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Zack Snyder’s Justice League trailer is officially here

Hello, Darkseid, my old friend

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

One of the hot ticket items at Saturday’s DC FanDome is the first footage from Zack Snyder’s upcoming cut of Justice League, set to debut in 2021 on HBO Max. It’s so hotly anticipated, it turns out, the footage leaked hours before the official debut. But now it’s here: Fans’ first look at a four-hour version of the film with restored footage from Snyder’s original shoot nearly five years ago.

Featuring well known shots promoted by Snyder in the interim — including bits of The Flash and Cyborg’s backstories — along with our first clear look at Darkseid in action, the trailer is moody and full of visuals we didn’t see the first time in 2017. And true to Snyder, there’s Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” backing the footage.

The idea of the “Snyder Cut” originated shortly before Justice League was first released back in 2017. Snyder was the director for Justice League principal photography, but a family tragedy caused him to step down before reshoots. He was then replaced by Joss Whedon, who was reportedly given free rein to make changes. Before Snyder stepped down, Warner Bros. supposedly asked him to lighten the movie’s tone and make it a little funnier, thanks in part to the extremely negative reactions to the dour Batman v Superman and the positive audience response to Suicide Squad. The trailer above is a taste of what we may have gotten if Warner Bros. didn’t change plans along the way.

As for what the Snyder Cut will actually be, it’s difficult to say. In the three years since Justice League’s release, Snyder has answered many questions about the cut, including revealing that it is around 214 minutes long and that it was assembled from “almost 90% complete footage.” The director has suggested that it would likely need CG touch-ups, but otherwise insisted that it was nearly complete when he assembled it. A source told The Hollywood Reporter that whatever additional special effects or footage is necessary will cost $20 million to $30 million to produce.

“We have a little work to do on it,” Snyder said when WarnerMedia announced the re-edit in May. He and his team have clearly started.

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