On March 18th 2021 HBO Max releases the long awaited Zack Snyder’s Justice League, often referred to as the “Snyder Cut”. How long? Since 2017 when the theatrical version, co-directed by Joss Whedon, first appeared.

It presents Justice League as director Zack Snyder had intended it before he left the production. Like the theatrical release, Zack Snyder’s Justice League follows the Justice League—Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and the Flash (Ezra Miller)—as they attempt to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and his army of Parademons. Justice League is the fifth film of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name.

Snyder stepped down during post-production following the death of his daughter, and Joss Whedon was hired to finish the film, completing it as an uncredited director. Whedon oversaw reshoots and other changes that incorporated a brighter tone and more humor, and cut the runtime down significantly. Fans and members of the cast and crew petitioned for the release of Snyder’s version, which they nicknamed the Snyder Cut. At the time, industry insiders regarded the release as unlikely. However, Warner Bros. decided to move ahead with it in February 2020. This was after WB had been acquired by AT&T in 2018.

Zack directing

It reportedly (New York Times) cost around $70 million to complete the visual effects, score, and editing, with new material filmed in October 2020. The cut was originally planned to be released as both a miniseries and a four-hour film, but plans for the miniseries were scrapped by January 2021. The film is dedicated to Snyder’s daughter, Autumn.

Among the reported differences between the theatrical Justice League and Zack Snyder’s Justice League are dozens of additional scenes, backstories, mythos, worldbuilding elements, new characters, and teases for upcoming films. Warners has said these are not part of their upcoming film slate. The DCU is currently focusing only on stand-alone films due to the relatively poor performance of the theatrical Justice League. It still made over $600 million, however, that would be a success for a less expensive movie.

In March 2019, Snyder ended months of speculation by confirming that his original cut did exist, and stated that it was up to Warner Bros. to release it. In November, an insider claimed that Warner Bros. was unlikely to release Snyder’s version in any form, calling such hopes a “pipe dream”. However, the following month, Snyder posted a photo in his Vero account, showing boxes with tapes labeled “Z.S. J.L Director’s cut”, with the caption “Is it real? Does it exist? Of course it does”.

The film cans list the running time of this early Justice League cut at 214 minutes.

Tom Holkenborg, known as Junkie XL, composed the film’s score; he had previously completed an entire score for the theatrical version of Justice League, before being replaced by Danny Elfman following Snyder’s departure and Whedon’s arrival. Danny Elfman scored the theatrical version. When Holkenborg was rehired to score the film in early 2020, he decided to restart and make a brand new score for the film, which consists of fifty-four tracks and is four hours and 20-minutes long.

Allison Crowe‘s cover of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” will play during the end credits as a tribute to Autumn Snyder.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is rated R for “violence and some language”.

Here are 3 special posters, titled Fallen, Risen, and Reborn.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.