Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) is widely referred to as "the Snyder cut." Zack Snyder directed the 2017 Justice League, which has a similar plot and the same lead actors.

But I can't tell: Is the 2021 release actually a "cut" of the 2017 film, or a remake?

I understand a "cut" to be a "post-production" compilation from the same film – e.g., the same raw recordings may be compiled into a "theatrical cut," "unrated cut," "director's cut," etc. A "remastered cut" might use the same film but redo or enhance computer-generated content.

In contrast, I would assume that a version that uses substantial new film would not be called a "cut," but instead would be properly termed a "remake."

How much of the 2021 release was filmed prior to the 2017 release?

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    Maybe "premake" would be a bit more accurate ;) While very little new stuff was actually filmed this time, there was reshooting after Snyder left. It's like a film bifurcated into two. – Mithoron Mar 27 at 1:01
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    It's like a special extended remastered director final cut ;D – Mithoron Mar 27 at 1:06
  • "Zach Snyder directed the 2017 Justice League, which has a similar plot and the same lead actors." - no, he did not. He started it, then he had to hand this over to Joss Whedon to handle post production for personal reasons (his daughter died). Whedon seriously went away from his vision, and fans did not like that. Hence the Snyder Cut - allowing him to actually complete the movie as he envisioned it. The whole story of the original film is at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_(film) - the "Post-production" section has the details. – TomTom Mar 27 at 12:45
  • @TomTom - Its coming out now that it was not 100% "personal reasons", that was just the last straw. It was more like the studio wanted something more like what came out in 2017, and after sudden death of his daughter, Snyder (quite understandably) no longer had the energy it was going to require to keep fighting them. But if they'd been supporting him rather than fighting him, that may not have needed to happen. – T.E.D. Mar 27 at 14:31
  • ...TBF to them, the studio may have been a wee bit more supportive if he'd delivered a better Batman v Superman than he did. – T.E.D. Mar 27 at 14:33

It is a cut with a newly shot Epilogue section

I do not believe you could use the term 'remake', which implies an entirely (or almost entirely) re-shot movie. A remake can have different director, actors, script, and only loosely follow the same plot as the original.

I do think a 'cut' is the right description in this case. According to articles that are sourced from interviews with the movie's producers, addressing the point about re-shoots:

The added material is specifically - and only - the Epilogue

Which means the entire rest of the movie was made from material shot prior to the theatrical release.

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    Plus new CGI. IIRC there is another movie where the theatrical cut consists of largely new footage, and then later a DC was released which was significantly different. (Though I don't recall which movie. might have been the third Exorcist, though the Wiki page claims there wasn't that much new footage in the TC.) – BCdotWEB Mar 26 at 19:51
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    Aha, it was another Exorcist movie: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorcist:_The_Beginning#Production – BCdotWEB Mar 26 at 19:53
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    In the gaming world you might call this a remaster.... perhaps this applies here too. – Frank Hopkins Mar 27 at 0:47
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    That is a good term - an "upgrade" without significant changes to the source material (i.e. the original footage) – TomTom Mar 27 at 12:41

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