Could This Be When the Snyder Cut Hits HBO Max?

Zack Snyder's Justice League is set to be released on HBO Max in a matter of weeks. Now sandwiched roughly halfway between Wonder Woman 1984 and James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, Snyder's director's cut of Justice League is a four-hour affair, which will be broken up into one-hour chapters for viewing on the WarnerMedia-owned streaming platform. At every juncture since the project was announced, things have been played pretty close to the vest. Recently, the word came down that the movie was set to be released in March, and that has Snyder's very vocal fan base even more excited for what's coming.

At various times since the project was released, fans and the press have wondered if they had somehow uncovered the release date for Zack Snyder's Justice League, whether through posts on social media or clues in the HBO Max app itself. And "March" is probably as close as we're going to get until the next big trailer drop.

Still, it can be fun to speculate a little bit. And it got us to thinking: March 25, 2021, will be the fifth anniversary of the theatrical release of Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Given Snyder's sentimentality when it comes to his DC films, it seems plausible that he might want to play off that. After all, it was the anniversary of the original Justice League release when the cast of Justice League all collectively joined fans in trending #ReleaseTheSnyderCut on Twitter.

When HBO Max and Snyder decided to announce that the project was finally going to become a reality, they did so via a Man of Steel watch party. And while March 25 is a Thursday -- not a Tuesday or a Friday, the two days where movies typically release. That said, it's easy to imagine a fifth anniversary watch party for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, followed by an official release for Zack Snyder's Justice League the next day -- a Friday.

Snyder had completed an "assembly cut" -- a rough cut of the film that's barely edited, but mostly just all the footage shot so far, strung together into an outrageously long version of the movie -- when his daughter passed away. Shortly after that, the film was taken over by Marvel's The Avengers director Joss Whedon, who slashed much of Snyder's content and replaced it with reshoots that clashed wildly with Snyder's footage in tone and look.

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The resulting movie was a mess, and moviegoers and critics punished it for a lack of direction. While Snyder's grounded, violent approach to superhero movies had drawn criticism from some fans and underperformed relative to the massive expectations set by movies like The Dark Knight and The Avengers, they turned a modest profit and managed to get the next movie, and then the next, greenlit. The franchise effectively stopped dead with Justice League, which didn't make remotely close to its money back, and felt like a case of trying to please everyone, but compromising and instead pleasing no one.

The movie will get another shot with Zack Snyder's Justice League, which is expected to debut on HBO Max in March.