Although Zack Snyder is no longer at the head of the DCEU after his exit during post-production on Justice League, a big-screen event that failed to meet Warner Bros’ expectations, he still has a lot to say about the superhero epic he never got to complete.
In case you need a refresher, the story goes that WB got a little iffy about Snyder’s vision for the DCEU after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received a tepid critical reception (it made $900 million at the box office, to be fair) and strong fan reactions. To hear Snyder explain what happened, it sounds like WB decided to edit his original vision for Justice League, which would have eventually led to a confrontation with DC’s most vile cosmic villain, Darkseid, and the death of Lois Lane.
Snyder revealed this and more during a screening of his Batman v Superman director’s cut. During a Q&A session with the audience, Snyder got candid about his original plans for Justice League and the future of the DCEU as a whole. As first reported by Screen Rant on Twitter (via Collider), according to Snyder, WB decided not to film the original Justice League script written by Chris Terrio after the negative feedback BvS received from “a vocal minority.”
Snyder explained that the infamous Knightmare sequences in BvS originally had a much larger significance in the overall DCEU story. While those grim visions were later explained away as Fascist Batman’s dreams of a possible future where Superman was allowed to go unchecked, they were originally supposed to foreshadow scenes that would appear in Justice League after Darkseid turned Superman evil. Why did Superman turn evil?
Well, the original Justice League script would have had Darkseid, leader of Apokolips, show up on Earth and kill Lois Lane, setting up Superman’s turn to the dark side. He would’ve “succumbed to the Anti-Life [Equation]” and blamed Batman for her death because “it was Bruce’s responsibility to protect Lois.”
From there, Superman would have conquered the planet and the remaining members of the JL — Batman and “a broken half of” Cyborg — would have figured out how to send Flash to the past to warn Bruce about the things to come. Yes, this would have been a callback to the random scene in BvS where Future Flash appears in the Batcave to warn Batman that “Lois Lane is the key.”
That Flash business was later retconned, too. In the cut of Justice League we got, Lois is actually the key to getting Superman to chill out after he resurrects in the movie.
The jury is still out on whether Justice League would have been a better movie had Snyder been able to see his vision through. It seems unlikely at the moment that Snyder will get another shot at the DC universe, especially now that WB has basically swept the early DCEU movies under the rug and gone for more standalone takes on DC’s pantheon of heroes with Aquaman and Shazam. But at least you can imagine what the original Justice League would have looked like now that Snyder is happy to talk your ear off about it!
More on the world of DC as we learn it.