Zack Snyder, perhaps the most prolific film director of the superhero genre, opened up recently about what could have been with respect to his version of Justice League and his vision for the DCEU as a whole.
Supporters of Snyder have rallied and pawed at the director in order to get him to release any information about what his initial plans were for the three part Justice League series he originally intended. Having to take a step back from directing due to a personal tragedy and the loss of his daughter, Snyder left the Justice League project – handing the reins to fellow acclaimed superhero director Joss Whedon.
Since the release of Justice League, fans have dissected and pulled apart the film, looking for hidden layers to the original plan of what was Zack Snyder’s vision.
Time has passed and DC continues to release solo films of Zack’s initial universe with a new direction, new directors and most importantly, a new vision. Remain silent about everything surrounding the DCEU, Zack secluded himself to Vero (social media app), slowly but surely releasing new pictures, graphics, and answering fan questions about the most mysterious aspects of his DCEU while holding some things back. Fans could only speculate and theorize as to what the plan was, what was left on the cutting room floor, and if the fabled “Snyder Cut” will ever be released.
Taking the stage at his alma mater: the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, Snyder held a 3 day screening of his most notable comic book films: Watchmen: The Directors Cut, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: Ultimate Edition, and Dawn of The Dead. Following the screening, Snyder opened up the room for a Q&A session. Here’s one of the first things that stood out from the panel:
“The original Justice League that Chris [Terrio] and I wrote, we didn’t even shoot,” he confirmed. “The actual idea, the hard, hard idea, the scary idea, we never filmed because the studio was like ‘That’s crazy.'”
“When this movie came out, understand that Chris Terrio and I had finished the script to Justice League before Batman v Superman came out. Some people didn’t like the movie. A vocal minority. So they said ‘There’s a lot of stuff we don’t want you to do,’ so we did a rewrite from that script.”
Putting to rest the rumor that an unreleased film locked in a vault exists, Snyder made it clear there is no Snyder cut. He continued:
”It’s a long story,”Snyder explains. “The truth is that, the Knightmare sequence in this movie was always my idea that all of that would eventually be explained.”
Apparently, we would have then ended up in the “distant future, where Darkseid has taken over Earth…[and] a few members of the Justice League that had survived in that world…were fighting.”
The events of “Knightmare” left many perplexed as to what truly occurred. The scene fueled a love-hate relationship with the film with many fans needing an explanation- one Zack had formulated but that never came to fruition. Alluding to the death of heroes, Zack went on to confirm that the heroes who would have perished in his version included Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Lois Lane.
With Lois passing, Superman would have entered a deep grief, profound mourning, and sense of defeat that was essential to Darkseid’s ultimate goal: The Anti Life Equation. Susceptible to his influence, Superman now ruled earth with an iron fist and sought to hunt down and kill the man, who in his eyes, was responsible for Lois death, Batman himself.
Facing death at the hands of Superman, Batman’s final move would be to send Flash back in time and prevent the events that led to ‘Knightmare’, with only a broken Cyborg at his side.
“The Justice League teaser that wasn’t in the movie, apparently, I guess, where Wonder Woman says, it’s this line where Bruce says ‘I was right here when Barry Allen came to me and he said Lois Lane is the key,’ and she says ‘She is, to Superman. Every heart has one.’ And he goes, ‘I think it’s something more, something darker.'”
Returning to the ‘Knightmare’ scenario, Zack explained that the cosmic treadmill would have been established and it would have been how Barry returns to the past. What remained of Cyborg and the motherbox would have been used to send Flash back in time.
Briefly touching on the rumor that Steppenwolf was set to appear as the main villain of David Ayers’ Suicide Squad, Snyder talked about working closer with Ayers on the scenes were Batman and Flash appeared in the film but did not confirm anything beyond that.
Snyder also made some comments about the universe and what he created. His comments were brash and defensive of his ideals which including a rant where he advocated for Batman’s use of lethal force in his universe, stating that those who did not believe the Caped Crusader would ever cross that line were living in a “dream world” and that they needed to “grow the f—-k up”.
Justice League 2017 was close to the original plan but not close enough for Snyder to call it his own. In his version, Snyder stated that Darkseid would have been more prominent, the sub plots such as Steppenwolf calling the box Mother would have been much more fleshed out, and new characters would have been introduced in a darker grittier version.
The sequel to Justice League which was originally scheduled for release in 2020, would have followed the JL and Batman preparing for a war with Darkseid. In that film, Lois and much of the league would have perished unleashing events that would have led to a third Justice League film set in the Knightmare earth.