There's been speculation about the existence (or non-existence) of the so-called "Snyder Cut" since Justice League released in 2017. The movie was initially directed by DC Extended Universe herald Zack Snyder, but personal tragedies led Snyder to step away from the project, opening it up for Joss Whedon (The Avengers) to take over the completion of the film. There was a lot of criticism of the movie regarding how Whedon's lighter style added to the mishmashed tones in an already muddled film.
Justice League was neither the massive hit Warner Bros. was looking for, nor the film some fans had been clamoring for. Since then, online campaigns have been aimed at releasing the full Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League. This continued with fans trying to engage the newly announced HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service for WarnerMedia. Despite demands to have the Snyder Cut released, it's unlikely that we're ever going to see a public release of the Snyder Cut.
Snyder vs. Whedon: Dawn of the Snyder Cut
Joss Whedon reportedly reshot up to 20% of Justice League. Die-hard DCEU fans didn't care for the finished film as is, leading to multiple online campaigns trying to force the fully Snyder Cut to be released. A petition demanding the release of the Snyder Cut was launched online and went on to be signed by nearly 180,000 people. These fans claimed the lackluster reception to Justice League could be traced to the switch in directors. Of course, this doesn't take into account the less than stellar reception to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which earned a similar critical response to Justice League. That film was completely Zack Snyder's vision, and it didn't garner the accolades DC had hoped for.
The demands for the Snyder Cut have been met with a consistent denial from Warner Bros. There's even been speculation that there's no single Snyder Cut to release, even if it wanted to. DC storyboard artist Jay Oliva has offered an alternate idea though, saying Snyder had managed to put together a rough, unpolished cut of the film. But that flies in the face of what photographer Clay Enos said about the cut not existing in any releasable form. It's been unclear who to believe on the subject, but there is one thing that's clear: Warner Bros. has no interest in releasing any form of the Snyder Cut.
HBO Max was announced earlier this week. The new streaming service is positioning itself as a counterpoint to the similarly designed Disney+. HBO Max will provide fans access to the WarnerMedia library. This includes DC Universe and all the properties that fall under that umbrella. The trailer for the service includes snippets of Justice League, confirming DC's presence. But supporters of the Snyder Cut quickly took to Twitter to campaign for the release of the alternate take on Justice League.
The barrage of Snyder Cut tweets underscores something fans aren't taking into account the potential release of the film: HBO Max isn't going to force DC Universe to change in any way. This includes making the streaming service release the Snyder Cut in any way, shape or form. It's up to DC Universe and by extension Warner Bros. to make that decision. Tweeting at HBO Max isn't going to do much more than remind people that the Snyder Cut hasn't been released. HBO Max is more or less disconnected from any discussion over the Snyder Cut.
Why We're Not Going To Get The Snyder Cut
Although the movement to get a Snyder Cut released has amassed a large number of followers, it's important to remember that the Justice League film is evocative of what the DCEU used to be: critically maligned. Committing the service towards appeasing one specific section of the fanbase isn't the smartest move for a company like WarnerMedia to make if it wants to bring in as many fans as possible.
The biggest successes for the DC line have been stand-alone films like Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam! instead of the more dour films Snyder directed. Warner Bros. is more interested in sticking to that direction for the film universe. Reigniting the Justice League fire keg would be an easy way to distract from its more original fare, like the upcoming Joker film. At this point, the Snyder Cut has become one of the most hotly debated films on the internet, and it's likely to stay that way if the supporters of the cut remain as passionate as they've been so far. But it's unlikely that passion will ever come to fruition, at least anytime soon. That includes on DC Universe and especially with HBO Max.
HBO Max is expected to go live sometime in early 2020.