Justice League… that sounds familiar.
Yup. Released in 2017, it was the follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it has Batman trying to put together a team of superheroes to protect the world from the threat of Darkseid, an intergalactic supervillain.
Sounds like the plot of Avengers: Infinity War.
We don't talk about that.
Okay. Defensive-much? But what's this I hear about a re-release of Justice League?
Ah. Well, the production of Justice League had a lot of complications but simply, director Zack Snyder finished principal photography in December 2016 and was in the throes of post-production when he had to step down after his daughter's suicide.
So, noted writer and director of Avengers and workplace harasser, Joss Whedon took over the film and completed it as an uncredited director. Fabian Wagner, the cinematographer, estimated that Whedon's Justice League used about 10 percent of the footage that Snyder shot.
While the basic framework is the same, after numerous rewrites, the inclusion of a brighter tone and a cut runtime, Justice League didn't fare well at the box office.
So, a petition started by the fans for a "Snyder Cut" to be released even before there was any inkling that a cut of Snyder's Justice League film actually existed. This was fuelled partly by the fact that some of Snyder's films being re-released as extended cuts for home media and that Superman II, actually went through a similar arc.
Oh? How so?
Richard Donner, the original director for Superman II was replaced before completion. Richard Lester came in and made substantial changes that included a new ending where Superman causes Lois to forget his secret identity through a hypnotic kiss.
Hypnotic kissing is one of Superman's powers?
The '80s was a weird time.
Anyway, there was a great furore from the fans and eventually, Richard Donner returned with Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. Sticking closely to the original script, it pulled unused footage shot by Donner, including the Niagara Falls hotel room scene that is spliced from a screen test between Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder and another between Reeve and Holly Palance; you can actually see the differences in hairstyles in-between cuts.
That's cool but is the hypnotic kiss still in the Donner Cut?
Anyway, in March 2019, Snyder revealed that an original cut existed. After a few months of negotiation, WarnerMedia gave the go-ahead for a Snyder Cut.
In a sense, this isn't a re-release of 2017's Justice League but is an entirely new film instead.
What can we expect from Zack Snyder's Justice League?
We get to see 10 comic book characters that were excised from the theatrical cut and that includes Martian Manhunter played by Henry Lennix, who appeared in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.
The backstories of the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg will be beefed up to add more substance to their roles.
Oh and the film is suspected to have a running time of four hours.
It's okay. My butt has trained to sit for long durations during the pandemic.
Did not need to know that but okay.
What about Superman's weird CGI mouth? Y'know that one where the theatrical version had to digitally remove Henry Cavill's moustache?
Uh, we're not sure what-
Sonouvabitch. Okay. We're not sure if the Snyder Cut would correct this abomination but there were rumours that Cavill returned for reshoots.
There were additional shoots?
Maybe for Cavill but there indeed additional shoots involving the Flash, Deathstroke, Mera… hell, even one between Batman and the Joker.
Heath Ledger's Joker?!
Joaquin Phoenix's Joker?
Jared Leto's Joker.
Toe the judgement call, buddy. You haven't watch the film yet. From the footage we watched, Leto's Joker is a different sort of Joker. One, who is not tattooed and looking like a cover star of a hair magazine.
Where can I watch this?
Glad you asked. Snyder released a trailer this past Valentine Day weekend.
Zack Snyder's Justice League will be released on March 18, 2021 on HBO Max.