Producer Deborah Snyder confirms only one new scene was shot for her husband Zack's four-hour cut of the film.
There might be some confusion surrounding Zack Snyder's director's cut of Justice League. The four-hour R-rated film will hit HBO Max mid-March, and producer Deborah Snyder has now cleared up how much of that material was newly shot.
"People kept thinking, 'Oh, they went and shot so much more stuff,' and I go, 'We literally shot one scene, like one additional [scene]. I shot three days here. That's it. That's what we captured,'" the producer (and Zack's wife) told the LightCast podcast.
This scene appears to involve Jared Leto's Joker, featured in the second major trailer. Director Zack Snyder confirmed that Leto's reprisal of his Suicide Squad villain wasn't in the original plan for Justice League. Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller and Amber Heard were reported to be in reshoots for the scene, with Miller's footage shot remotely.
"It was also weird because Ezra [Miller] was shooting [Fantastic Beasts at the time] and he's in the scene," Deborah Snyder said. "So, we shot him remotely. Zack Zoomed in because he was on Fantastic Beasts. Luckily, their crew is amazing. They were like, 'We'll help you!' So, we got a green screen and they had a camera feed and a Zoom. He got to direct Ezra via Zoom and we put him in."
After a years long fan campaign, Warner Bros. gave Zack Snyder the green light in early 2020 to put together his cut of the 2017 superhero film. He shed the reshoots that Joss Whedon came in to capture after Zack's departure due to a family tragedy. Now only Zack's original shots, which had been left on the cutting room floor, are in the film.
So most of the footage had already been captured. Zack's inclusion of dropped characters, including CGI-heavy villain Darkseid, required new visual effects shots. WarnerMedia and HBO Max paid a reported $70 million to help make that happen.
Deborah explained that many of the new shots involve design changes of certain CGI-heavy characters. The visual effects for the extensive original footage also had to be completed.
"The running time is just about four hours. If you think about it, about how much extra time that is, and then you think about how visual effects-heavy these superhero films are, we had to do, in six months, 2,650-some-odd visual effects shots," she said. "And normally, when you do these movies, what happens is, as you're shooting, you start turning over shots. Listen, we had a lot of assets built, but I think the way the theatrical release was done, they changed a lot of things.
"And through the process, as we were working on the movie, [there were] some of the things they wanted Zack to change, some of the designs of the characters. So, we want back to the original intention ... Zack's intention, in terms of the characters and had to rebuild those models. But then there were just so many shots to do."