, gaining mainstream media attention. Snyder fed into the movement by occasionally teasing images from his movie or storyboards on social media, in some ways only stoking the hot embers. And he saw some of the seeds he planted in his movies, especially in his castings of Gadot as Wonder Woman and Momoa as Aquaman, grow into gardens as the spinoffs became pop culture phenomenons and billion-dollar hits.
It was on the two-year anniversary, however, that the zenith was reached and the hashtag became a top worldwide trend. “#ReleasetheSnyderCut is the most-tweeted hashtag about a movie that WB has ever made, but it’s a movie they’ve never released,” says Snyder. “It’s a weird stat but it’s cool.”
After the Saturday morning phone call, the Snyders began to move puzzle pieces into place. “We had to figure out what it meant to finish it, and how do you pull it off?” recalls Deborah.
The couple put together a presentation and, in early February, invited a select group of executives from Warner Bros., HBO Max and DC to their house in Pasadena to screen Snyder’s little-seen version that was shown in black and white. The number of execs in the room — there were more than a dozen in attendance, ranging from Warners’ Emmerich, Carolyn Blackwood and Walter Hamada to HBO Max’s Kevin Reilly, Sarah Aubrey and Sandra Dewey to DC’s Jim Lee — showed the importance of the potentially extensive undertaking. Heads of physical production and business affairs were there to assess what needed to be done and how much it would cost. At his presentation after the screening, Snyder outlined ideas for not just releasing the cut but the concept of episodes and cliffhangers.
The executives left the meeting pumped. The Snyder Cut was real. Except then it almost wasn’t.
The novel coronavirus struck, and Hollywood all but shut down in mid-March. Says Deborah, “People thought, ‘It won’t be possible to ramp up, and that maybe this should go on the back burner.’ But we said, ‘No, this is the right time’ because our visual effects houses that rely on so much are running out of work, so now is the time to be doing this.” It also helped that many of those post facilities had held on to the original assets.
Snyder also spent April and this month reaching out to the sizable cast, giving a heads-up on the new development and letting them know their services may be needed. (The first person called: Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg. “He was like, ‘You’re kidding me, right?'” recalls the director.)
There is no schedule going forward at this stage for the project as talks are now beginning with postproduction houses, which also gives HBO Max plenty of time to find the best way to present this version of Justice League. Snyder is at the same time in postproduciton on Army of the Dead, his zombie thriller for Netflix that is also to debut in 2021.
For the Snyders, the chance to revisit the movie also brings the prospect for closure on a project they were forced to let go. “This movie was the culmination of a hero’s journey that all these characters went on,” says Deborah. “And the idea was always to build them up to be the heroes people expected them to be.”
And while the cut will contain the many elements Snyder has teased over time (yes, expect Darkseid), the duo also relish adding a fair amount of character development: “What’s so lovely about this is that we get to explore these characters in ways that you’re not able to in a shorter theatrical version.”
The Snyders know that fan power is what led to the Snyder Cut becoming a reality. “Clearly this wouldn’t be happening without them,” says the director. He also credits Warners for living up to its old reputation as the filmmaker’s studio.
Adds Snyder, “This return to that pedigree and to let my singular vision of my movie be realized, in this format, in this length, is unprecedented and a brave move.”
The movie will further develop DC Entertainment’s plan toward a Justice League movie (which is likely the meaning behind the ‘unite the seven’ message, referring to the seven key members of the Justice League of America; Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter).
The Justice League of America gather for the first time (as drawn by Alex Ross)
DC has a long way to compete with Marvel’s Avengers and seems to be trying to make up the difference in big leaps rather than small measured steps. Dawn of Justice will see a new Batman played by Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg (instead of Martian Manhunter), and possibly Ezra Miller as the Flash. For anyone who remembers being annoyed or frustrated by the kitchen sink of characters in Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Spider-Man 3, imagine amping that up to 11 and you get the idea.
Production woes and an overstuffed cast of heroes could make Dawn of Justice a massive flop. But it could also overcome those handicaps and be the major hit that DC/Warner has been looking for. In any case… doesn’t Jason Momoa look awesome?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will premiere on the 25th of March, 2016
Building off of the success of Man of Steel (which I had a very lukewarm reaction to), Warner Bros. has unveiled their road map past what expected to be a blockbuster Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman triple bill in 2016. This will be the long awaited and very delayed invention of a DC cinematic universe to rival the Marvel Entertainment project that began with Iron Man and continues through Dr Strange.
There are some expected flicks such as Wonder Woman, and some real surprises including the Shazam film (remember that one?) and the Flash/Green Lantern Brave and the Bold team-up which sounds like a lot of fun. And that is the key here… fun. So far, Warner Bros. seems more interested in perpetuating the grim reality of the Nolan approach which worked for Batman but sucked the S out of Superman. Seriously… if we get a grim Shazam movie I will lose it.
One question remains… where’s my Aquaman movie!!??
The JLA by Alex Ross
May 2016 – Batman v Superman July 2016 – Shazam Xmas 2016 – Sandman May 2017 – Justice League July 2017 – Wonder Woman Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2
TBD 2019 – unnamed Batman film
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will distribute JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR as a Bu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and for Digital Download on February 4, 2013.
When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes – misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities – discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet. Based on the 2012 graphic novel, “Justice League: Origin,” by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee, JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR provides a glance into the world before the Justice League was created, and offers the initial animated incarnation of DC Entertainment’s “The New 52.”
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR features the voices of Jason O’Mara (Vegas, Terra Nova), Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs), Justin Kirk (Weeds), Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory), Serenity, Firefly), Michelle Monaghan (Mission Impossible III), Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds), Sean Astin (LOTR films), Bruce Thomas (Army of Darkness) and Steve Blum (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox). Producer is James Tucker and director is Jay Oliva from a script by Heath Corson.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox [Blu-ray] (2013)
[Justice League Flashpoint Paradox]
The film will have its World Premiere at Comic-Con in San Diego on
Friday, July 19 from 7:30-9:30pm in Ballroom 20. The premiere/panel
description with anticipated participants is below. Panelists are
subject to change (which could include additions!)
Fans can also meet and get autographs (on a Comic-Con exclusive
mini-poster) from the panelists on Saturday, July 20 from 11:00am-Noon
at the Warner Bros. Booth.
Friday, July 19
7:30-9:30 World Premiere of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox –
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.
Animation invite you to be the first to experience Justice League: The
Flashpoint Paradox, the highly-anticipated next entry in the ongoing
series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. When time travel
allows a past wrong to be righted for Flash and his family, the
event’s temporal ripples prove disastrous, creating a fractured,
alternate reality where the Justice League never formed, and even
Superman is nowhere to be found. Amidst a new world being ravaged by a
fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and Aquaman’s Atlanteans,
Flash must team with a grittier, more violent Batman and government
agent Cyborg to restore the continuity of Flash’s original timeline.
Come for the film, but stay for the star-studded panel that features
Grey’s Anatomy stars Justin Chambers and Kevin McKidd as Flash and
Batman, respectively, along with C. Thomas Howell (Southland), Cary
Elwes (The Princess Bride), Sam Daly (The Daly Show) and a few
surprise voice cast members, plus the filmmaking team of producer
James Tucker (Superman: Unbound), director Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark
Knight Returns), dialogue director Andrea Romano (Batman: The Dark
Knight Returns), screenwriter Jim Krieg (Green Lantern: The Animated
Series) and character designer Phil Bourassa (Young Justice).
Moderator Gary Miereanu will add to the fun with a special
announcement of the 2014 DCU movie slate, as well as exclusive,
cast-autographed prizes for a few lucky fans.
Based on the landmark mini-series by Geoff Johns & Andy Kubert, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox will be available as a digital download on July 19, 2013 and a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack on July 30, 2013.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released the trailer for Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download on July 30th.
In the film, the world is turned upside down as one of earth’s greatest super heroes – Flash – wakes up devoid of his super powers in the all-new Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. When time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for Flash and his family, the event’s temporal ripples prove disastrous, creating a fractured, alternate reality where the Justice League never formed, and even Superman is nowhere to be found. Amidst a new world being ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and Aquaman’s Atlanteans, Flash must team with a grittier, more violent Batman and government agent Cyborg to restore the continuity of Flash’s original timeline.
Primetime television stars Justin Chambers (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Kevin McKidd (“Grey’s Anatomy”), the voices of Barry Allen/Flash and Thomas Wayne/Batman, respectively, unite with numerous greats of television and film to fashion the famed animated roles. Adding to the celebrity-laden voice cast and providing thrilling additions to the Justice League series are Michael B. Jordan as Cyborg, C. Thomas Howell as Thawne/Professor Zoom, Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Ron Perlman as Slade and Deathstroke, Dana Delany as Lois Lane, Cary Elwes as Aquaman, Danny Huston as General Lane, Sam Daly as Superman, and Kevin Conroy as Batman.
Written by Geoff Johns and drawn by David Finch “This is a very different kind of team book,” says Geoff Johns. “On first glance, people might think the heroes of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA stand in the shadows of Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE, but Green Arrow, Katana, Martian Manhunter, the new Green Lantern, Stargirl, Vibe, Hawkman and Catwoman thrive in the shadows. They’re underdogs who have everything to prove and something to lose. They’re a team of unlikely heroes who will help one another discover they’re as A-List as anybody — yes, even Vibe. Though getting there won’t be easy. Why they’re formed, why each member joins, what they’re after and who the society of villains is they’re trying to take apart will all be clear in the first issue when it hits early 2013. David and I are really focused on delving deep into what it’s like to not be a member of the big seven and why, sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” (via DC Comics)
Despite outward appearances, Justice League of America has (in my opinion) been in a kind of soul searching for decades. Be it the fantastical reach of the Grant Morrison run or the bizarre comedic Giffen/DeMatteis series the comic has run the gamut in approaches and even lineup including the traditional to more unknown superheroes. The latest iteration is a reboot, (simply) Justice League from the ground up, starting with the superheroes of the DCU fighting each other and threats from beyond. Sure, it’s a much simpler and glamorous version of the comic book where almost every member of the team is a jerk, but it has been the most successful version of the book in a very long time.
So whenever a comic book is this much of a hit we get a spin off, hence: Justice League of America (yes, this is possibly the tenth spin off of Justice League, joining Justice League International, Justice League Strike Force and many more).
The Justice League of the New 52 Universe are unknown quantities who answer to no one and hold vast powers far in advance of any individual government. Steve Trevor was intended to be a liaison to the League, but that fell apart quickly when his relationship with Wonder Woman similarly dissolved. With Trevor in disgrace and the Justice League running with no one to stop them, another team is quickly assembled, answerable to US government official Amanda Waller (looking about a tenth of her regular size).
There has been a general ‘us vs. them’ theme running through a few DC monthly books including Batwoman who works for the DEO in secret. However, this is a strong response to the superhuman threat that takes into consideration not just what power players are available but also if they can be controlled. Hawkman is presented as a brilliant tactician, but a brutish thug compared to Batman. Green Lantern is on the run and therefore easily reigned in by the US. Stargirl, Vibe and Katana are all newbies with little to no knowledge of how their world functions. Catwoman has dubious morals, but also the most straight forward motivation. Martian Manhunter is a major win for Waller as he is their most powerful member and is completely avoided by the other League.
I do like the unusual team dynamic and how some characters are incredibly naive and others seasoned veterans, yet all of them are unused to working with others. It promises a lot of potential for some interesting stories and the uses the relative obscurity of many heroes to its advantage. This is a book where Hawkman and Green Arrow are the most recognizable heroes, and both are second or third tier characters, depending on your point of view.
Green Arrow is eager to prove himself as a viable hero to the league, which places him as the ideal person to infiltrate the Secret Society, a newly formed group of super villains. The series so far is spinning wheels, showing the formation of the team and unraveling the threat of the Secret Society in painfully slow steps. That’s not to say that I dislike it, it oozes in character and action, but that said… there’s not a lot happening so far.
Justice League of America started with an unusual multiple variant cover explosion spotlighting every state flag of the US and has been selling like hotcakes. The art by David Finch, most well known from Moon Knight and Batman: The Dark Knight, is a major pull for the comic as is the looming possibility of what could happen next. It’s not so much what is happening in this comic that attracts me, but what could happen next.
The relationship between Steve Trevor and Amanda Waller is on a knife edge (does this guy get along with anyone?) and Oliver Queen is the most interesting character to date as Green Arrow (it is wise for DC to ride his current popularity thanks to the WB TV series) and I am interested in seeing where that all goes. Two issues in and the team has still not faced a single threat and all of the action is in flashback.
So if you are a fan of superhero books and have a lot of patience, check this one out.