Johann Tanchangco from ActionFigurePlanet has documented all the known details that make Zack Snyder’s version of “Justice League” different from what we saw in theatres back in 2017.
As you’ll recall, director Zack Snyder was forced to stand down before completing the film, due to the untimely death of his daughter. Joss Whedon was brought in to finish off the film, reshooting many scenes and making a number of changes to the script.
Here are the most notable changes from Snyder’s original version:
- Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg) the original composer (in collaboration with Hans Zimmer) of Snyder’s DCEU who was set to take full control of the soundtrack for “Justice League” was replaced by Danny Elfman, a veteran on Tim Burton’s Batman movies.
- Steppenwolf’s design was changed from a more horrific appearance as seen in the deleted scene of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” to a more general audience friendly one.
- There was a scene of Lois visiting Superman’s memorial that was omitted in the theatrical cut.
- The opening credits were reworked mostly by Whedon. Most notable the infamous CGI mustache removal of Henry Cavill’s Superman.
- Batman did not know about the details of the Mother Boxes and Parademons from that rooftop scene battling a Parademon. He learned it from Lex Luthor himself or from one of his journals.
- Most of the Superman scenes were re-shot as evidenced by those ugly upper lip problems.
- We were supposed to get a cameo of Darkseid. And he had an important role in the movie although brief.
- There was more Cyborg in “Justice League”, especially his back story. His narrative was actually supposed to be prominent in the movie, notably his connections to the Mother Boxes.
- There was also more of The Flash in the movie, and a cameo of Iris West.
- Aquaman’s backstory is also explored and the ending of Aquaman’s story in “Justice League” leads up to his solo movie.
Those are 10 of the most important details. The write up below will dwell on the whole narrative of what Snyder’s “Justice League” cut will tell or what it would have led to:
The Snyder Cut “Justice League” Narrative
“Justice League” was originally planned as a trilogy with the first “Justice League” movie setting the tone for the future movies where they intend to tie up the loose ends that were first presented in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” specifically the Knightmare scene.
The first movie would not differ much from what Joss Whedon was able to come up with, but it would expand on the arrival of Darkseid which would set the Justice League to battle Darkseid in “Justice League – Part 2”.
Due to Warner Bros. meddling, the trilogy would be watered down into a duology, with “Justice League – Part 2” tying up the Knightmare scene when the Justice League lost to Darkseid, eventually realizing the foreboding Knightmare that Batman dreamed of way back in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”.
Steppenwolf would still be the same villain and utilized as is, he was the advance scout for Darkseid which would pave the way for the Justice League to seek out Darkseid (with the possible help of the Green Lantern Corps.) but would be unsuccessful in their battle. Devastating the Earth when Darkseid arrives with his Anti-Life Equation.
General Swanwick would be revealed as the Martian Manhunter, and the Martha that Lois spoke with while she was having a coffee break was actually the Martian Manhunter. Though if he had a bigger role in the movie remains a mystery. Ryan Choi a.k.a The Atom also has an appearance.
Superman’s role in “Justice League” is expanded compared to what Whedon did. Superman upon his resurrection, succumbed to the Anti-Life Equation when Lois died. This would bring to light an unhinged black-suited Superman siding with Steppenwolf as he fought against the Justice League. Now whether Snyder would push through with Lois’ death, the Knightmare scene would still eventually play out. But The Flash telling Batman that Lois is the key in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” certainly has an effect on Superman’s role in the fight against Darkseid and the evil forces of Apokolips.
There will be time travel elements (similar to “Avengers: Endgame” but remember these plans came out first before that film even hit the screens) where Batman (as suggested by The Flash that Lois is the key) sends The Flash back in time to save Lois, freeing Superman from the influences of the Anti-Life Equation. Superman upon waking up from the Anti-Life Equation would have a more expanded battle against Steppenwolf than what was seen in Whedon’s version.
Batman would eventually die (possibly in “Justice League – Part 2”) as he goes on a suicide mission, sacrificing himself in order for the League to beat Darkseid. Batman was also intended to have a more expanded search for the Justice League members as compared to the condensed one that Whedon gave us. So Batman’s role as a dark avenging crusader in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” to the most human of all the Justice League would come full circle, defining his humanity and the redemptive qualities that a former violent killing machine deserves. And yes, there was supposed to be a bad-ass Batman scene where he took hold of a giant Parademon gun.
As an icing to the cake, Lois (who was to be pregnant in the second “Justice League” movie) conceives a baby boy and names him Bruce, in honor of Batman who sacrificed himself saving Lois from Darkseid.
How will it affect the existing DCEU?
Ever since the perceived failure of Whedon’s “Justice League”, Warner Bros. has been experiencing a mixed bag of success and failure in their DC Universe movies. For the most part, movies that featured cast members from the “Justice League” movie and Snyder’s DCEU as a whole (“Aquaman” and to some degree “Shazam!” as well as “Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey”) tried to deviate and distance themselves from Snyder’s DCEU, but it cannot be denied that some story threads were still quite attached to the old DCEU. And with WB stating that they are ready to do standalone stories not connected to a larger narrative, like “Joker” and Robert Pattinson’s “Batman”, I think furthering Snyder’s DCEU won’t be hard to do if the Snyder Cut proves to be a runaway success for critics and fans alike. But again first things first. We will have to see if Snyder’s version proves to be superior to what was released in theaters. I have no doubt it will be. Fans will be waiting for HBO Max come 2021.
Thanks to Johann for allowing us to reprint his article.
- HBO Max will finance Snyder’s efforts to complete his cut of “Justice League” to the tune of $20-$30 million. That, however, does not include reshoots. Cast members will not be returning to film any extra scenes, but could be called upon for additional dialog recordings.
- Zoic Studios has been hired by The Stone Quarry (Zack Snyder’s production company) to complete remaining VFX work.
- Snyder is already working on a teaser trailer for his cut of “Justice League”.