Zack Snyder has confirmed the "Snyder Cut" of Justice League exists and it's up to Warner Bros. if it's going to be finished and released. For the past 16 months, since the release of Justice League, fans have been campaigning for Warner Bros. to release Zack Snyder's cut of the movie, as envisioned before he was replaced by Joss Whedon, who made massive reshoots to alter the plot and tone.
Immediately after the movie's release, nearly 180,000 fans petitioned for Warner Bros. to release the Snyder Cut, and in the months since have continued to campaign, including letter and phone call campaigns to Warner Bros. executives as more and more details about what happened behind the scenes and additional information revealing how the story was changed continued to come at a steady pace. At this point, it's evident that Joss Whedon's version of the movie was a far cry from Snyder's. It wasn't simply dialogue adjustments and connective tissue as suggested leading up to the movie's release.
During his recent Director's Cuts fundraiser event, Zack Snyder spoke with fans, confirming the cut does in fact exist. One fan recorded him on video saying "all I can say is... sure there's a cut... it's done. I have a cut. I have a bunch of them. So, it's not like... that's up to them [Warner Bros.]." While another corroborates this statement, indicating it also needs "a few CG tweaks." He also put the number 214 on the event's poster, and YouTuber Film Junkee reported that Snyder indicated this was because his cut is 214 minutes long.
This all lines up with Screen Rant's reporting from January 2018 concluding Snyder completed principal photography, was well into post-production, and had picture lock, but still needed to finish VFX. Snyder didn't specify the state of Junkie XL's soundtrack, but based on the production timing, while Junkie XL may have completed some work on the soundtrack, it wouldn't have been done just yet and would still need work, along with additional CG, for a truly release ready version.
The true hangup, as Snyder says, continues to be that Snyder doesn't own the distribution rights, and Warner Bros. needs to be the one to green light its completion and release, which previous reporting has said they have no intention of doing. However, former WB Chairman and CEO, Kevin Tsujihara recently stepped down, meaning almost all the leadership from the time of that report has been replaced, so the situation could always change.
For Warner Bros. to greenlight a release, they need to be convinced the demand is high enough. While both Zack Snyder and the Snyder Cut itself are both lightning rods of drama and attention, the studio needs assurances that translates into home media sales. Justice League already took an estimated $100 million loss at the box office, and made around $56 million in home media sales, which is barely over half as much as the previous DCEU average, so it's understandable that the studio could have cold feet committing more money to finish the cut.
Fortunately for Snyder, more people seem to be gaining curiosity about what the Snyder Cut would actually be like, with people like Kevin Smith highlighting the original direction and supporting the call to release the Snyder Cut on his podcast. Snyder also recently generated over $80,000 by selling a t-shirt for a suicide prevention charity. While it's a far cry from the tens of millions Warner Bros. would want to make from a Snyder Cut release, it's only a t-shirt, and proves Snyder's name alone has value.
With an ongoing slate of DC films, and Zack Snyder about to move on to Army of the Dead, it's not clear what should be expected for an eventual Snyder Cut release, but the debate as to whether or not it even exists should be effectively over at this point as the conversation shifts to "when will we see it?"
Source: Zack Snyder (via @SnyderCutJL)
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- DC Super Pets (2021) release date: May 21, 2021
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021