After years of speculation, rumors, and social media movements, Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder are gearing up to release Snyder’s definitive version of 2017’s Justice League. The film is said to be a completely different film with updated VFX, storylines, and additional footage, but with all of the recent reveals and rumors being thrown around, it’s easy to lose track of what we should expect from this newer version.
The behind-the-scenes story of the Snyder Cut is one that has earned its spot in Hollywood history. After his original two DCEU films Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder was hard at work directing the epic climax to his trilogy with 2017’s Justice League, but due to personal family circumstances he dropped out the film after completing most if not all of principle photography.
Credible but unconfirmed rumors circulated that Snyder actually was forced off his own project by the head of DC Films, Geoff Johns, in order to replace him with now infamous Avenger’s director Joss Whedon. With recent developments, including Cyborg actor Ray Fisher’s
allegations of abuse from both Johns and Whedon that were backed up by other accounts, it could not be a better time for Snyder to finally release the version of Justice League that he promised to fans more than 4 years ago.
The #ReleasetheSnyderCut campaign will go down in Hollywood history as a gamechanger for the impact of fan culture, social media, and streaming services on the movie industry. That being said, the Snyder Cut conversation is more than just an interesting look into the business of movie making, it also means that were about to get a brand-new Justice League movie.
With every new comic book movie comes loads of fan speculation and excitement, so now is the time to get on it. With plenty of new characters, visuals, storylines, and more to get excited about, let’s breakdown everything that you should expect from Zack Snyder’s Justice League when it drops on HBO Max on March 18.
Note: For the purpose of this breakdown, Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be referred to as the Snyder Cut, and Joss Whedon’s 2017 cut will be refered to as Josstice League. (Sorry, I don’t make the rules, and I love a good meme.)
Much. More. Content.
The first order of business on this list is to address a common criticism with the Snyder Cut trailers online: that it’s just a color corrected version of 2017’s Josstice League. Well, the trailers definitely could lead you to think this because Snyder is reserving most of the new stuff for the movie itself. The new cut is said to include tons of new content and story beats that will complement the tone and story of Batman v Supermaninstead of running away from it like Josstice League so infamously did.
The Snyder Cut will also be four hours long (give or take a few minutes), whereas Josstice League was only two hours. This means that we should expect double the plot, double the action, and double the character development that we previously got from the 2017 theatrical cut. I stated previously that we will be getting a brand-new Justice League movie, and while this may not technically be true, the rest of this breakdown will prove that the Snyder Cut is essentially an entirely new movie and has plenty of new elements that separate itself from the theatrical version.
A Brand-New Villain
One of the most critically despised elements of Josstice League was how unremarkable Steppenwolf was as the main villain of the story. It’s now been revealed that this was because Zack Snyder originally intended Darkseid to be the main villain of this story with Steppenwolf as his Henchman. Darkseid will be the main villain of the Snyder Cut with Steppenwolf’s role being reduced to a smaller yet more developed role in the film.
Darkseid is a major villain in DC comics, often refered to as DC’s equivilent to Marvel’s Thanos. He originates from the planet Apokolips where he serves as its ruler. His ultimate goal is to conquer the universe using the power of the Mother Boxes (typically super-villain motives). Darkseid was teased heavily in Batman v. Superman, and fans should expect to finally have those promises fulfilled in the Snyder Cut.
More Cohearance with Batman v. Superman
One of the major changes that Joss Whedon made when he took over as director is to erase a lot of the plot and character developments from 2016’s extremely controversial Batman v. Superman. Since its release, BvS has divided audiences and fans more than almost any blockbuster film ever (Star Wars: The Last Jedi being the one of the only exceptions). Since then, however, an army of BvS apologists have emerged and fought tooth and nail for Zack Snyder’s true vision to see the light of day.
Many of the main plotlines that Snyder set up in BvS were reduced or even completely ignored in Josstice League. Some notable changes include the absence of The Flash’s big time-travel moment with Bruce Wayne, ignoring Batman’s complicated history with the Joker and Robin, and reducing the potency of Superman’s dark return from the dead, all of which will be satisfied or built upon in the Snyder Cut.
Zack Snyder has full control of this cut of Justice League, so there is no doubt that his ultimate vision will finally show up on screen. Fans of BvS should expect to have their questions answered and their wishes granted. For those of you who have issues with BvS, it still may not be the movie for you, but the Snyder Cut has the potential to either resolve those issues or reinforce them, so the curiosity factor should be enough to get you to watch.
New Cameos and Characters
The newest trailer for the Snyder Cut confirmed that fans should expect many new characters and cameos to be included in this cut. The biggest of these cameos (unless Snyder has a surprise up his sleeve) is confirmed to be Jared Leto’s highly anticipated return as the Joker. The latest trailer for the film had a jaw dropping (and meme inspiring) reveal of a nightmarish version of Batman’s greatest villain that fans are eager to watch in full.
Jared Leto’s new version of the Joker is already revealed to be part of the film, but rumor has it that other impressive cameos will happen that have not been revealed yet. Some of the rumored cameos include Robin Wright as Antiope, Henry Lennix as Martian Manhunter, Ryan Choi as The Atom, and even a possible appearance from Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern.
The Snyder Cut will also revive a tossed-out story line between Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen and Kiersey Clemons’ Iris West. Her roll was noticeably cut from Josstice League entirely, so fans will now get to see what Snyder originally intended as a subplot for The Flash. Other characters who fans should expect to see a much larger role for is J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.
More Dark Superman
One of the most obvious cuts that Joss Whedon made to the theatrical version of Justice League was the exclusion of a true villainous storyline for Clark Kent in the film. There is one scene in Josstice League where the team is forced to fight a newly revived Superman, but Superman’s evil arc gets resolved extremely quick compared to what fans were teased throughout production. The trailers for the Snyder Cut have confirmed that Henry Cavil will dawn Superman’s famous black suit and go through quite a long recovery process.
The evil Superman storyline is an extremely famous arc in the comics where Clark Kent becomes unhinged from being revived after his death. The Snyder Cut is said to portray this darker version of superman in a far more complex way than Josstice League attempted to. Most of the infamous reshoots for Justice Leaguewhere Henry Cavil’s mustache had to be digitally removed were done to undo this story arc from the film, so fans should expect far less digital face Superman in the Snyder Cut.
More Character Development for the Justice League
Perhaps the biggest and simplest change that fans should expect from the Snyder Cut is just far more development for the six members of the Justice League. A four-hour movie is plenty of time to explore the lives and motivations for these six heroes, and Joss Whedon prioritizing action and comedy in his reshoots means that there is a lot more character moments and development that was initially left on the cutting room floor.
Perhaps the biggest character change (other than evil Superman) that we should expect is an increased role for Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. Fisher’s Cyborg was one of the more universally lauded elements of Josstice League, but Snyder has stated that there is even more of him to be seen, referring to him as “the heart of the movie.” Although Josstice League’s portrayal of the character is pretty well received, Synder’s commitment to Fisher and Cyborg should excite people who are disappointed in Warner Bros. and Walter Hamada’s mistreatment of Fisher behind the scenes.
Additionally, every other member of the Justice League is said to have more development and screen-time. Ezra Miller’s The Flash will have additional story elements beyond the inclusion of Iris West; most of the rumors suggest that he will take part in some sort of time travel adventure that was teased in Batman v. Superman. Wonder Woman, and more broadly the Amazons, will have a much larger role in the Snyder Cut that was reduced to a single action sequence in Josstice League. Finally, Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman, and more broadly the Atlanteans, will have a significantly increased part in the film, with Amber Heard’s Mera expected to have a much larger role.
Overall, the big take away that viewers should get from the Zack Snyder’s Justice League is that it is a very different vision from the 2017 theatrical version. Snyder has guaranteed that this film will be the definitive version of Justice League that he originally intended, and fans have a lot of new stuff to look forward to when the Snyder Cut drops on HBO Max on March 18.
Are you planning to check out the Snyder Cut? Let us know what your most excited to see down below or on Twitter @Filmnetic.