Early buyers of Justice League may be disappointed, with the digital release missing the deleted scenes or bonus material expected. So as the deleted scenes of Superman's black suit, or even the finally confirmed meeting of Superman and Alfred leak online, it seems fans have no actual alternative. With Justice League now available for digital purchase ahead of the Blu-ray release in March, those looking to see any of the deleted or behind-the-scenes footage may seem to have weeks to wait.
The warning isn't just for fans hoping for a Zack Snyder cut of Justice League, but anyone preparing to purchase a digital copy of the film. Only hours after the movie was made available, purchasers are heading online to wonder why their copies are missing any of the bonus material expected. No deleted scenes for home video release is one thing - and could be coming on Blu-ray - but as the footage presumably due to actual buyers continues to leak online, WB is facing a brand new problem to solve.
The problem may be rooted in that platform used to purchase the digital copy (even through the film's official website). The site provides links to eleven outlets for both digital purchases and physical copies, with the digital versions of Justice League claiming to include the theatrical cut of the movie plus "bonus" material. While some platforms, like iTunes unlock everything promised, that doesn't appear to be the case for everyone.
For reference, here is the announced "bonus material" coming to the home video, Blu-ray release. It's also worth noting that the "deleted scenes" aren't included as such, but expected to be folded into the "Return of Superman" feature:
- Road to Justice
- Heart of Justice
- Technology of the Justice League
- Justice League: The New Heroes
- The Return of Superman
- Steppenwolf the Conqueror
- Scene Studies: Revisiting the Amazons
- Scene Studies: Wonder Woman’s Rescue
- Scene Studies: Heroes Park
- Scene Studies: The Tunnel Battle
- Suit Up: The Look of the League
Unfortunately, as purchasers taking to sites like Twitter and Reddit are now discovering, their purchase may be a lot slimmer than expected. Especially as deleted scenes and making-of featurette footage continues to surface online... that is nowhere to be found in the bundle they've just purchased. In the case of the Microsoft release of "Justice League + Bonus," the bonus amounts to a four-minute long featurette assembled partly from footage available online already, and nothing else. Part of the problem seems to be retailer-specific, with some conflicting reports on the content being unlocked/accessed only through services like Movies Anywhere.
Even if it's as simple as heading to the library consolidation service, that requires buyers to sign up for the service, granting permission for their video library information to be made available to service providers and participating studios (and in our case, registration soon failed regardless). Not a major inconvenience, but not what consumers will, or should expect.
The situation is sure to be sorted in some way, sooner or later. And all things considered, the fans most eager to see the Snyder footage that was scrapped, or further hints at the original version are used to disappointment by now. But in an age where movie studios are uniting to fight online piracy, this seems a perfect example of why it continues to be a problem of more than just money. At present, consumers who paid to get their eyes on Justice League are facing hurdles to see the bonus footage assembled.
Footage that, from the time of this writing onward, will be swapped and shared through social media with not a penny changing hands. We'll update as more information and instruction for purchasers becomes available.