Justice League debuted in 2017. Following the events of Batman v Superman, released the previous year, the film marked the meeting of some of the main heroes of DC Comics: Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman ( Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and, of course, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill).
But that was it. The film received negative reviews and failed at the box office: it grossed $ 657 million, just over double its budget. The value is not just below what Marvel films usually make, but also from the films themselves: Man of Steel, 2013, made $ 668 million.
Justice League may not have been a remarkable long, but it is part of what is perhaps one of the most curious stories of cinema in recent years – and probably more interesting than the plot of the film itself.
Since its launch, fans have argued that the defects of the Justice League have a simple explanation: the version that went to the cinema is not the one that the director, Zack Snyder, idealized, and that, somewhere, there would be a second version. This new cut, longer, darker and with ideas that were discarded from the final material, became known as “Snyder Cut”.
Last Wednesday (20), Warner Bros. announced that a new version of the Justice League – the “Snyder Cut” – will hit the small screens in 2021. Small screens, not big screens: the film will be released on HBO Max, the company's streaming platform that is due to open in the USA on the 27th.
Still half lost in this story? Below, a summary of everything that has happened so far – and what is already known about this new version.
Creating a universe
After directing films such as 300 and Watchmen, two comic book adaptations, Zack Snyder was called to command Man of Steel, who recounted the origin of Superman. The movie came out in 2013 and, despite mixed reviews, was well at the box office.
This allowed that year, Warner announced an ambitious project: a Superman movie Batman facing. It would be epic: the first meeting of the great DC characters on the big screen. The announcement, made at San Diego Comic-Con, was exciting:
Initially scheduled for 2015, Batman v Superman was postponed to 2016. Expectations for the film were high: with Snyder in the direction, the tone would follow dark and realistic directions – that is, the maximum realism that a story with superseres can have. It was extremely important to Warner, as it would be the basis for building a cinematic universe (as well as its rival, Marvel) and, consequently, for a future League film.
The film debuted, and made $ 873 million worldwide. But the reception was not as planned: according to the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, only 27% of the reviews were positive.
From then on, something that would happen in Justice League began to roll – Snyder claimed that a considerable part of the film's material did not go into the final version, damaging the story. In fact: the extended version, with 30 minutes more, ties several loose ends of the script, and better builds the hatred that the heroes feel for each other.
It is worth mentioning that BvS and Liga are not the only Snyder films that have a version of the director: Dawn of the Dead, Sucker Punch and Watchmen also make the list.
The production of Justice League was troubled. Although all the actors had returned to play their roles, Warner, after receiving BvS, looked at Snyder's direction with insecurity. In January 2017, the director gave a crude version, with four hours of material – and you thinking that the three hours of Avengers: Ultimatum were already much.
Warner, by contrast, wanted the film to be two hours long. Snyder gave a first version with 2h20min – but of course, with this cut, several adjustments still need to be made. But his work was interrupted by a sad news: the death of his daughter, Autumm.
With that, Snyder moved away from production. To end the film, Warner called Joss Whedon – the director behind the first two Avengers. The producers were betting that Whedon's humor and dialogue, which worked at Marvel, could somehow fix what was going wrong in the DC universe.
According to the New York Times, Whedon created 80 new script pages for the film. He added moments for Wonder Woman, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), the mother of Super. On the other hand, reduced the Flash screen time and Cyborg, and cut the character of actress Kiersey Clemons, who live the romantic pair of Miller.
But the most controversial reshoots involve Superman. At the time, Henry Cavill was shooting another film, Mission: Impossible: Fallout Effect, and thanks to a contract clause, he couldn't take off his mustache. Solution: The Justice League team removed it digitally – but the result is not The best (in addition to having cost $ 25 million).
What comes next?
As soon as the film was released, fans from all over the world started the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign ("Unleash Snyder's Cut" in English). Warner received hundreds of messages, and 180,000 people signed a petition by the extended version. The movement came to the screens of Times Square, in New York, during the Comic-Con that takes place in the city.
In addition to the audience, Snyder and the actors also fueled the campaign – which ended up becoming practically a meme. Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot… Last Monday (18), Jason Momoa, in full quarantine, recorded a video begging for the director's cut, saying it was time for this to happen – and didn't he get it right?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, conversations between Snyder, his wife, Deborah (who is a film producer) and Warner President Toby Emmerich began in November 2019. Zack and Deborah planned a black and white screening of the material, for some executives at Warner, HBO's Max and DC in the couple's home in California.
So far, little is known about the project. Warner will give between $ 20 million and $ 30 million for Snyder to finish production – which can be released in full, four hours long, or divided into a six-episode series.
“The best part of this is that we can explore these characters in ways that you can't in a shorter version,” said Snyder to the Hollywood Reporter. "The return of this film in this format and duration, is a courageous and unprecedented move".
Other than that, there are rumors that the “new” Justice League will have the appearance of the villain Darkseid, voiced by actor Ray Porter (who celebrated the announcement of the Snyder Cut with a Photograph your character). But nobody knows if it will be possible to remake scenes involving Batman, since Ben Affleck gave up the role.
The news also rekindled another movement: #ReleaseTheAyerCut, which calls for the Warner release the original version of Suicide Squad that the director, David Ayer, defends be better than it was for cinemas. The chances, however, are minimal. Because? Well, have you seen Suicide Squad? Yeah.
If you don't trust that this new version of Justice League will be better – and you still turn your nose up to the whole story – know that at least some fans are happy: this Thursday (21st), someone paid for a plane to fly over the studios from Warner with a poster thanking the decision: