Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally is hitting HBO Go on March 18, around three-ish years after the much-maligned theatrical version–helmed by Joss Whedon, when Snyder had to drop out of filming due to personal reasons–came out. The plot summary remains strangely the same:
…Determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad, and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
With the 300 and Watchmen director finally being able to finish his original vision for the film, what should we expect? We have seen this before, after all. Or have we?
The running time is 4 hours and 2 minutes.
You read that right. That’s because Snyder is bringing back everything that Whedon cut out plus everything else but the kitchen sink. Look closely and there might be an actual kitchen sink in there somewhere…and that is why the film reached that length. The film is also divided into six chapters–“Don’t Count On It, Batman,” “The Age of Heroes,” “Beloved Mother, Beloved Son,” “Change Machine,” “All The King’s Horses,” and “Something Darker”– and an epilogue.
“When we started off, Chris Terrio and I knew there might be other films: there was a Flash film in production with a big role for Cyborg, and the Wonder Woman movie had
not come out yet,” says the filmmaker. “We worked with the Flash writers and I was deeply involved in the Wonder Woman storyline. Also, we were planning a second and third Justice League movie where we would be also able to complete the arcs we had fully fleshed out.”
Can’t watch it in one go? In his interview with Beyond The Trailer’s Grace Randolph, Snyder suggests taking a small break after Chapter 2, and another one after Chapter 4 (released theatrically, this is where the intermission will happen). If you can thon your favorite shows the whole night, then this is easy peasy for you.
Newly shot footage
“The only new scene is the Batman/Joker scene. The rest of it was the original movie,” says Snyder. “After I realized there would be no more Zack Snyder DC movies, my biggest regret was
that there was no Batman/Joker confrontation scene. It’s the key relationship for both of them. They both went through a series of films and never ran into each other. It didn’t make sense to me. So, I thought maybe I could remedy that. The idea was that we would do it without telling anybody. I talked to Jared (Leto, previously seen in Suicide Squad) and said we’d get him and Ben and shoot it in my backyard…just sneak it into the movie. Then I just wrote the scene and it turned out we could shoot it.”
The fans made this happen.
Around the time of Comic-con 2019 and 2nd anniversary of Justice League that November, fans began to bombard Warner Bros. with grand gestures – billboards, social media campaigns, even sending airplanes to fly over the studio. Stars Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot publicized their endorsements with #ReleaseTheSnyderCut tweets. “Never in our wildest imaginations did we think we would finish it. We just had this version for ourselves,” says producer Deborah Snyder.
“I think that people want this version of the movie, because I take it seriously,” adds Zack. “And I take it personally. And I love the characters like they do. I feel like that resonates with fans with regards to how they see the DC universe and how they see these characters. And that relationship fuels a lot of the deep dives people take into the Snyderverse version of the DCEU.”
Zack Snyder sees his Justice League members as a bunch of “misfits.”
This may possibly be a controversial one for fans. “Justice League is a story of a group of misfits,” explains Zack Snyder. “They’re superheroes but they’re all kind of wayward, and each of them has a certain skill sets needed to save the world. It’s the story of the coming together of those lost souls into a family. They form a relationship and become partners so that they can do good, save the world, what have you. But in it, they’re able to go through a catharsis with themselves and their own demons — and of be better in the end.”
It’s not that Snyder isn’t a fan of comics, it’s just that he grew up reading a different kind of them. “Growing up, I was a big fan of Heavy Metal Magazine, which is an adult illustrated fantasy magazine that I got ahold of at a very young age… Too young. It really shaped my aesthetic. So yes, I have been a fan of that way of illustrated storytelling for a long time. It has informed the cinematic language of the way I like to tell stories with pictures as much as possible.”
Martian Manhunter will be there.
Yes, the green Martian hero is part of the film. It was previously announced that Harry Lennix’s character General Swanwick, previously seen in Man of Steel, is actually J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter. “As a character, he intrigues me,” says Snyder. “I don’t know what his reluctance to engage in humanity is about, but he has all these incredible powers. For years, I have been thinking about having Swanwick’s alter ego be Martian Manhunter. I really saw him as a springboard. So, we thought: Let’s have Martian Manhunter take on the shape of Martha Kent to get Lois to reengage with the world. And at the end, I’ll bring him back to launch a dark side war. It’s a way to talk about what Bruce Wayne’s role really was. Also, if the Darkseid comes, you’re going to need all hands on deck to face that.”
What, no Oreos?
The film will be in the square-ish 1.43:1 aspect ratio.
Not in widescreen for this one. Back in July during JusticeCon, Snyder explained that he originally shot Justice League with the 1.33:1 IMAX ratio in mind, as he fell in love with the format while working on Batman v Superman. “My intent was to have the movie, the entire film, play in a gigantic 1:43 aspect ratio on a giant IMAX screen,” Snyder said at Justice Con. “Superheroes tend to be, as figures, they tend to be less horizontal. Maybe Superman when he’s flying. But when he’s standing, he’s more of a vertical. Everything is composed and shot that way, and a lot of the restoration is sort of trying to put that back. Put these big squares back. … It’s a completely different aesthetic. It’s just got a different quality and one that is unusual. No one’s doing that.”
Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be released on HBO GO in Asia March 18 at around 3PM PHT. A subscription to HBO GO costs P99 via Skycable, and P149 via GlobeOne.