Bonus Features: Release the Snyder Cut with ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ in 4K
For years die-hard DC Comics fans campaigned for director Zack Snyder’s true vision of “Justice League” to finally see the light of day, and now the long-awaited Snyder Cut is coming home, as “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” releases on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.
When “Justice League” first hit theaters in 2017, it came amidst turmoil, as original director Zack Snyder left the project due to a family tragedy, and was replaced by Joss Whedon. The finished project was a nonsensical disaster, and it was long rumored that Whedon butchered Snyder’s original plan for the film. Through those rumors, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement was born, fighting to deliver audiences this mythical version of the movie. But prior to the launch of HBO Max, Snyder confirmed what loyal fans always knew: The Snyder Cut was real – and it was coming.
At a whopping four hours, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” blends original footage that wasn’t used in the film, footage from the theatrical release, and reshoots done years later to create the truly epic superhero adventure. The film transformed from a bland, CGI-filled slog into a beautiful visual experience, and that’s seen even more vividly on the 4K home release than it was on HBO Max.
The release is split across two 4K discs, with Snyder’s Prologue through Part 4 featured on the first disc, and Part 5 through the Epilogue on the second. What’s absent from the release is a digital copy of the film, as it remains an HBO Max Exclusive, fans will need to subscribe in order to stream it.
The bonus features are certainly underwhelming here, all things considered. It’s hard to find a film with a greater roller coaster ride to its release, and you’d think that could fuel hours of bonus content – cast and crew interviews, stories about the campaign, behind the scenes footage – but instead, it only has one lone featurette. It’s also disappointing to see the film’s black and white “Justice is Gray” version didn’t make the cut on the release either.
Special Features on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray
- Road to “Justice League” – This 24-minute retrospective takes a surface level look at how Snyder’s version finally came to be, through cast and crew interviews and set footage. This featurette also looks back on Snyder’s first two installments in the DCEU, “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman.”
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” releases on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray on September 7, 2021.
Zach Goins View All
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.
It’s such a long film that they’d have to put more special features on a separate disc, and arguably a number of special features were already on the original release (and taking up valuable space from the movie). But as it is, far too often no one puts the special features on a separate disc anymore, they cram them onto the single discs (or in this case 2 discs) for the movie, and take away valuable space that could be used to maximize the bitrate and the encoding of the main movie, you know, the main reason that film enthusiasts buy movies on Blu-ray (4K) in the first place, in order to have the best quality video and audio. Too often movies have poor encoding with banding and other issues, all because they didn’t take the time to do it properly. Why are they spending millions of dollars to make a movie, only to have people watch it on a streaming digital copy, or provide an inferior disc that should be preserving and presenting the best experience of that film? It would have been nice to have the black and white version, but I can understand why they didn’t release it on disc, because it would have been another 4 discs for both Blu-ray and 4K. There’s a lot of things that sadly don’t get released that film enthusiasts would love, such as true IMAX versions. At least, seemingly against all odds, the Zack Snyder cut was made, and we got it on disc as well.