Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the 2021 director’s cut of the 2017 superhero film Justice League, the fifth DC Extended Universe film. The new movie presents Justice League as Zack Snyder had intended it before the director had to leave the production for personal reasons.
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 and his army of Parademons.
The 2017 version of Justice League had a troubled production history. The film’s screenplay underwent major changes before and during production. In May 2017, Snyder left as director during post-production following the death of his daughter.
Joss Whedon completed the movie, with many reshoots of scenes, uncredited. Whedon’s version of Justice League has a brighter tone and more humour. The overall running time was reduced significantly at the behest of Warner Bros. Justice League received mixed reviews and performed very poorly at the box office.
As details emerged about the film’s troubled production before Snyder stepped down, many DC fans expressed interest in an alternate cut more faithful to the original director’s vision, eventually petitioning for the release of this, which they nicknamed ‘the Snyder Cut’. This initially seemed highly unlikely.
However, Warner Bros. relented to the pressure and decided to greenlight the project in February 2020. With new material being filmed in October 2020, the ‘Synder Cut’ cost around $70 million to complete! The new version was originally planned to be released as both a miniseries and a four-hour film, but it is now just a very long feature. The film is dedicated to Snyder’s deceased daughter.
“Justice League has become an inelegant everything-and-the-kitchen-sink version of itself instead of a ruthlessly streamlined, bastardized blockbuster. Faithful fans may very well cherish this unfiltered, super-sized helping of Snyder: The ironic happy ending to their cause is that the one film of his that he truly lost control of has been reborn into his magnum opus of excess, at least by volume.” AV Club
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League is about the underdogs, the misunderstood, and the broken persevering against unspeakable evil. It’s an uphill battle for DC’s most iconic heroes, humanizing them with their own personal journeys and shortcomings. The ultimate climax of the DC superhero epic is one for the books, involving an electrifying turn of events executed by the film’s wise-cracking speedster and emotionally-driven Cyborg.” Bloody Disgusting
“In the end, Justice League 2.0 breaks the cardinal sin of not committing to anything while indulging everything. Even its new scenes from Snyder’s own reshoots last year (you’ll know them when you see them) add nothing to the overall film other than gratifying the director’s worst impulses, which are now unburdened from the restraints of logic or cohesive storytelling.” Den of Geek
“For better and for worse, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is 100% his vision […] won’t appeal to everyone and that’s fine, it didn’t need to. Whether you wanted it or not though, you will find yourself admitting that it’s a huge improvement on the original version.” Digital Spy
“At times, it feels needlessly violent — Wonder Woman goes overkill on some terrorists in an early re-edited scene — but more often than not it feels satisfying, especially in a crowd pleasing final act. More synergy comes from a pleasingly bombastic score from Tom Holkenborg that harkens back to previous Snyderverse themes established by Hans Zimmer.” Empire
” …after reading my review of the original cut, most of my issues were addressed. Steppenwolf is now a mighty foe to be taken seriously, we get to know the new heroes more, the pacing is stronger although there are a number of scenes that need to be trimmed or cut, and it now has a singular vision.” Flickering Myth
Taken on its merits as a four-hour film, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is unwieldy, indulgent, and frequently impenetrable, with all-new cameos and subplots upon subplots that will mean little to all but the most DC-savvy viewers […] Neither the magnum opus some may have expected, nor the catastrophic car-wreck of the original, it’s a fascinating, flawed climax to Snyder’s grand DCEU experiment.” Games Radar
“The film has something preposterous but surreal, and there is a disturbing epilogue in which Wayne is confronted by his personal demons. Snyder’s film may be exhausting but it is engaging. Justice is served.” The Guardian
“Justice League has received a tonal overhaul in line with Snyder’s trademark cinematic language, meaning plenty of slo-mo soundtracked to rock ballads. The colour, of course, has been sucked out of every scene. There’s a thematic shift, too, so that Snyder can continue his somewhat dubious thesis on superheroes as modern-day gods – all Christ and Osiris figures, mighty and terrible in equal measure.” Independent (UK)
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League is remarkably uninterested in people. Its heroes are gods with no believers, walking nuclear weapons that have deigned to prevent Earth from destruction. In this, Zack Snyder’s Justice League might be the only honest work of superhero cinema, a film that understands these figures as tools of domination.” Polygon
“Even as Snyder’s cut follows the same or similar story beats as Whedon’s truncated, time-limited iteration, it’s obvious how little Whedon used Snyder’s footage and how much he decided to hurriedly reshoot in the spring and summer of 2017. It’s not just a difference in tone or emphasis on a particular story element or two.” Screen Anarchy
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Main cast and characters:
Henry Cavill … Superman / Clark Kent
Gal Gadot … Wonder Woman / Diana Prince
Ben Affleck … Batman / Bruce Wayne
Amy Adams … Lois Lane
Amber Heard … Mera
Jared Leto … The Joker
Connie Nielsen … Queen Hippolyta
Robin Wright … Antiope
Jason Momoa … Aquaman / Arthur Curry
Ciarán Hinds … Steppenwolf
Diane Lane … Martha Kent
Ezra Miller … The Flash / Barry Allen
Joe Manganiello … Deathstroke
Willem Dafoe … Nuidis Vulko
J.K. Simmons … Commissioner Gordon
Audio: Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1
Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be released on HBO Max on March 18th 2021.