Zack Snyder’s Justice League is happening whether you like it or not. This cut was originally planned for release in 2017, however Zack had to step down and at the point Warner Bros. decided to step in and edit, what appears to be, a large portion of the film. Taking on board criticisms from the previous movies, Warner decided to move in a more fun and colorful direction.
Despite its confirmation, there are still a lot of questions that have been unanswered. Truthfully, we’re not entirely sure what the Synder Cut actually consists of in its entirety. We have small snippets here and there and segments confirmed by the director himself. But we don’t actually know what it will be like.
Today, I wanted to break down all the things that we could potentially see in the upcoming cut of the film that will air on HBO Max in 2021. Some of this comes from the director himself via his Vero account, other thoughts come from actors who were originally involved, and other bits originate from the very first trailer.
So lets break it down.
It will be longer
The theatrical cut that we all saw in cinema is 2 hours long. Plenty of time to establish all the characters and events, right? At the moment there are rumors that suggest that the final cut could be cut into episodes. It’s pretty unclear as to how Justice League will be presented. However, back in December Zack seemingly confirmed the runtime of his original cut which clocked in at 214 minutes. Within the Snyder Cut movement, 214 became a very important number. That translates to just over 3 and a half hours. Considering that Zack is assembling his team once more to complete the movie, we could be looking at a 4 hour movie- or maybe 4 big episodes. Either way, we’ll be getting a bigger and more fleshed out Justice League movie.
It will be darker
Zack Snyder loves creating a dark tone, through visuals and storytelling. Personally, that was one of the aspects that I admired most. I liked seeing these hopeful characters being dragged down into a world that is significantly more darker and harsh. I believe it is an acquired taste though, especially when you’re dealing with these types of characters. The original trailers emanated the overall tone of the movie. The visuals were a lot darker and grainier, there were shots that just weren’t in the movie (although this sometimes happens). Most notably, the final fight which starred the random Russian Family did not consist of an orange sky or strange vines that consumed the city. The fight was at night and was considerably darker.
When it comes to the story, the overall aesthetic will help compliment the dark route the story will take. From the looks of it, the original cut was never as simple as “Superman shows up and defeats Steppenwolf”. Steppenwolf does get defeated but it isn’t as simple as that.
Speaking of Steppenwolf… Snyder has teased that the Steppenwolf we see in the theatrical cut isn’t the one that we’ll get in his version.
If you watched the extended edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you would have seen the original Steppenwolf. He was a lot bigger and a lot more monster-like. From the looks of it, Warner may have deemed the original design as too scary which is slightly contradictory when it comes to establishing a villain… particularly an alien villain.
It is possible that there would be a bit more story surrounding Steppenwolf as a character. In the theatrical cut, Steppenwolf mentions “Mother” on multiple occasions. Now, at first glance this could be his way of communicating to the Mother Boxes. However, in the original cut you would discover that Steppenwolf’s mother, Heggra, was consumed by one of the Mother Boxes. His aim is to unleash the power of the Mother Boxes to prove himself to Darkseid, and potentially become more powerful than him.
On a side note, I hope we get the quote from the trailers spoken by Steppenwolf: “No protectors here, no Lanterns, no Kryptonian“. It was cut from the theatrical cut but it alludes to another exciting development.
According to Zack, Cyborg was originally the heart of his film. Considering that Cyborg is a product of the Mother Boxes, it makes sense that we dive into what that actually means.
From the various images that Zack has shared on his Vero account, it looks as though we would have received a lot of backstory for Cyborg. In addition to that, when Cyborg connects with the Mother Boxes they would have messed with him mentally… projecting images from his past and, my guess would be, luring him. It is a shame that so much was cut from Cyborg’s plot line. But it will be incredibly exciting to see more of his family and what he was like before the car crash.
If you’ve ever watched CW’s The Flash, you’ll know that the Scarlet Speedster loves to time travel and then lecture people on why time travel is bad… rinse and repeat. In the theatrical cut, Flash doesn’t use this ability. You might have assumed that it’s an ability he hadn’t yet unlocked. You’d be wrong.
Time travel in Zack’s cut actually saves the Justice League. There is a reality where Steppenwolf beats the Justice League, prompting Barry to travel back moments before their defeat. This allows Cyborg to prevent the Mother Boxes from combining and forming, what is called, The Unity. At that point, Victor would see his parents as he is lured to join forces with Darkseid. It is also rumored that he would have a vision of the “Nightmare Batman” reality.
Black Suit Superman
This one is exciting. Now, according to Zack… Superman doesn’t wear his iconic suit at all in this film. The idea throughout the sequels was to project this image that Superman no longer thought we was good enough and throughout the epic journey to battle Darkseid he would eventually earn his traditional suit back.
Star Labs & the Atom
Zack recently shared a new image of Ryan Choi- aka The Atom, portrayed by Zheng Kai. It’s not clear how prominent his role would have been but I’m guessing it would have revolved heavily around Silas Stone and maybe the Mother Boxes. His role would have probably involved a more in-depth look at Star Labs.
If you’ve followed the Snyder Cut development, you may notice something very different about this image. That’s right… it’s in colour. Since his cut has been confirmed it looks as though Zack may have a bit more freedom regarding what he can share and how. So, be sure to keep an eye on his Vero account.
The Anti-Life Equation is a mathematical formula of some degree that allows the user to assume control over the minds of sentient beings. Ultimately, it proved that notions of love, hope and freedom were weaknesses.
The equation apparently played a big role in the “Nightmare Batman” sequence that would have returned in Justice League. In the sequence, Superman had succumbed to the Anti-Life Equation after the death of Lois. The symbol of hope was ruling over Earth alongside Darkseid. The remaining members of the Justice League were devising a way to warn Bruce that Lois was indeed the key and that something big was coming- thus connecting the scenes from Batman v Superman to Zack’s Justice League.
In Snyder’s Justice League, the nightmare reality seems to be a vision that Cyborg experiences at some point during the film. Some claim that it is when he connects with the Kryptonian scout ship, whereas others claim it is when he connects with the Mother Boxes- which makes more sense to me.
Darkseid & DeSaad
Darkseid. The ultimate villain. A being so strong that we can withstand the might of the Justice League. In Zack’s vision, Darkseid was set to be appear and become the primary focus of the following sequels.
Now, he wasn’t just set to appear as a tease. Darkseid had a talking role and was originally the focus of the flashback that showed the armies of the world fighting the Parademons. That’s right, instead of Steppenwolf facing the Themyscirans, Green Lanterns and Atlanteans it was meant to be Darkseid.
After Steppenwolf’s failure, Darkseid appears at the end of Snyder’s cut which leads into the next part where the Justice League would prepare to face their strongest opponent.
Darkseid’s companion, DeSaad, was also meant to appear and was portrayed by Peter Guinness. Actor Ray Porter also confirmed that he is the voice behind Darkseid.
That said, and because I’ve been given permission…— Ray Porter (@Ray__Porter) May 22, 2020
Hi, I’m Ray. I played Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s “Justice League”.
There. It’s out now.
We got a very brief look at a Green Lantern in the theatrical cut during the fight against Steppenwolf. It’s not exactly clear what the new cut might incorporate but Snyder’s cryptic messages might give an indication.
When asked about the Lantern that appears in the flashback, Snyder comments that it is his. He then adds: “But not The green lantern”. This can be interpreted in multiple ways. To me, this indicates that we were meant to see more than one Green Lantern. This may not necessarily be the case but it would be amazing to see.
A while ago, Snyder revealed that General Swanwick would be revealed as Martian Manhunter. According to his Viro, Swanwick had a larger role but he was unable to film everything he wanted for this reveal.
Since the cut will be worked on in order to actually complete it, it is indeed possible that we will see Lennix transform into the Manhunter. To further support this notion, Harry Lennix tweeted this after the announcement that Zack’s Justice League is being completed.
Re: Justice League and the Snyder cut… Things don't Just happen–things happen Just. pic.twitter.com/vcTD2D0Z5p— Harry J. Lennix (@HarryJLennix) May 22, 2020
There was a noticeable lack of Lex Luthor in the theatrical cut of Justice League. Many might be wondering what he could have added if he was more involved. Luthor’s role could have been quite significant. After all, he was the one that learned about the Mother Boxes and Steppenwolf.
According to Jesse Eisenberg, he was involved in many more scenes, some of which weren’t completed upon Snyder’s departure. It is possible that Luthor’s research would have aided the Justice League in understanding what they were dealing with.
Not much is really known about Deathstroke in the DCEU. He appears in the post credit scene with a freed Luthor who teases a team up.
Recently, the actor portraying Slade, Joe Manganiello, tweeted about the news concerning HBO Max and Snyder’s Justice League.
Considering Affleck’s plan to write and star in his own Batman movie, it seems like Deathstroke’s role would have teased the upcoming fight between the legendary villain and the Dark Knight. From his tweet, it looks as though the post credit scene we got in the theatrical version is actually different to Snyder’s post credit scene.
Snyder’s Cut, while apparently rather crammed with new content, would have explored more of the Justice League members. Batman and Wonder Woman have obviously had more time to shine, so the Justice League really needed to pay more attention to the newbies- Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman.
Kiersey Clemons was set to play Iris West but was removed from the theatrical cut altogether. She didn’t even get a mention. While I imagine her role to be rather small, it was a great way to further build Snyder’s world. The scene that she was definitely involved in featured Barry rescuing Iris from a car crash.
Remember the bit in the trailer that showed Barry breaking glass with a finger?
This was part of that rescue that was actually shown in one of the early trailers.
More from Atlantis
Since one of the Mother Boxes resided in Atlantis- well not really- it was obvious that we were going to see more from Aquaman’s world. Except that we didn’t. What we do know is that Justice League was meant to act as a devise that would lead into Aquaman where we would learn more about his lineage. The theatrical cut did very little to explore Aquaman’s world. All we got was a brief introduction to Mera.
Through his Vero, which has essentially fed us knowledge, we now know that Mera and Vulko had bigger roles to play. In a black and white image, shared by Snyder, we can see the two characters as well as other Atlanteans.
Much like Iris, I’m certain their roles would have been minimal. Used as a way to introduce certain characters for future developments. Zack Later revealed that Vulko, played by Willem Dafoe, would bestow Arthur with his mother’s trident and his new armor that he would wear for the rest of the film.
As a soundtrack lover, this one is truly exciting. Now, I didn’t dislike the soundtrack produced by Danny Elfman. It had some great callbacks to original soundtracks and even provided a wonderful theme for Barry Allen.
However, Danny Elfman was not the original composer for Justice League.
Junkie XL, who provided the music for Batman v Superman, Mad Max, and even Sonic, was the original composer of Zack’s cut. Since Zack’s vision went down a considerably darker route, it is likely that Tom Holkenborg was replaced so that a score could be created that matched the new brighter tone.
It turns out that Tom’s score was actually completed
“The full score is still there. It’s a really great score, and it’s just there. It never goes away. We’ll see what happens in the future, you know?“
With the cut confirmed, it seems that we will definitely hear what Tom had in store. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear a snippet in the trailer that Snyder is planning.
So there you have it. This may not be a complete list, but it’s the best I could conjure. I think it is safe to say that we have a lot to look forward. Honestly, I can’t believe that we are getting it. I have been blown away by the support the Snyder Cut has received and by the responses from those involved.
We will definitely update you on any developments concerning the new cut. The one thing that is certain is that it will air on HBO Max in 2021.