Zack Snyder Pulls Back Curtain on His 'Justice League' Cut

Snyder Cut Photo Comp 2
Warner Bros.
The filmmaker revealed The Snyder Cut will be more than 214 minutes and confirmed none of Joss Whedon's shots will be in this version.

“These characters are bigger than us, or any filmmaker or actor. And they’ll exist far beyond us.” On Saturday evening filmmaker Zack Snyder talked about the long-awaited release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League during a live web panel at the first inaugural Justice Con. While the first teaser for Snyder’s Justice League, set to premiere on HBO Max next year, won’t be shown until DC Fandome on Aug. 22, the director didn’t come empty handed and shared a brief unfinished clip and along with a few details about the process of completing his film.

Organized by The Nerd Queens (Cole and Nana) and Wonder Meg, Justice Con, which runs through Sunday, brings together fans, cast and crew members Snyder’s Justice League, and charitable organizations Ink to the People, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, for a series of live panels dedicated to the release of the Snyder Cut and its charity affiliates. Before delving into matters of the Justice League, Snyder highlighted the important work that was being done in terms of raising awareness of mental health and suicide prevention, noting that moderators The Nerd Queens and Wonder Meg were doing life-saving work. Snyder reiterated the charitable work was more important than any film, and it was that aspect of the Snyder Cut movement he found most inspiring.

As for the film itself, Snyder said that he was in the process working on restoring the aspect ratio of the film back to the full frame, IMAX cut that he originally intended. And he also revealed that he’s been collaborating with composer Junkie XL as they complete the score alongside the film’s additional footage. In terms of the length of his Justice League, Snyder said that he couldn’t reveal whether or not Justice League would be a film or split up into a miniseries, but did say that the full runtime would be over 214 minutes. Although in 2016, Warner Bros. wanted Justice League to come in at two hours, Snyder said he was always attracted to the idea of presenting his full film as either an extended cut with an intermission or an HBO release. He heralded HBOMax for being “amazing and so supportive” during this process. The filmmaker said he’d be happy with either a long-running film or miniseries, saying it wasn’t a compromise either way, but that he was particularly intrigued by the miniseries format.

Of course, no conversation of Snyder’s Justice League would be complete without a discussion of Joss Whedon’s “Frankenstein” cut of the film that used recolored and edited Snyder footage alongside new scenes shot by Whedon. Snyder admitted that he still hasn’t seen the theatrical cut of Justice League and won’t, while also assuaging fears that any of the material Whedon shot would appear in his cut. “I would set the movie on fire, I’d destroy it before I used a single frame that I did not photograph,” Snyder said. While Snyder never spoke Whedon’s name directly, he did say that following his decision to step down as director of Justice League, after a family tragedy, the replacement director was chosen by the process of committee.

Even before he stepped down, Snyder ran into opposition from studio execs who wanted the film to be “hilarious.” He received a significant amount of pushback in wanting to see Superman return in a black suit as he famously did in "The Return of Superman" (1993) comic book storyline. Execs feared the black suit Superman would be “too scary,” but Snyder wasn’t interested in making Superman’s return into a joke. “I want Superman in full volume, in the full spectrum of emotion, not a one-note boy scout.” Snyder’s vision of a black suit Superman is finally coming to fruition and Snyder shared a brief 20 second clip of a black-clad Superman (Henry Cavill) meeting Alfred (Jeremy Irons) for the first time. While the scene had not yet been color corrected Snyder revealed that because he was never allowed to suit Superman in a black suit, the charcoal hue was a post-production effect done by recoloring the classic red and blue suit, which was specifically textured for Justice League in case he ever had the opportunity to present the character as he originally envisioned. (See the 31:43 mark above.)

While fans had been clamoring for the Snyder Cut for two and a half years, Snyder admitted that he didn’t have much hope it would be released and had made peace with simply teasing what he had planned through set photos and drawings posted on Vero. But now that it is happening, Snyder said there’s a lot that fans have yet to see, and plenty of surprises in store. He remained coy about the presence of Green Lantern, and a blurred photo in the background of his office that looks similar to the WWI photo featuring Wonder Woman, but with more people in the frame. Perhaps a result of some of The Flash’s (Ezra Miller) time-travel mishaps we’ve yet to see?

Snyder said that he was looking forward to the opportunity to see all of these characters come together in the film over time, suggesting that it wouldn’t be a quick or easy team-up. And he reiterated that his Justice League is largely about Cyborg, whose arc was largely cut out of the theatrical film. Careful not to reveal any major spoilers, Snyder did say that the first teaser for the film, and its official title, which may or may not be Zack Snyder’s Justice League, will be revealed at DC Fandome next month.