Easily the most hotly-anticipated DC Comics film event in a few years, Zach Snyder’s Justice League is almost here on HBO Max. Here’s the first look.
What a road to get to this point. It’s been incredible to watch director Zach Snyder’s original take on Justice League make its transit from “doesn’t exist” to HBO Max drawing card. And if you haven’t been paying attention, it’s been a winding path to say the least.
Back when JL was first getting off the ground, it was heavily rumored that Warner Bros had dwindling faith in Snyder’s vision for the DC film universe. That was post-Batman v Superman failing to pull in the box office that WB wanted of course.
Though that in and of itself might have had something to do with the fact that Warner’s meddled heavily in BvS’ creation (look at how well the Director’s Cut was received for proof), but I digress. In the end, Snyder suffered a terrible personal loss during filming and had to drop out. It was at that point that Warner brought in Avengers director Joss Whedon.
Whedon has had no shortage of scandal since then, but it’s easy to see why bringing him onboard seemed like a good idea. After all, Disney’s Avengers was a mega-smash. His effort to Marvel-ify what Snyder had already built with Justice League though, was… not great. The movie, though some liked the way lighter tone, was a miss in my opinion, and scrapped almost all of what Snyder had filmed originally in favor of reshoots (hence the digitally erased Cavill-stache).
Since then, and this was was in 2017 mind you, there’s been an outpouring of fan support to get Snyder’s original version of JL done and released. And that’s where the real roller-coaster ride begins. At first, it was denied that there was anything to Snyder’s League to actually ‘finish’. It flat-out didn’t exist, was the official word. Whedon’s League was all that there was. But of course, that wasn’t true.
Snyder’s take is very real, and has turned out to be a 4 hour long monster. And thanks to the new streaming service that is HBO Max, it’s been completed and is rocketing towards a 2021 launch.
Revealing the vision
This past weekend we finally got our first real look at what’s on the way with Justice League. If you’ve been eagerly awaiting this moment, the trailer should make you happy.
Not only do we get Snyder’s original take on Steppenwolf in this first look, but much more as well. Included are glimpses of Darkseid, Granny Goodness, Desaad, black-suited Superman, and surprisingly, Jared Leto’s Joker.
Leto returns from the oft-maligned Suicide Squad looking pretty great here. He’s apparently in the dark “Knightmare” universe that Batman envisions, and looks way closer to the traditional image of the Joker than the gangster that appeared in Squad. No tattoos, no grill (that I can tell)… just one messed-up looking psycho.
Check it out:
So where’s all this headed?
Well, simply put, Zach Snyder’s Justice League is a dead-end. That much has been publicly stated by Warner Bros. This is a one and done. It’s a vision of what might have been if the so-called DCEU had been allowed to proceed as planned.
Instead of more of this, DC Comics fans are set to be treated to what’s sure to be a comedic Shazam sequel, as well as more Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the long-awaited arrival of Black Adam, and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. While some of that is sure to be a good time, it’s not what many fans want from DC Comics movies. Namely, the biggest names and their villains are MIA.
Want Batman? You’re getting a completely unrelated and reimagined trilogy of Bat-films, as well as a spinoff TV show (from said trilogy). Want Superman? You’re getting… nothing. Maybe. Possibly. It’s completely unclear what’s happening with Cavill’s Man of Steel as rumors have him doing everything from cameos to MoS 2 and 3, to being completely done with the role. So who knows what’s happening with the hero?
With a future that’s as seemingly all over the place as that however, I think it is pretty fair to say that Zach Snyder’s Justice League could easily be the last gasp for the DC films as they were first envisioned. With that said, and if you are a fan of a darker and more serious take on superheroes, mark your calendars for March 18th, 2021 (and make sure you have a subscription to HBO Max).