During DC’s virtual event DC Fandome, the first full-length trailer for Zack Snyder‘s highly-anticipated cut of Justice League finally arrived. The story of how we got here is a long and twisted path, but the gist is this: Snyder departed the Justice League production due to personal circumstances and Warner Bros. replaced him with Joss Whedon, who wrote new scenes and directed reshoots. Many fans were…less than enthused about the theatrical cut of the film, and the idea of a “Snyder Cut” quickly became myth. Fast-forward to May, when Snyder not only confirmed his cut exists, but that it would also be debuting on HBO Max in 2021. (After a quick $30 million touch-up.)
Snyder says none of Whedon’s reshoot footage will appear in his film, but the core cast remains the same. Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Ciaran Hinds provides the voice for Apokolips’ own Steppenwolf, but it remains to be seen how large that character’s role is after Snyder brings in Darkseid.
Speaking of which, Snyder’s Darkseid makes his triumphant debut in this Snyder Cut trailer, and he’s certainly ugly-looking. The entire tone of the film has been shifted, as Leonard Cohen‘s somber “Hallelujah” plays over washed-out-looking footage (the color palette is less vibrant than the theatrical cut) of the JL heroes saving the day while also looking pensive and concerned. That’s certainly on brand for Snyder’s view of the DC Universe as seen in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and while the tone of The Snyder Cut looks to be rather sober, the man remains a tremendously talented visual stylist.
I’m most curious to see how this recut version of the film comes together. Snyder does not have the benefit of doing his own reshoots, so he’s having to work from the footage he captured during principal photography plus new visual effects elements and some newly recorded dialogue from his actors. When it comes to characters like Darkseid, who is entirely CG, that leaves him a lot of room to play. But there’s less flexibility when it comes to the human characters.
You’ll recognize some of the scenes here from the theatrical cut but they’re different (e.g. Clark hugging Ma Kent and Lois Lane at the farm, instead of just Clark and Lois as seen in the theatrical cut). But there’s also brand new unseen footage, like Kiersey Clemons as Iris West alongside Ezra Miller‘s The Flash/Barry Allen.
You’ll also notice the 1.66:1 aspect ratio, which is in stark contrast to the anamorphic widescreen of most blockbuster releases. Snyder has said he hopes to release The Snyder Cut in this unique aspect ratio, so this is indeed a peek at what the finished film will look like.
Will The Snyder Cut be better than the theatrically released cut of Justice League? We don’t know! But I’m willing to bet it’ll at least be more interesting than that neutered, turgid, nothing of a movie.
Check out the Snyder Cut trailer below and click here for 39 new images from the film. The Snyder Cut of Justice League will be released exclusively on HBO Max in 2021.