Huge news from Warner Bros. today, as the long-rumoured Zack Snyder director’s cut of 2017’s Justice League is officially announced, planned for a 2021 release.

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The official announcement Tweet. (C) Warner Bros., DC Comics

The 2017 original – of which Avengers director Joss Whedon took the helm following the tragic death of Snyder’s daughter, Autumn – was released to middling reviews and a poor box office run, grossing just over $650m worldwide on a $300m budget, meaning it barely, if at all, made any profit.

Yet fan speculation around the existence of a Snyder cut, free of Whedon’s creative adjustments – rumoured to include Henry Cavill’s Superman in the iconic black suit, and an appearance from DC Comics behemoth villain Darkseid – never relented, with fan campaigns attracting the attention of Ben Affleck (who tweeted his support for the Synder cut in late 2019) and Jason Momoa, who has recently taken to Instagram to campaign for the film’s release.

Today’s news came during a community watch-along of 2013’s Man of Steel, with both Synder and Cavill appearing to make the monumental announcement. While details are currently scarce, it’s been confirmed for a 2021 release on Warner’s HBO Max streaming service, undoubtedly one of their tentpole original releases.

Yet it sounds like a remarkable move away from the 2017 iteration of the film, with Snyder saying in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that “you probably saw one-fourth of what we did,” suggesting this director’s cut will be a departure from – and hopefully an improvement on – a film that many deemed yet another failure in DC’s cinematic universe. Similarly, it’s currently being tossed up between a four-hour film or a six-chapter episodic structure – although it’s been made clear in the press release that is is a film, so how it takes shape is yet to be seen. Similarly, the THR interview also announces Snyder has been granted $20-30m to finalise his vision.  Images of the original Justice League promotional photos in black-and-white also hint towards a characteristically Snyder-esque dark tone – and certainly add currency to those rumours of black-suit Superman.

Huge news that many have been speculating for a while – but it proves not only that Snyder’s vision of the DCEU isn’t dead, but also casts a new ray of hope for fans of the franchise.