When Justice League premiered in 2017, the reviews were decidedly mixed: Despite strong performances from cast members like Gal Gadot, critics panned the overwrought special effects and felt the movie seemed cobbled together. One major issue was the departure of director Zack Snyder, who left the film for family reasons. Joss Whedon took over directing duties and handled reshoots, and fans have long suspected that Snyder’s version of the film—the so-called “Snyder Cut”—would be better than the version that was actually released. After years of speculation and hints (even Jason Momoa weighed in), Warner Bros. finally agreed to release Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max, and the first trailer dropped over the weekend.
The trailer features Snyder himself introducing the action, and you can watch it below:
— Zack Snyder’s Justice League (@snydercut) February 14, 2021
It’s been a long road to get here. The original Justice League cost Warner Bros. hundreds of millions of dollars to make and distribute, and the studio lost around $100 million on the film. Considering that huge financial loss and less-than-stellar reviews, the studio was reluctant to invest even more money to make the Snyder Cut. In 2018, Warner Bros. announced it had no plans to release Snyder’s version of the film.
But fans (and Snyder himself) never lost hope. First, there was a widely circulated petition to get Warner Bros. to release the Snyder Cut. In 2019, a fan posted a video of Snyder confirming his cut did exist, but it was up to the studio to actually release it. In May 2020, it became official: The studio announced Zack Snyder’s Justice League would premiere in 2021.
In the trailer, you’ll see plenty of familiar faces from the last Justice League, including Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman, and Henry Cavill as Superman. But Snyder aims to make a very different movie than the 2017 release. He’s refused to watch Joss Whedon’s film, and says the new version of Justice League will be entirely his own.
“I’d destroy the movie, I would set it on fire before I would use a single frame that I did not photograph,” he told The Wrap last July.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League debuts on HBO Max on March 18.
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