Warner Bros. studio bosses are making the unprecedented move of releasing filmmaker Zack Snyder's version of Justice League on upcoming streaming service HBO Max.
Snyder had to step down from directing the DC Comics superhero movie in the spring of 2017 following the death of his daughter, and Joss Whedon was recruited to complete the project, with him reworking and reshooting several scenes.
Justice League, which featured Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Jason Momoa has Aquaman, was panned by critics upon its release in 2017, and ever since, fans have been calling on studio officials to share what Snyder had made before having to walk away.
Gadot, Cavill, Affleck and Momoa threw their support behind the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut social media campaign in late 2018, and the director revealed on Wednesday that he and his production partner, wife Deborah, have been working on his vision for Justice League.
Snyder shared the news at the end of a virtual screening for his 2013 Superman movie Man of Steel, along with leading man Cavill, but did not explain how his footage, which had yet to undergo the post-production process or have special effects added at the time of his departure, would be presented on HBO Max, which launches on 27 May.
However, he promised fans his Justice League cut, which was previously said to have a near-four hour run time, would be completely different from the project released to theatres, which he has never actually seen.
"It will be an entirely new thing, and, especially talking to those who have seen the released movie, a new experience apart from that movie," Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter. "You probably saw one-fourth of what I did (in the original movie)."
It's currently unclear whether it will be released as an almost four-hour director’s cut or split into TV-like chapters. Sources have estimated that the new cut will cost $20-$30 million (£16-£24 million) to make.