Justice League Snyder Cut: Release date, trailer, HBO Max, Darkseid and more

Justice League Snyder Cut HBO Max
(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Justice League Snyder Cut is actually coming out — and it's coming this week. Yes, the Snyder Cut, the kind of geek lore that's been passed around for years and spawned the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag is really happening.

While many have scoffed at the biggest running conspiracy theory in comic book movie history, we just learned it's coming to HBO Max. And since it's almost here, we've got the first Snyder Cut reactions from critics, posted online.

Of course, as you read the below, you'll start to wonder how a massively different cut of a film actually exists. But it does, and it's coming soon. Typically, studios don't shoot scenes they don't need, but you never know if Warner Bros. changed its minds at the last second. 

So, here's everything you need to know about the Snyder Cut of Justice League, including how soon you could expect to see it online.

Justice League Snyder Cut release date

The Snyder Cut arrives this Thursday, March 18, 2021. On May 20, on a Zoom call with fans after Zack Snyder's Man of Steel watch party, Snyder said the release of the Snyder Cut is not up to him. And then, after some cajoling from Henry Cavill, Snyder revealed the below image.

Yes, the Justice League Snyder Cut is real and it's coming to HBO Max in 2021.

Hilariously, the Snyder Cut may not be exactly what fans expect. The Hollywood Reporter notes that "Whether it will be released as an almost four-hour director’s cut or split into six "chapters" has yet to be decided, but the Snyders are now in the midst of reassembling much of their original postproduction crew to score, cut, add new and finish old visual effects, and, yes, maybe bring back many of the actors to record additional dialogue."

Snyder introduced the possibility of format changes in a presentation in early February, where he screened his material to Warner Bros., HBO Max, and DC execs.

Justice League Snyder Cut trailer

Well that didn't take long: we just got the Justice League Snyder Cut's first teaser trailer. It focuses on Wonder Woman staring at a mural, with Lex Luthor rambling off camera. Then, well, we see the big bad everyone's been waiting to see:

We're still way too early for a full trailer, folks. We will update this page when we get a real full look at the Snyder Cut. If you're looking for more footage, we've got the teaser trailer that HBO Max is using to hype The Snyder Cut to fans, featuring footage of the watch party where Zack Snyder revealed the Justice League Snyder Cut is coming to HBO Max:

Justice League Snyder Cut will have Darkseid

Rumors keep coming true, eh? A May 27, 2020 tweet from Zack Snyder appears to have confirmed that big bad Darkseid is going to be in the Snyder Cut. Actor Ray Porter tweeted that he is portraying the baddie in the Snyder Cut. Apparently, his time on screen was cut from the film.

Justice League Snyder Cut explained

The 2017 film Justice League, as originally planned, was only to be directed by Zack Snyder (Batman vs Superman, 300). Then, after a family tragedy struck, Warner Bros. announced Snyder was leaving the film. Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) stepped in to finish the job, and the resultant movie looked very much like a mashup. You could almost tell which scenes smacked of Whedon and which had Snyder's signature (dark) touch. 

Then, the rumors swirled that there was another Justice League. In December 2017, ScreenRant reported news of a test screening of the film that was "much darker." This version of the film soon became known as The Snyder Cut. Online, fans who wanted a truly gritty Justice League demanded that Warner Bros. release the Snyder Cut. Their cries ran out across social media, and included a Change.org petition that ended up gaining 179,261 signatures before it was locked.

And that felt like a lot of speculation and rumor, at least until March 2019, when Snyder confirmed the Snyder Cut's existence, bringing #ReleaseTheSnyderCut back into the conversation:

In the above video, Snyder is recorded by a fan (at a fundraiser) saying "all I can say is ... sure there's a cut ... it's done. I have a cut. I have a bunch of them. So, it's not like ... that's up to them [Warner Bros.]." This gave fans of the movie all the reason they needed to demand the cut get released. YouTuber Film Junkee shared an extra little note: Snyder wrote the number '214' on the poster for this event, and that the director used this to signal that the Snyder Cut is 214 minutes long. That's 94 minutes longer than the 2-hour Justice League that hit theaters.

In the aforementioned Hollywood Reporter report, Snyder is reported as saying "You probably saw one-fourth of what I did."

Justice League Snyder Cut on HBO Max

HBO Max is a perfect home for the Snyder Cut, and it arrives next year. At launch, HBO Max will have Joker (2019), but is that enough? Doom Patrol season 2 is coming, but not until June 25.

The Snyder Cut, however, is likely to drive a lot of eyeballs to HBO Max. 

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.