Back in the early days of the Justice League movie marketing (and when I say this I refer to the time before we had even seen a trailer for the film, and long before director Zack Snyder had been replaced by Joss Whedon, and even longer before any of us thought there would be a groundswell of support for a “Snyder cut” let alone enough to make it a reality) there was a phrase that piqued the curiosity of DC fans: “Unite the Seven.”
“Unite the Seven” was the text that accompanied the first official image of Jason Momoa as Aquaman in early 2015, over a year before the release of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. At the time it was generally assumed to mean one of two things: either Aquaman was destined to “unite the seven seas” when he becomes King of Atlantis (and since that wouldn’t happen until his movie in late 2018, that seemed a little unlikely) or it meant that the cinematic Justice League of the DCEU would consist of seven members.
Well, you do the math. Justice League brought us a team consisting of Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman, which even using the most creative “studio math” still only leaves us with six members. But with all of the changes to Snyder’s vision for Justice League between the poor critical and fan reception to Batman v Superman and his departure from the project following a personal tragedy, fans have long speculated that there was a seventh member of the team who just never made it to the screen, and one that many are hoping will finally appear when “the Snyder cut” hits HBO Max in the form of a four hour miniseries known as Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The most likely candidate always seemed like Green Lantern. Justice League is loosely based on a 2011 comic story by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, which saw Darkseid and his parademons invade Earth, thus necessitating the formation of the Justice League. The lineup in that comic consisted of the same six members we got in the cinematic League…plus the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern.
However, despite plenty of rumors, there has never been any evidence that a significant Green Lantern role was ever cast or filmed for any version of Justice League. While we did get to see A Green Lantern in the film, it was only as part of a flashback sequence to ancient times, as DC heroes of the past took on a previous invasion from Apokolips. The Lantern in question was an obscure member of the Green Lantern Corps named Yalan Gur.
Is it still possible that there was a proper Green Lantern filmed for the movie in the vaults who will finally see the light of day in the Snyder Cut? Sure, anything is possible. After all, most of us never thought that the Snyder Cut would ever truly exist in the first place. But at the moment, this seems like a longshot. And I wouldn’t hold my breath for a Ryan Reynolds cameo either.
However, there’s another, far more realistic possibility…
Remember Harry Lennix’s character from Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, General Swanwick? In 2019 Zack Snyder revealed a storyboard for a deleted Justice League scene that featured Lois Lane visiting Martha Kent. When Lois leaves, she morphs into the Martian Manhunter…before morphing into General Swanwick.
That’s right, it had apparently always been Snyder’s intention to make Lennix’s General Swanwick into J’onn J’onnz. It isn’t clear if this scene was filmed or not, but certainly there must be work with Lennix on the cutting room floor, whether from Justice League or one of those earlier movies, that could be repurposed to establish Martian Manhunter’s existence in the DCEU.
Don’t hold your breath for him to join the fight against Darkseid and Steppenwolf, but like I said earlier…at this point, you never know.
Would Martian Manhunter’s presence satisfy fans’ desire to “unite the seven” or would this just be another tease? Let us know in the comments!