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HBO Max: New ‘Justice League Snyder Cut’ Version Available

Ben Bowman

After becoming the most-streamed movie of the weekend, HBO Max just dropped yet another version of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” It’s the same 4-hour sprawling epic, but in black and white.

Why is this happening? Snyder explains, “For me, it’s my favorite version of the movie. I understand that people want to see it in color, and that’s great, and I really want them to enjoy it in color. But for me, the ultimate version is the black and white IMAX version of the movie, which is sort of the penultimate ridiculous movie that shouldn’t exist at its highest most fetishistic level, and I really, really love that.”

That “IMAX version” part explains why the film is streaming in 4:3 as opposed to the 16:9 format that would fill the entire HDTV screen.

The “Justice is Gray” edition is the third and presumably final version of the film. Snyder dropped off the project after his daughter’s death, then Joss Whedon was hired to finish the project. The 2017 version was not terribly well-received, as you might imagine from a project with two different directors. Social media campaigns finally convinced the studio to pony up $70 million for additional footage, new effects, and a massive re-editing job. The new version features less humor and more complicated backstories for the main villain (Steppenwolf) and one of the heroes (Cyborg).

One of the more curious additions was the “Knightmare” sequence at the end of the film. It points to a potential sequel that Warner Brothers seems unlikely to make. But Snyder felt it was so important, he filmed it during quarantine.

Snyder explains, “Originally the studio said, ‘Now we don’t want that,’ but I was like, ‘I’m going to do it anyway.’ I was going to put up some green screens and shoot it in my backyard, but we didn’t have to do that in the end.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

March 18, 2021

Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.

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