It’s been a few months now since we discovered that #ReleaseTheSnyderCut for Justice League actually worked. HBO Max will debut the original unfiltered vision of the film – directed by Zack Snyder – exclusively on the platform.
Snyder left the film part way through the post-production process of the 2017 feature film, and Joss Whedon took over his position. During that time, Whedon and Warner Bros made significant edits and rewrites to the film, changing a lot about what Snyder had originally envisioned.
We’ve pulled together everything you need to know about this new version of Justice League, including the release date, the format, the plot and how to watch it in the UK. If you’re interested in other DC shows on HBO Max, then check out our similar article on the new live-action series Justice League Dark.
Justice League Snyder Cut release date
The cut is is now confirmed to arrive on Thursday 18 March 2021 on HBO Max. Snyder has also confirmed that it will release as one long four-hour movie, rather than a four-part miniseries.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League premieres March 18 exclusively on HBO Max. #SnyderCut pic.twitter.com/BnJsUjZCLq
— HBO Max (@hbomax)
January 29, 2021
If you’ve not yet got a HBO Max account, you can sign up on the website. The streaming service costs $14.99 per month and at the moment is only available in the US. However, there is a way to watch HBO Max in the UK – we’ve gone into detail about this below.
Zack Synder also announced that a distribution plan is being worked on for the rest of the world, so it may be possible to watch the Justice League Snyder Cut on a UK-based streaming service such as Now TV.
How to watch Justice League Snyder Cut in the UK
Whilst HBO Max is only available in the USA, it is possible to sign up for an account using a VPN and a mobile device.
VPNs (virtual private networks) allow you to change your IP address so you can browse the internet as if you’re based in another country. To sign up for HBO Max, you will need a US server. For the best servers, performance and pricing, we recommend either NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
Once you’ve chosen your VPN, you’ll need to go through certain steps to register your billing details:
Billing information for HBO Max
For the next step, you’ll need the HBO Max app. We have successfully tested this method using NordVPN.
Once you’ve signed up for your VPN of choice, you’ll need to download it on either your iOS or Android device. The HBO Max website currently only allows you to sign up if you have a payment card that’s tied to the US. If you don’t have that, here’s the steps you should take:
Launch your VPN on your iOS/Android device and connect to a US server
Create a new Apple ID/Google Play account in your browser that’s tied to the US (leave the country blank)
Register your new account on your iOS/Android device app store
You should now have access to the US app store – download the HBO Max app
Choose ‘skip’ if the app store prompts you to enter any payment information
Create a new account with your email address and password
Use PayPal as your method of payment (this can be a UK account)
Once your account is verified, you can sign in from any device
Justice League Snyder Cut trailer
There’s now been an updated trailer of the Justice League Snyder Cut, which features a first look at the new design of Steppenwolf. You can watch it below:
There’s also a teaser for another full trailer showing off Black Suit Superman, which will arrive later on this week:
“The bell’s been rung.” #SnyderCut pic.twitter.com/B9hT2veXFs
— Zack Snyder’s Justice League (@snydercut)
February 11, 2021
Plot differences from the 2017 movie
First of all, there will be a big tonal shift. The original was said to be a lot darker than the final cut we actually got to see. This was mainly down to the decision to make the film much lighter in re-shoots after the negative reactions of Batman Vs Superman, which was criticised for being too serious and heavy.
Secondly, Snyder originally had plans to make a Justice League trilogy. The three films would eventually build to the Knightmare scenario, which was a long-standing conflict between Superman’s Regime and Batman’s Insurgency, leading to an apocalyptic version of the world.
One of the main antagonists in this trilogy would have been Darkseid, an arch-nemesis of both Superman and the Justice League. Darkseid would eventually be able to control Superman and turn him into the evil version Bruce Wayne saw in the Knightmare vision in Batman Vs Superman. This first film would introduce him to the Justice League.
Zack Snyder tweeted a first look at Darkseid, which you can see below:
He’s coming… to HBO Max pic.twitter.com/tthWwAqzWp
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder)
May 27, 2020
There’s another teaser for him here:
First ever sneak peek at JL. Get ready for more at DC FanDome. @hbomax #releasethesnydercut #DCFanDome pic.twitter.com/WIWwFo4Xnt
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder)
June 18, 2020
As for Steppenwolf – we have strong suspicions that his role will be very different. Steppenwolf was originally in Suicide Squad, but was taken out of that movie and placed into Justice League, with re-shoots making his appearance more fitted into the film. He’ll probably still appear, but working more as an accomplice to Darkseid than for his own gain.
His role is not the only thing that’s different – Steppenwolf has a fresh new makeover. You can see the differences between the original and the new version below (and decide which you think is supreme).
Zack Snyder’s Steppenwolf vs. Joss Whedon’s Steppenwolf#JusticeLeague pic.twitter.com/SAkEXyoRvJ
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave)
November 17, 2020
The Wrap also speculated that Superman’s resurrection would be a lot darker. Rather than fighting with the team, the writer suspects that things wouldn’t go as expected, and Superman would turn bad. Perhaps it would be through an accident, or even a trigger such as the love of his life, Lois Lane, being killed. The trailer also reveals that we’ll get to see Clark Kent in a black suit.
In the DC FanDome panel, Snyder discussed how “Cyborg is the heart of the movie”, meaning that there’s a lot more in store for that character than what was previously shown.
Vanity Fair also released an interview with images confirming that Jared Leto will be back as The Joker. He will appear in a dream sequence by Batman, and will be taunting Bruce about his past. You can see a look at The Joker below, and find the full exert about his appearance in Vanity Fair:
No Laughing Matter: Your first look at Jared Leto’s all-new Joker from the #SnyderCut of Justice League. https://t.co/IuqLYQYf4k
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair)
February 9, 2021
Finally, Joe Manganiello was the original actor for Deathstroke, and he teased that a post-credits scene with his character would be included in this cut.
The original end credit scene… ⚔️ 🦇 💀 https://t.co/ZT76RG15w0
— JOE MANGANIELLO (@JoeManganiello)
May 20, 2020
Why is this being released?
Well, it seems like a lot of this was down to fan campaigning. The social media hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut caught fire, with Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck both contributing their own support for the cause. Fans bought out billboards with the slogan on, and even flew a plane over San Diego Comic Con with a banner attached to it.
This ancient Amazonian can’t be wrong. #releasethesnydercut https://t.co/XBdaE1ynkL
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder)
November 17, 2019
Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of Warner Media Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer gave a statement on the decision to bring the cut to HBO Max and how the involvement of the fans played an impact:
“Since I got here 14 months ago, the chant to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has been a daily drumbeat in our offices and inboxes. Well, the fans have asked, and we are thrilled to finally deliver. At the end of the day, it really is all about them and we are beyond excited to be able to release Zack’s ultimate vision for this film in 2021.”
Hopefully it will be worth the work on a financial level, as this project will cost Warner Bros around $20 to $30 million. Ouch.