Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Justice Is Gray Edition Explained

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It’s looking to be a bonanza year for Zack Snyder fans. The obvious headline grabber was last week’s release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which is still tearing up the streaming charts and has exceeded critical, studio and audience expectations. Following that in May is his Netflix Original zombie/heist movie Army of the Dead, and the streamer is so happy with it that they’re using it to kick off a cinematic universe.

But alongside those are two smaller, interesting projects. One is a remaster of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that reframes the pic in the same IMAX aspect ratio as his Justice League and fixes some coloring issues in the original 4K Blu-ray transfer. The other is an alternative black and white take on Justice League, titled “Justice Is Gray.” Snyder has explained that he wanted to release it as the version of the film on his home computer that he’s been working on for four years was in this format.

“Justice Is Gray” premiered on HBO Max yesterday and prior to its debut the internet was buzzing with rumors that yet more footage had been added to the movie. There was word that we’d finally get to see Jared Leto’s Joker utter the notorious “we live in a society” line, which generated a lot of buzz when we heard him say it in the final trailer, though was completely absent from the finished product.

Unfortunately, you won’t be hearing it in “Justice Is Gray,” either, as it’s confirmed that the film is identical in every respect to its color counterpart aside from being monochromatic. While not for everyone, it sounds like it’s worth checking out if you have an HDR-compatible TV as the deep blacks throughout the movie really make the image pop. As ComicBook.com explains:

The main allure of checking out Justice League: Justice Is Gray is purely an aesthetic one. The monochrome color scheme of this “black and white” version of the film gives The Snyder Cut an entirely new feel and tone, akin to both the film Noir (Batman and/or Gotham scenes) and retro sci-fi movies of the ’40s and ’50s (Cyborg or Parademon scenes). The new color palette also makes more subtle changes to the viewing experience by highlighting aspects or fine details of each scene and shot, which perhaps didn’t stand out (or so clearly) in the color version of the footage. This is most noticeable in the violent action scenes: blows, blood, and broken bodies all feel much more visceral in Justice Is Gray.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is expected to hit 4K UHD Blu-ray soon, so we may see even more deleted scenes on the disc.

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