Justice League director Zack Snyder wanted to release his cut of the movie as two movies released a month apart. Despite it being almost three years since the theatrical release of the Justice League, it is still one of the most talked-about movies, primarily due to the Snyder Cut movement, which pushed for the release of Snyder’s original vision. Earlier this year, it was announced Snyder’s cut of the movie would release on HBO Max in 2021, and a visually stunning trailer followed in August. Also, Justice League reshoots have taken place with Ben Affleck, Ray Fischer, and even Jared Leto as the Joker.
One thing that has, however, always stuck out about Snyder’s version of the Justice League, even before the HBO Max announcement was its runtime. Warner Bros. were keen for Justice League to be two hours, hence why so much of the original version, like Cyborg’s meatier storyline, was cut in the theatrical release. In December of 2019, Snyder shared an image proving that the Snyder Cut existed, and it showed a runtime of 214 minutes (3.5 hours). However, the runtime proved to be even longer, as HBO Max announced that Snyder’s Justice League would release as a four hour TV miniseries. Now the director has revealed how he originally wanted to release his Justice League.
In Snyder’s interview with TheFilmJunkee, he touched on the runtime of Justice League and how even the director’s cut that the studio had seen wasn’t 4 hours because of their “mandate” of demanding a two-hour-long film. Snyder then went on to explain how he had an idea that would see his cut of Justice League released as two two-hour long movies, with a month gap in between:
“The studio had seen the director’s cut, but even the director’s cut of the movie was shorter than my cut. Yes, this is my cut of the movie, but there was a cut that I created that I said this is too much for the studio. The mandate was, make the movie two hours long. I cannot show them a four-hour version of the movie. If I show them a four-hour version of the movie – I did have this idea, “Oh, maybe we could just split it in half and make it into two two-hour movies.” My first idea was like, you showed two hours, and then there’s like, maybe a month, and then the next two hours come out. That was one of my ideas.”
The idea is certainly an interesting one, and had this been designed for a theatrical release of Justice League, it would have been interesting to see how the two movies would have fared at the box office releasing so closely together. The four-hour series strategy it is taking on HBO Max certainly makes sense for the streaming service as it provides new content and potential for more viewership. In the interview with TheFilmJunkee, Snyder also said he’s structured the story as “six chapters,” so the structure “leant itself” to the type of release it is getting on WarnerMedia’s streaming service.
Warner Bros. will certainly be hoping Zack Snyder’s Justice League (as it is now officially known) proves to be a success, as they have invested a further $70 million in allowing the director to complete his vision, with additional photography that’s interestingly added another four to five minutes of screentime to the already four-hour long movie. There is a lot of momentum and expectation behind Snyder’s Justice League, but this thought of two two-hour long movies is another illustration of the journey the Snyder Cut has been on these past three years.