At DC FanDome, Zack Snyder discussed the release plan for Justice League on HBO Max as being formatted into “four parts, one hour each.” In later interviews, Snyder described Justice League as being “six parts, and then epilogue,” which still sounds like Snyder wanting to release the film in parts and not as one film.
Suddenly, when asked on Vero, Zack Snyder seemed to confirm that his Justice League cut would no longer be released in parts, but “one shot,” which confused and saddened fans.
There is now a potential explanation for the change, which seems to have stemmed from contract disputes with the actors' representatives.
In a video from Robert Meyer Burnett, Burnett discusses how and why Zack Snyder's Justice League was changed from a four-part mini-series to a four-hour film:
“It's one thing to go back and do The Snyder Cut of Justice League, precedent for that. But when you split it up into four different parts, that's not one movie, that's a TV series. That's a limited series. And suddenly, like with a TV series, an actor gets paid per show. It's no longer some flat rate you get paid for a movie, you're now making a TV show.”
Burnett was told further that it had specifically to do with the various representatives of the actors about compensation:
“There were talent issues with compensation. A lot of the reps, meaning managers, agents, lawyers, they wanted some more cheddar. 'You know, come on, you gotta wet your beak a little more. You don't get four episodes of a Justice League show and not pay our clients for each episode.'”
The full excerpt can be seen below:
WHEN DID NEGOTIATIONS FALL THROUGH?
Strangely, these contract disputes weren't settled before Zack Snyder had announced at DC FanDome that his Justice League cut would be released in four parts on HBO Max. However, it seems that the plan shifted back to being a “one shot” release of a four-hour movie at some point between August and January, not split into multiple parts.
It would make complete sense for representatives of the actors to renegotiate their contracts for Justice League, as it was originally meant for a film release, not a series release. It could be that while they were undergoing discussions, what likely caused negotiations to fall through was Warner Bros. announcing that its entire 2021 film slate was going to be released on HBO Max concurrently with theatrical releases.
There was no longer a need to stretch out the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League and thus no need to compensate the actors for a series release. Some fans have said that this shows Warner Bros. that wants the release to fail, but, it may come across to some more like logistics than pettiness.