The new version of Justice League, dubbed by fans as The Snyder Cut, carries a very lengthy four-hour runtime. Director Zack Snyder himself has now explained why he wanted to make the movie so very long and why it wasn’t split into four parts as he originally talked about.
Speaking to Deadline, he said telling the stories of six main characters, and making sure they are “fully realized,” required a super-sized runtime.
“I mean, literally, I think it has a lot to do with what the ask is. The ask is to unite these characters characters or six characters into a team. If you want them all to be fully realized, you’re asking for a lot of movie, and it just, it wasn’t my intention to create a four-hour movie,” he said.
“It was just the way…that’s just what happened when the question was asked: What does a full Justice League banquet look like, and it looks like the whole thing, the trimmings, the appetizer, the three courses, the dessert, the after-dinner drinks, the whole thing.”
At DC FanDome, Snyder spoke about breaking the Snyder Cut into four parts. However, there was some “legal rumbling” about this approach, Snyder said in the interview.
“I think that there was some legal rumbling about the dividing up of a movie into four parts, and does it become a TV show, and does it void all the contracts?” he said. “And I was like, look, guys, I don’t want to become…this sounds like we’re going to get in the weeds on this, and it’s a disaster, so let’s just not make legal precedent out of this movie, and I’ll just stick to my four-hour opus.”
2017’s Justice League was directed by Joss Whedon after Snyder stepped away from the project to deal with a family tragedy. He came back to release a director’s cut of sorts, with extra scenes and Jared Leto as the Joker. In total, the re-shoots reportedly cost $70 million, and Snyder has said he was not paid for the movie, but instead it was a passion project for him.
He said in the Deadline interview that he was strongly advised by his wife Debbie, and Tenet director Chris Nolan, to never watch Justice League.
“I’ve never seen the theatrical cut of the movie. You know when Chris [Nolan] and Debbie [Snyder] saw it, they saw it, and then they came back to report to me, and they said, ‘You should never see that movie.’ They were just like, ‘Never see it, never talk about it,'” he said.
GameSpot’s Snyder Cut review scored the movie a 3/10.
“The four hour long re-cut of the 2018 box office bomb, complete with extra scenes and re-shoots will land on HBO Max on March 18 and–well, if you’ve ever been brave enough to ask the question ‘is it possible for a superhero movie to feel like watching paint dry?’ This one’s for you,” reviewer Mason Downey wrote.
The Justice League Snyder Cut is available to stream right now on HBO Max.