In a sudden and inexplicable error, Zack Snyder’s highly-anticipated cut of Justice League was aired Monday night on HBO Max. Subscribers who clicked onto the newly released, live-action Tom & Jerry, were instead met with a snippet from the Snyder Cut. The long-awaited DC Comics film has its formal premiere set for March 18th so, for the select few, it was somewhat of an exclusive preview.
HBO Max was quick to make a statement regarding the mix-up, stating “Zack Snyder’s Justice League was temporarily available on HBO Max and the error was addressed within minutes.” Some lucky previewers contested via Twitter to have watched for even longer, with one twitter-user claiming to have viewed a whole hour of footage before it was cut off and Tom & Jerry began. Screenshots of the leaked Justice League quickly made their way online, but Warner Bros., which owns the DC Comics Universe, swiftly called for Twitter to send out takedown notices in an attempt to maintain the film’s secrecy.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League had been hinted at since the filmmaker’s displeasure with the 2017 final cut. Amidst production, Snyder had to step away from Justice League in order to deal with a family tragedy, and Joss Whedon was subsequently hired to assume his role as director. With Snyder’s confirmation that he had hours of unseen footage of the DC superhero mash-up movie, the call for Snyder’s cut began.
Fans took to the internet with the hashtag #ReleasetheSnyderCut and even commissioned a banner in Times Square to demand the release of the alternate version. In May 2020 Warner Bros. announced Snyder’s cut as an ongoing project and that the film would premiere on HBO Max. Upwards of $20 million and some additional scenes later, Snyder took to Twitter himself to announce Justice League’s March 18th release.