Calling all DC fans: Your time has arrived. After two years of pleading, hashtagging, and even purchasing a billboard in Times Square, the rumored "real" (yet unreleased) version of Justice League is finally making its way to the screen. So, what is the Justice League "Snyder Cut," and why is it such a big deal?
Back in 2018 when Justice League was released, fans and critics were less than enamored. The film, which received a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, centered around Batman and Wonder Woman recruiting a team (Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash) to save the planet.
Once upon a time, though, the DC film looked majorly different. The movie's original director, Zack Snyder, and his wife and producing partner Deborah, stepped down from the project in 2017 after their daughter died. At the time, the movie was in post-production, meaning it had already been filmed and was in the editing process. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder already had what he thought was the "optimal" version of the movie, and it spanned almost four hours long. However, since Snyder knew Warner Bros. wanted something about half that length, he also put together a rough, two-hour and 20-minute cut.
After the family tragedy, however, the Snyders left the project to grieve and the movie's new director Joss Whedon made big changes, including reshoots of a handful of scenes. After Whedon reworked the film, the result was vastly different from the originally dark and detailed story, and people generally weren't thrilled about it.
Almost immediately after the film was released in March 2018, fans started a petition for Snyder's (then-rumored) version to be released and the now-famous hashtag #ReleasetheSnyderCut was born. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the petition gained more than 100,000 signatures less than a week after the film's release.
However, it wasn't until 2020 — two years after Whedon's version of the film premiered — that plans to release the "Snyder cut" began to really take shape. After consulting with the the original post-production crew concerning scoring, editing, and adding visual effects, as well as with the cast, since new dialogue might be needed, the couple concluded their version could be done.
While there's no set release date other than 2021, Snyder's highly-anticipated version has found its home on HBO Max. Though it's still unclear if the project will be released in one sitting as a movie, in parts as an episodic series, or something else entirely, fans are excited for the story they were hoping for in 2018 to finally be told. This time, however, it will be on the small screen.