While fans were disappointed that Zack Snyder's Justice League vision was altered ahead of theatrical release, that version of the film will appear on HBO Max in 2021. Producer Deborah Snyder thinks that may be for the best. She took part in a panel discussion during Saturdays' virtual Justice Con event. She says that that being on a streaming platform instead of in theaters offers Zack Snyder more space to dig into each individual character. "In a way, this is the best-case scenario for everybody because you can only do so much in a theatrical release," Deborah Snyder says. "At the time, streaming services really weren't a discussion, especially for a DC property. So the fact that we get to see this longer version, and it's almost like you think about it differently. It almost becomes a character study. When it's, 'Okay, it's this theatrical movie, and it's a movie about a team getting together,' everyone's like, 'When does the team get together? By X amount of minutes? By X amount of minutes, the team should be together.'
"But for us, it's about building the team but seeing who these characters are, and they each have arcs, and they each have motivations. If you can't spend the time developing the characters and who they are and where they've come from, you don't necessarily understand what it means when they come together. And I think having it on HBO Max, it doesn't have to be a certain length. You're not waiting for the ticket sales of the next movie and you can only have so many showings because it's too long."
Beyond the practical economics of it, she also believes that audiences have different expectations for streaming material.
"I also think people are used to when you've watched something when you're watching your Netflix, or on HBO Max, or Disney+, the expectation is different," she says. "The slow burn is okay. There's much more character development happening when you look at what's being done on the streaming platforms. So in a way, I think it's the best time for this and to me, it's really exciting and I really hope that fans like it… It's such a different experience and you just feel more for the characters and I think that's what we all want to do. We love these characters and don't want to cheat them out fo their backstories and their arcs and I feel like we're going to get to see that."
Zack Snyder's Justice League comes to HBO Max in 2021.