Justice League

Warner Bros. Pictures

The long-awaited “Snyder Cut” from the Justice League will hit HBO Max on March 18th.

On Friday, director Zack Snyder announced the news on Twitter. WarnerMedia followed up with additional information about the release, saying it would be a full-length film, not the four separate hour-long episodes that were originally planned.

When Justice League was released in 2017, it was tarnished by harsh critical reviews. While it grossed $ 658 million globally, it grossed just $ 230 million domestically. The budget was a whopping $ 300 million, on top of the $ 150 million marketing expense, the film was barely balanced.

The film was co-written and directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon, although the couple did not work on it together. Whedon was brought on board after executives rejected Snyder’s first cut of the film. Snyder eventually left the project due to the death of his daughter.

Snyder’s first cut was 214 minutes long and featured dozens of scenes that worked out the characters’ backstories, developed the myth of the world set in “Justice League,” and teased the upcoming films. While the main plot of the film was retained, many of Snyder’s secondary storylines were cut into Whedon’s paraphrases to streamline the film.

Because Whedon’s version changed so much of Snyder’s vision, fans have asked the director to edit Justice League because they believe it is the purest version of the film.

In May 2020, WarnerMedia announced that it would invest in the repatriation of Snyder. The move was seen as a way to calm fans down and bolster signups for HBO Max.

According to initial estimates, the price was between 20 and 30 million US dollars, since most of the computer-generated images were not yet ready. However, recent estimates suggest that WarnerMedia could have spent $ 70 million or more on the project as Snyder brought back several actors to direct new material.

The re-shoots will add four to five minutes of new footage, Snyder said.

Earlier this week, AT&T announced that HBO Max activations had doubled to 17.2 million. While AT&T pointed to “Wonder Woman 1984” because of the surge in signups, much of the gains were likely due to WarnerMedia’s fourth-quarter arrangements to get the app on Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV.

The telecommunications company that owns WarnerMedia reported that HBO and HBO Max combined now have 41.5 million domestic subscribers, up 20% from 34.6 million last year.

Of the 37.7 million HBO Max eligible subscribers, 30 million were from wholesalers and 6.8 million were through retail channels. Retail subscribers are those who purchase the streaming service directly, not through a cable or other streaming subscription.

This means that nearly half of the HBO subscribers who were eligible to receive HBO Max haven’t signed up yet.