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After a more than two-year campaign waged on social media, superhero movie fans are getting "Justice."
HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures announced in a statement Wednesday that the companies will exclusively present the world premiere Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of the superhero team-up movie, "Justice League" in 2021. The decision comes as a result of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement on Twitter and calls across the globe -- including from the film's stars -- to show the original vision of the 2017 box office miss.
The social hashtag first appeared online in 2017 and HBO’s official Twitter announcement of the news garnered more than 18,000 retweets and 40,000 likes on Wednesday.
“We're all in,” DC Comics said in a comment — and it wasn’t the only account to express joy.
In the film, Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck, enlists the help of ally Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) to build a team of metahumans — Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash — to take on a looming threat against the planet. The story was written by Chris Terri and Snyder.
The film grossed $657 million in 2017. Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday that "You probably saw one-fourth of what I did," in that cut.
Snyder is widely seen as the creator of the so-called “DC Extended Universe” as the director behind “Man of Steel” the 2013 reboot of Superman and then its 2016 sequel, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
While neither garnered critical acclaim both fared decently at the box office taking in $668 million and $872 million worldwide. But those results shied in comparison to Disney’s success with the multi-billion dollar Marvel films especially “The Avengers” which brought together several of Marvel’s top heroes and took in $1.5 billion alone at the box office.
Warners, DC and Snyder went to work on “Justice League” uniting some of the world’s best-known characters. However, following the suicide of his daughter during the production of “Justice League” Snyder left the production of the film and “Avengers” director Joss Whedon stepped in to finish the film and shepherded several reshoots that reportedly altered the shape and tone of the Snyder’s original movie.
The movie was a box office dud -- $657 million -- making less than its two previous DC superhero efforts that featured Batman and Superman. While the fans may have helped convince Warners and the studio owners AT&T to right what they saw as a wrong, it can’t be underestimated the value such a widely publicized project could have to line up subscribers to AT&T’s new HBO Max streaming service. Designed to compete against streaming king Netflix as well as new offering Disney+, the home of all those Marvel movies.
"With the new platform and streaming services, you can have something like this," Deborah Snyder, the director's wife and producing partner told the Reporter, "You can’t release something like this theatrically, but you could with a streaming service."
In a statement, her husband said, “I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized.
Synder also had kind words for the fans, offering “a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality.”
HBO Max, will launch on May 27, featuring original shows like “Love Life”, “Legendary” and new episodes of the popular “Looney Tunes Cartoons”. The service is expected to reach 75 million to 90 million global subscribers by 2025, with about 50 million of these coming from the United States, the company said earlier.