During DC FanDome on Saturday evening, Zack Snyder revealed the latest full trailer for his cut of Justice League, which is coming to HBO Max in 2021. And his use of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” had mixed results. Some fans found it to be the ideal song choice, expressing the pure exultation of a filmmaker being allowed to return to material he thought he’d never see again. Others rolled their eyes, remembering how Snyder used the track during a sex scene in Watchmen, where it wasn’t exactly the best fit.
But as it turns out, there was a deeply emotional reason for Zack Snyder to use “Hallelujah” during this trailer for Justice League, and it’s an idea and a song choice that he made two years ago. Appearing on the Reel In Motion podcast, Snyder opened up about the choice, explaining:
It was on two years ago. … It’s a really personal song for the family, and for all of us. It’s something that I just felt that was right for this. That’s why. I just think that that song, in particular, really, for all of us, it has significance beyond just the movie. I think we all love the song and it just felt like, as I was trying to wrangle this whole thing into the ‘why’ of it, I just felt like that song was the right way to do it.
If you know the story behind Zack Snyder’s involvement with Justice League, and his reasons for stepping away from the production, you can guess that the “personal” reason for him using “Hallelujah” would be tied to Autumn Snyder, his daughter who died in 2017 by suicide.
But Jay Oliva, who worked storyboards for Zack Snyder on all of his DCEU projects, clarified it completely when he Tweeted:
Now, do you NEED to know the emotional context of the song choice to better appreciate the use of “Hallelujah” in the Justice League trailer? Some people do. There have been pockets of people on social media who have criticized Snyder’s song choice, especially after he used it in Watchmen during a love-making scene. But others, even without knowing the emotional tie that the song had, thought that it fit the material, and Snyder’s triumphant return to a universe he thought he’d never see again.
You didn’t think I’d get you out of this story without showing off that glorious trailer again, did you? Silly reader:
Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League is coming to HBO Max. We know that it’s arriving in 2021, but we don’t have a release date yet. For more on The Snyder Cut, and all of our DC FanDome coverage, scan the CinemaBlend site and catch up on the panels for Wonder Woman 84, The Batman, The Suicide Squad and more. It’s a great time to be a DC fan!