Zack Snyder's Justice League
An unprecedented time. An unprecedented opportunity. An army of persuasive fans.
And one very colourful, newly-shot scene.
After four years, director Zack Snyder returns to the DCEU to complete his vision. It’s a new era. Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead and a new villain channeling a very old evil has arrived. Honoring Superman’s sacrifice, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) must not only work together, but also unite an unlikely group of heroes – Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and The Flash (Ezra Miller) — to fight Steppenwolf, an eight-foot-tall warrior from the nightmare world of Apokolips who wants to conquer not only the Earth’s population but the planet’s entire existence. In his 4-hour epic, Snyder not only assembles our heroes, but he and writer Chris Terrio explore the breadth of their backstories, diving into the complexities of their lives introducing us to Victor Stone’s mother Elinore and Iris West, Barry Allen’s potential love interest. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) gets an emotional story arc, deepening her connection to Superman and his eventual resurrection. Vulko (Willem Dafoe) gives us context for Aquaman’s story. Alongside Cyborg, we experience the full range of Silas Stone’s love for his son.
An extended Justice League allows for extended world building. Never before seen, existing-footage scenes with Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello), Calvin Swanwick/Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix), and Ryan Choi (Zheng Kai) round out the mythology. We get the opportunity to watch our heroes join forces to eliminate Steppenwolf, much to the chagrin of New God Darkseid, making his first appearance. And at the end of it all, a chilling, freshly-shot finale with some of our heroes – and one smiling villain. For Zack Snyder, this project is about a sense of closure, for himself, for his producing partner and wife Deborah, for the fans, for all of the cast, crew, and artisans who worked on his initial vision.
But none of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the fans. Even before the 2017 version of the movie was released, there were rumblings from the fans. First it was quiet. Give us the Snyder Cut. After the movie hit theaters in November 2017, it only got louder. #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, people demanded, circulating petitions and pleading with the studio. Once fans learned an actual Snyder Cut existed, they were overjoyed and doubled down on their efforts.
Around the time of Comic-con 2019 and 2nd anniversary of Justice League that November, fans began to bombard Warner Bros. with grand gestures – billboards, social media campaigns, even sending airplanes to fly over the studio. Stars Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot publicized their endorsements with #ReleaseTheSnyderCut tweets.
“Never in our wildest imaginations did we think we would finish it. We just had this version for ourselves,” Deborah says.
But, she continues: “We knew the money it was going to take to complete the production – there was no music done, over 2500 VFX shots needed to be finished. So, we put together a big presentation: who’s the fan base, what numbers are we looking at, what are numbers in comparison to other hit films for streamers. We felt like if we could make the case that these numbers would translate into subscribers, it would make sense to do it.”
The Snyders made their presentation to HBO Max. And then Covid hit. Everyone said it was now too difficult to get it done, but Deborah saw things differently: “I said, now is the time to do this. Because lot of movies are shutting down. A lot of companies had capacity now, companies that maybe wouldn’t have been able to keep their doors open. It was great to be able to support vendors that we and Warner Bros. had worked with for a long time.”
Just like the alternate universes that comic fans are keenly familiar with, this iteration of creating the Snyderverse was an amalgamation of the past and the present. They would use all existing footage from Snyder’s initial shoot, except for one after credits scene that had lived in Snyder’s mind for years. (More on that later…) Junkie XL aka Tom Holkenborg, Snyder’s original Justice League composer, came back on to write an entirely new, 4-hour-long score. VFX teams got to work on thousands of shots that had to be done or redone.
“The tricky part was figuring out the plan without it leaking. We didn’t want it to get out there before there was an agreement or before we could make our own announcement,” Deborah says. “A lot of the vendors went out of their way to make this happen, because for them also it was completing a journey. Their work got reimagined and so to be able to put it back to what we originally planned… it was as fulfilling for them as it was for us.”
With traditional theatrical venues out of the equation, the Snyders and HBO Max worked together to create a deeply cinematic television experience for subscribers. The streamer even went so far as to work with the Snyders on an interactive series of “Chapters” for the film, which is divided into six parts:
Part 1 - "Don't Count On It, Batman"
Part 2 - "Age of Heroes"
Part 3 - "Beloved Mother, Beloved Son"
Part 4 - "Change Machine"
Part 5 - "All The King's Horses"
Part 6 - "Something Darker."
Sky have announced that the Warner Bros. Pictures and DC full-length film, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, will be available on