Justice League: Justice Is Gray, black-&-white Snyder Cut, hits HBO Max

Monochromatic smash hits are all the rage, with Mad Max: Fury Roadway and Logan getting black-and-white reissues in the last few years. So it was just rational that Zack Snyder would bless his brand-new cut of Justice League deserving of the upper tier of action films with a 2nd release that removes out the staying color. One week after the release of the “Snyder Cut,” fans have yet another four-hour experience at their hands: Justice League: Justice Is Gray.

For viewers debating whether to embark on another journey through the Snyderverse, it should be noted that the just differences between the Justice League released on HBO Max last week and Justice Is Gray is that Steppenwolf now looks like he’s ready to battle George Reeves in a serial-friendly showdown. It really is just the same movie, but in black and white.

As producer Deborah Snyder told Polygon earlier this month, while there were substantial re-edits made to the story — adding back key plot beats to Flash, Cyborg, and Steppy’s arcs — there were also a few brand-new elements that visual effects houses scrambled to create in order to fulfill Zack Snyder’s original vision. Overhauls to villain designs and action sequences may not have needed to happen, but the Snyders were artistically inclined to take advantage of the extra $70 million reportedly afforded to them to bring the HBO Max release to life. Scenes like the film’s Joker nightmare sequence were basically arbitrary — but Zack wanted a chance to direct a moment in between Batman and Joker, so why not throw it in?

The black-and-white version of Justice League seems to exist under the same logic as the character additions and tweaks: simply because.

“My ideal version of the movie is the black-and-white IMAX version of the movie,” Snyder told YouTube channel TheFilmJunkee back in November 2020. “That to me is the most fan-centric, most pure, most Justice League experience. Because that’s how I lived with the movie for two years, in black and white.”

Not since Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow has a modern action motion picture gone to such excellent lengths to look like an antique of the past. Justice League: Justice Is Gray, black and white and in 4:3, is now out on HBO Max.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.