Snyder Cut Producer Reveals The Insane Amount Of CGI Needed To Complete Justice League For HBO Max

Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman in Justice League

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After years of fan campaigns, the Snyder Cut is nearly upon us. Moviegoers will finally see Zack Snyder's original vision for Justice League when it hits HBO Max next month in its full, four-hour glory. The visionary filmmaker was given millions to complete the project, with much of that budget going to the extensive visual effects necessary to bring a comic book movie to life. And producer Deborah Snyder recently explained just how much work went into completing the film's CGI.

Deborah Snyder has collaborated with her husband Zack in a number of blockbusters, including his installments in the DC Extended Universe. They once again worked together on completing Zack Snyder's Justice League, including the limited reshoots and use of Jared Leto. Deborah spoke to how much visual effects work was needed on the upcoming streaming event, saying:

The running time is just about four hours, four hours-something. If you think about how much extra time that is, and you think about how visual effect heavy these superhero films are. We had to do, in like six months, 2,650 some odd visual effects shots. And normally when you do this movies what happens is as you’re shooting you start turning over shots. We had a lot of assets built, but the way the theatrical release was done, they changed a lot of things. And through the process when we were working in the movie, some things they wanted Zack to change-- some of the character. So we went back to Zack’s original intentions as far as the characters, and had to build those models. And then there were just so many shots to do.

Yikes. While Zack Snyder had plenty of footage in the can from his original principal photography of Justice League, the Snyder Cut needed work to be pieced together. This is was especially true for visual effects, which are vital to bring actions sequences and entire characters to life. Cue Darkseid and his forces.

Deborah Snyder's comments come from her recent appearance on Lightcast Podcast, and peel back the curtain on what it was actually like working on Zack Snyder's Justice League for the past six months. It turns out that much of the focus has been on the visuals. Specifically over 2,500 shots that needed to be fine-tuned in order to build the world of the Snyder Cut. Someone give those VFX artists a raise.

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This insane sum of visual effects does make a great deal of sense, especially considering that Zack Snyder was committed to not including a single shot of Joss Whedon's reshoots in the Snyder Cut. He's also a filmmaker with a unique visual language, and the story is about superpowered individuals like Aquaman and Cyborg.

The limited footage we've seen from Zack Snyder's Justice League certainly seems to tease a very different project. The filmmaker previously revealed it'll have far less humor, and that we'll see the complete scope of his world-building. This includes a number of cut characters including Darkseid, Iris West, and Aquaman's Vulko.

It'll be fascinating to see how the Snyder Cut ultimately performs on HBO Max. Without box office performance to keep track of, how exactly will the project be judged? Will it be simply the critical and audience response, or is Warner Bros. more concerned with how many new subscribers it gets. And while the DCEU seems to have abandoned a ton of the narrative seeds that Zack Snyder was planting, perhaps that'll change when his version of Justice League is finally here.

Zack Snyder's Justice League will arrive on HBO Max March 18th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.