HBO Max launches this week, and that means that executives are making the rounds answering a whole bunch of questions. And occasionally news slips out.
That's the case of the latest Recode Media podcast with Peter Kafka . And it's absolutely a must-listen every other week, too — and not just when WarnerMedia boss Bob Greenblatt is on and spilling some more details about the fabled "Snyder Cut" of the Justice League movie.
Some short context, for those who have somehow avoided the fray: Justice League was a bit of a mess in any number of ways. And not helping matters was that original director Zack Snyder couldn't see the film to completion because of the death of his daughter. Once the movie came out, a spirited campaign (which often crossed the line into abusive) began to "#ReleaseTheSnyderCut." And last week, it was announced that HBO Max would in fact release a Snyder Cut sometime in 2021.
Greenblatt addressed all that briefly with Kafka. The major bits of news were that it's not just a matter of Snyder (who also helmed 300 , Man of Steel and Watchmen ) re-editing the existing footage — or that a "Snyder Cut" was something that the director had already done, but it just hadn't been released. And, in fact, we're going to get new footage.
"It's been months of discussions with Zack and the producers to figure out how to do it," Greenblatt said. "Because it isn't as easy as going into the vault and there's a Snyder Cut sitting there to put out. ... It does not exist. Zack is actually building it, and it's complex. Including — and I don't want to get into too much detail that we haven't already talked about yet — new FX shots."
So, yeah. Something is going to change fairly significantly with those new FX shots. We just have no idea what, or to what extent, though Greenblatt said "it's a radical rethinking of that movie."
We do, however, know that it's not going to come cheap.
"Wildly expensive," he continued, noting that "I'll just say I wish it was just $30 million and stop there.
Here's the rest of the meat from the Synder Cut section:
"It's an enormous undertaking and very complex. We had to go to the unions and get certain things cleared with them about what we were doing. Is the Snyder Cut a new movie, or is it a recut. There's lots of complexity that the fan doesn't know about and we weren't just sitting around going 'Let's not talk to those fans for as long as we can. Let's drive them crazy.' We were actually spending a lot of time trying to figure out how do we do this, and there's many hurdles to jump over. And once we saw that we could do it all and figure out the right economics — which was, literally, within the last week — we said 'Alright, let's get this news out there.' "
"We were trying very hard to announce it before the launch because we knew it would be very well received, but we started talking about it last fall. Seriously."
The Snyder Cut of Justice League will appear sometime in 2021. (I'll put money on later rather than sooner.) HBO Max launches on May 27.
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