Last week, HBO Max announced that the controversial “Snyder Cut” of Justice League would premiere in some form on the new streaming service in 2021. After years of a vocal online fan campaign dubbed #ReleasetheSnyderCut aimed at convincing Warner Bros. to let original Justice League director Zack Snyder complete his vision for the film, it’s actually happening. Initially, reports suggested that parent company WarnerMedia would be investing $20 million to $30 million to turn this fantasy into a reality. It’s a hefty sum for a product general moviegoers outside of Film Twitter aren’t much aware of. As it turns out, however, the cost of the fabled Snyder Cut will be much higher.
“It isn’t as easy as going into the vault and there’s a Snyder Cut sitting there to put out,” Greenblatt said. “Zack is actually building it and it’s complex, including – and I don’t wanna get into too much detail that we haven’t already talked about yet – but, new effects shots.”
Snyder is in the process of reassembling his postproduction crew to score, edit and provide visual effects to existing footage he shot. The director reportedly wanted to bring back many of the actors to shoot additional footage, but did not get the greenlight. Greenblatt described the process as “a radical rethinking of that movie” and “complicated and wildly expensive. Which is, of course, a number I won’t quote…I’ll just say I wish it was $30 million and stop there.”
HBO Max officially launched Wednesday morning. It has not yet been officially decided what form the Snyder Cut will take—multi-chapter episodes or one supersized director’s cut.
Warner Bros. originally tapped Snyder to oversee its DC Extended Universe, which began with 2013’s Man of Steel and included Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. However, late in production, Snyder left the latter due to a death in the family and WB turned to The Avengers filmmaker Joss Whedon to complete the project. The hodgepodge of conflicting tones and styles resulted in a muddled final product and the birth of the #ReleasetheSnyderCut campaign. Thanks to significant and costly reshoots, Justice League’s budget is estimated to range from $250 million to $300 million. Warner Bros. is believed to have lost anywhere from $50 million to $100 million on the film as it topped out at the worldwide box office at $658 million.