Warner Bros. Owns The Distribution Rights
Assuming the Snyder Cut is completed in and in a releasable condition, it doesn't really matter unless Warner Bros. wants to give the green light and finance the distribution for it. As the owner of both the intellectual property and the distribution rights, it's the studio's call as to whether or not they want to release it. Snyder and his company, Cruel and Unusual Films, are producers and may have some rights to access or modify the footage, but not to make it available for public consumption.
So, Snyder could, as has been rumored, finish his cut of Justice League on his own, and simply screen it for friends, family, and the cast (he's chronicled the building of a new personal theater on the social network Vero, fueling such rumors), but the only way for it to show in a public theater, get sold on DVD/Blu-ray/digital, or land on a streaming platform is for Warner Bros. to give the OK. Since the company is currently trying to move past the disappointment of Justice League to focus on to the future with Aquaman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman 1984, it's not likely shining a spotlight back on Justice League ranks high on their priorities, especially since Zack Snyder's other two DCEU installments were divisive with general audiences anyway.
The Snyder Cut Changes Are Significant Enough to Alter Continuity
Thanks to a number of significant changes to the story, Justice League's theatrical cut and the Snyder Cut don't fit in the same continuity. It wasn't just minor tweaks here and there, Superman was almost entirely reshot, the Knightmare subplot was removed, sequel set-up for Darkseid was removed, Iris West was cut, and more. And those are just the known changes. There's plenty of scenes from trailers that didn't make it into the final movie, and Snyder himself has teased even more moments that have absolutely no context in the story we know from the theatrical version.
The situation is totally different with Batman v Superman and the Ultimate Edition. Since the changes there were mostly for the sake of runtime, and only impact the internal plot structure of BvS, it doesn't hurt the larger shared universe continuity. The movie still set up Justice League either way. Justice League, however, barely sets up a totally different sequel than the Snyder Cut. Snyder's Justice League 2 would have been something similar to Grant Morrison's Final Crisis comics, with Darkseid invading Earth with the anti-life equation, but the theatrical cut removed all that set-up, instead using the post-credits scene of Lex Luthor and Deathstroke to add some reshoot dialogue teasing the Legion of Doom.
That doesn't mean the Snyder Cut isn't worth watching or that fans wouldn't appreciate what it was doing, but the studio has no interest in putting money and effort behind a project that only relates to its previous DCEU roadmap.
Page 3 of 3: How Could The Snyder Cut Be Released?
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020