New director’s cut of ‘Justice League’ is four hours and two minutes long

Original ‘Justice League’ director Zack Snyder has put together the superhero movie, following the troubled two-hour version that came out in 2017

Original 'Justice League' director Zack Snyder has released his own version of the superhero movie that's double the run-time of the one released in 2017. AFP, Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
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If you thought you had already watched and enjoyed Justice League, the superhero movie that brought together Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, think again.

The two-hour 2017 film, which was originally helmed by director Zack Snyder before being taken over by Avengers and Buffy writer Joss Whedon, is back in the hands of Snyder, on the small screen and double the run time.

Set to be released as Zack Snyder's Justice League, the film, which will stream on HBO Max on March 18 clocks in at four hours and two minutes long, the original length of time the director had envisaged.

Snyder stepped away from the movie – which was DC Comics' response to the box office success of Marvel's Avengers films, pulling together many superheroes across several universes – in 2017, following the death of his daughter Autumn, 20.

"I just was kind of done with it," he told Cinemablend. "I was in this place of knowing my family needs me more than this, and I just need to honour them and do the best I can to heal that world. I had no energy to fight [the studio], and fight for the movie. Literally, zero energy for that."

Controversial reshoot

Joss Whedon, who took over the project from Zack Snyder, was said by the film's cinematographer to have gotten rid of 90 per cent of the original footage. AP

Whedon, who has recently faced allegations of workplace bullying from a number of female cast members of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show he wrote and directed, took over the film in 2017, with original cinematographer Fabian Wagner telling Screen Rant he estimated Whedon ditched 90 per cent of Snyder's existing footage.

"I was watching it and I think I was crying all the way through," Wagner told IndieWire. "So it's hard for me to say exactly how much was changed, but a lot was changed. It looked very different, and it's sad for me because I loved working with Zack. I had the best time of my life." He added: "If there is a Snyder cut, I hope it's better than the one that is out now."

Whedon was also accused of being "gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable" on the Justice League set by actor Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg. Whedon has denied the claims.

The new cut won't be the first time a Hollywood film has topped four hours, with 1963's Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton coming in at four hours and eight minutes, and 1996's Kenneth Branagh-directed Hamlet also at four hours and two minutes.

More recently, Martin Scorsese's Robert De Niro-starrer The Irishman for Netflix raised eyebrows for its three-hour-and-23-minute run-time.

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