Look alive, Snyder Cut fanatics, because it looks like you're being thrown a bone. In an interview with Polygon which is mostly about a small new indie film he co-wrote called Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Chris Terrio was asked about status of Zack Snyder's alleged director's cut of Justice League. Terrio responded as follows:
"And I have [thoughts about the Snyder cut!] I do have them, but I won’t talk about it right now. We’ll have a date in a couple of months, and we’ll talk about it then. Because, you know, that is a really interesting topic that I have not spoken about yet."
It seems like Terrio's just giving a mundane and evasive answer to a question he's probably sick of being asked, right? It's possible to read this like he's saying "we'll talk later" with "later" meaning an indefinitely postponed date. But if he's just saying something to be friendly, it is weird how he doubles down on it being "a really interesting topic". It becomes even more suspicious if you've been following Terrio's other interviews this past week.
Uproxx's Mike Ryan asked about the Snyder cut this Tuesday, and Terrio said:
"The thing is, I can’t really speak to that at this moment. But I promise that I will talk to you about that very thing at some point after this film."
So, within the space of a week, Chris Terrio alludes to a discussion about the Snyder Cut at some point in the future. Is this just a sound bite he's latched onto, or is there something of substance behind it? I'm probably as bone-deep a Snyder Cut skeptic as they come, but Terrio's comments coinciding with other recent Justice League activity is - if not beginning to give me pause - at least making me raise an eyebrow. A few days ago, Zack Snyder was pushing a photo of Justice League reels on his Vero, with the caption "Is it real? Does it exist? Of course it does." To be fair, Snyder has always been consistent (and somewhat biased) in his assertion that a director's cut exists, so we should always take his Vero posts with a grain of salt.
But then we also have last month, when some of the Justice League cast members were rallying around the "#ReleaseTheSnyderCut" hashtag. I still believe this was something they were doing for fun, or out of solidarity to a director they respect on the film's second anniversary. But if it does turn out a re-release of Justice League is coming around the corner, then a stunt like this would have been an effective way to raise awareness.
But enough with trying to decrypt what Justice League's creative team was doing on social media and in interviews. If we really want to look at the reasons why some sort of Snyder Cut could supposedly be coming to fruition, we have to look at the different forces acting on DC and Warner Bros. Officially, the studio has never confirmed the existence of any version of Justice League other than the one that was theatrically released. That's because the one they released was the only one they completed - as in the only one they wrapped, edited, sound mixed, dubbed, color corrected, and completed the effects shots for. If you remember the timeline of Justice League's production, Zack Snyder was replaced by Joss Whedon well before post-production was completed, meaning Snyder physically was not present for the majority of that process.
To have an honest director's cut of Justice League from Zack Snyder would mean redoing the whole post-production process, which as you can guess, is not cheap. So all those times Warner Bros. reiterated that there's no director's cut of Justice League? They weren't lying. But could they one day make one? That was never out of the question, but it would require some very specific circumstances to motivate them.
Those circumstances might be the streaming war. With every major studio throwing their hat in to take the streaming market away from Netflix, Warners needs content that will make people sign up for HBO Max in droves. As The Mandalorian proved with Disney+, an exclusive entry of a hot-ticket IP can do a lot to boost subscriptions, and what's a bigger IP for the Warner Bros. than DC? And the millions of dollars it would cost to complete the Snyder Cut wouldn't be nothing, but it would still cost less time and money than making a new blockbuster-level superhero film for the platform, not to mention the Snyder Cut is already highly sought after by several DC fans. Frankly, I doubt there's enough demand to justify this whole thing, but I could see why Warner Bros. would want to take the risk. The streaming game is cut-throat.
So is an official announcement of Justice League: The Snyder Cut in the offing? Sure, anything can happen. If this really is coming to pass, I hope they announce it quickly so we can get it over with and I don't have to be arguing about this while the ocean-levels fully submerge the East Coast.