FILE PHOTO: World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Justice League – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., 13/11/2017 – Actor Ben Affleck. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A previously unreleased version of 2017 superhero movie “Justice League” by director Zack Snyder will debut on the HBO Max streaming service in 2021, executives said on Wednesday, in response to a years-long campaign by fans.
Snyder oversaw filming of “Justice League,” which brought together DC Comics heroes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and others. The director had put together a cut of the movie before he stepped aside to deal with a family tragedy.
“Avengers” director Joss Whedon took over in post-production to oversee reshoots and complete editing. The final product drew lackluster reviews. Just 40% of reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website gave “Justice League” a positive rating.
Fans have speculated that they would like Snyder’s version better. #ReleaseTheSnyderCut became a trending hashtag starting in 2017 and remained popular worldwide. Supporters even bought a billboard in New York’s Times Square in October 2019 to promote their cause.
“The fans have asked, and we are thrilled to finally deliver,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of AT&T Inc’s Warner Media Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer division, which will launch HBO Max on May 27.HBO Max will compete with Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co’s Disney+ and other subscription video services vying for online audiences.
“Justice League” stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis