Zack Snyder’s Justice League is far from the end of the story—but whether we ever see how that story ends is another matter. As you likely know by now, director Zack Snyder got a chance to finally complete his version of Justice League some four years after a terrible family tragedy led him to leave the project. The movie was subsequently turned over to Joss Whedon to finish, with a committee of studio execs calling the shots every step of the way and creating a weird Frankenstein’s monster of a film that was released in 2017.
But Snyder restored his version last year, debuting it on HBO Max earlier this spring. And it’s led fans to demand that the entire DC film universe be handed back to Snyder so that he could carry on with the now largely abandoned mythology, colloquially known as the Snyderverse. After all, Snyder’s most passionate advocates point out, Warner Bros. is already embracing a “multiverse” strategy with startlingly different versions of characters existing onscreen, independent from each other.
When we sat down this week to discuss Army of the Dead with Snyder this month, the director avoided saying he definitely would like to pick up where he left off, but he acknowledged that he could if he wanted to—and if the studio did too.
“The story is completely mapped out,” Snyder says. “If you go to [Dallas], we had the storyboards up in the AT&T headquarters, these 40-foot dry-erase boards that tell the entire story of where the DC universe would go, if I was in charge of it.”
Snyder is referring to an exhibit set-up at AT&T’s “Discovery District” in Dallas, featuring artwork from several of the DC projects that Snyder was involved with, including Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as proposed conceptual art for the follow-ups to Justice League. The exhibit is no longer active but it gave fans a glimpse of what the future of the Snyderverse might have held.
Snyder adds, “I have the entire thing figured out, all the way. Two more movies after Justice League that tell the story of the Darkseid invasion, the post-apocalyptic world, the turning back of all the stuff, all the way to Lois’ child. So the answer is, yes.”
Justice League 2, or at least 3, would have played out in the Knightmare world glimpsed at the end of ZSJL, with Batman (Ben Affleck), Mera (Amber Heard), Joker (Jared Leto), Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and a motley assortment of surviving heroes and villains teaming up to fight back against Darkseid’s invasion of Earth that has transformed Superman (Henry Cavill) into a force for evil.
Warner Bros., which handed Snyder a reported $70 million to complete his four-hour cut of Justice League, has indicated quite candidly that the trajectory of the Snyderverse has come to an official end with the Snyder cut of that film. But since DC Entertainment is about to double down on the concept of a multiverse—featuring different iterations of its characters in film, TV, and comics—doesn’t that create a space for the Snyderverse to continue?
“Is there room for it? I mean, they’re doing it,” says Snyder. “They have exactly three iterations. They have [Todd Phillips’] Joker universe, they have The Batman universe. They have the remnants of my universe, with Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Flash, and they’re having Ben [Affleck] cameo as Batman. They have a TV series they’re putting together. They have all of the CW stuff. They are literally so deep in the multiverse that they couldn’t get out of it if they wanted to.”
At the moment, it doesn’t look like that DC multiverse has plans for the Snyder section to continue—for now, anyway—so fans will have to continue to brood over what might have been. As for Snyder himself, he seems to have moved on: Army of the Dead premieres on Netflix on Friday, May 21.