Three long years. That’s how long fans of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have waited to finally see the sequel that would unite his seven, and portray his version of the Justice League. And while Snyder has shared snippets of footage all week leading up to DC FanDome, today was the day that fans finally got to see a full trailer for the movie coming to HBO Max in 2021.
And it was glorious.
Of course Zack Snyder used Leonard Cohen. And it wasn’t a dig at Joss Whedon opening his theatrical cut with a Cohen song… or was it? No, “Hallelujah” is both a Snyder fave – used in his Watchmen adaptation – and also the sentiment he feels at being able to finally return to the DC world that he created, and had to leave in 2017.
The trailer is a masterful mix of footage fans have been waiting to see, and yet, not a single stitch remains from the theatrical cut (only one shot of Mera looks like a holdover from theatrical cut, though Snyder likely shot it). It’s heavy on Cyborg (Ray Fisher), whom Snyder claims is the heart of his Justice League. Some of the most important scenes include Victor Stone, both before his transformation and after it. Victor is a football star, and is nearly killed in an auto accident. His father, Silas, tries to save Victor, turning Victor into Cyborg… and sacrificing himself in the process.
Other highlights from the first footage? Black suit Superman (Henry Cavill). We also see Lois Lane (Amy Adams) seeing the resurrected Superman for the very first time, and a tearful reunion with Clark, Lois and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) in the cornfields of Kansas. Right off the bat(no pun intended), there is far more emotion and heart in the scenes chosen by Zack Snyder than was present in the theatrical cut.
But it’s the final message. “He’s never faced us. Not us united.” That’s not directed at the League. It’s directed at every member of the Release the Snyder Cut family, who fought in the trenches for three years to convince Warner Bros. to release the version of the film to which they felt entitled. The fought for artistic integrity. They raised awareness for suicide prevention.
And today, the DC FanDome panel was the a victorious celebration.
During the panel, it was confirmed that Snyder’s Justice League would be divided into four one-hour episodes, for a four-hour story. He also explained that the full cut also would be made available in a bundle, and that international fans don’t need to worry if they don’t have access to HBO Max yet, because distribution plans are being worked out.
But it was a remarkable return from the ashes for a director who was left in DC’s dust. Now let’s find out WHEN it’s coming to HBO Max in 2021.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.