After years of fan demands—and then months of rumors and teases—the news is official: the 2017 DC Comics film Justice League is returning as a "director's cut" in 2021, and the whole campaign will revolve around its original director, Zack Snyder, overhauling and stretching the story and runtime to a whopping four-hour version.
HBO Max, the streaming platform slated to launch next week, confirmed the news by shamelessly employing the oft-used #releasethesnydercut hashtag that DC Comics fans have used for years. The original film hit theaters in November 2017 after its production was halted and overhauled by interim director Joss Whedon, who took over when Snyder left the production due to a family tragedy. Since then, fans have wondered what shape the film might have taken if it were completed by its original director.
A massive Hollywood Reporter article on today's news confirms that Snyder's original vision was indeed quite different. His plans for a four-hour behemoth were unsurprisingly squashed by Warner Bros.'s powers that be, and his original rough cut—submitted in January 2017 and close to the 2.5-hour range—was rejected, as well. Snyder exited the production shortly after, and Whedon stepped in to direct new filming and put his touch on the production and script.
To clarify our stance on this: we're still not sure what this so-called legion of fans is smoking (and rarely trust Twitter hashtags as true indicators of fan interest, owing to the platform's vulnerability to inauthentic actors). As I wrote in November 2017, Whedon's touch might have been the only saving grace of the otherwise messy film:
I feel bad pointing out certain issues in the film as a comparison [between two directors], buuuut… in some parts of the film, you can clearly see step-in director Joss Whedon applying his non-crappy touch. Conversations between Affleck and Gadot toward the film's end are among the most touching for either character since the actors started out at DC, and they, like some other good dialogue scenes, have all the hallmarks of a Whedon production, in terms of camera angle, distance, and conversational cadence. Conversely, the film's all-over-the-map, jumping-between-scenes madness reekRead More – Source