We know now that Justice League’s failure was 10% Director Zack Snyder and 90% Warner Bros. Snyder was playing the long game by setting up a ton of storylines in the already crowded Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice film. The film introduced concepts such as time travel, the Justice League, Darkseid, Parademons, mixed with introducing a new Batman, Lex Luthor, introducing Doomsday oh and also adapting the death of Superman story.
Whew! That should have been about 12 separate movies right there but Warner Bros demanded it all be crammed into one. WB foolishly tried to catch up to Marvel in one film and as a result set themselves back by almost 10 years.
By the time Justice League rolled around, Snyder was pegged as the scapegoat and was on his way out. Enter director Joss Whedon who turned the film into the Joss-tice League. After WB had reshot the film twice with Snyder (after they weren’t happy with the original result) Whedon came in and said he needed an additional 300 million to reshoot half of the film. What resulted was an unbalanced film that didn’t cater to DC fans or Marvel fans and almost sank the entire DC Films universe.
Ever since then fans have clamored for the Snyder Cut of the film, wondering what could have been. We now know, thanks to Director Kevin Smith, that Snyder was planning a Justice League trilogy.
On the latest episode of his podcast Fatman on Batman (via Syfy), Kevin Smith revealed that when he visited the set of Star Wars: Episode IX, he spoke to people “who worked on both versions of Justice League” and got the lowdown on where the trilogy would have gone. According to Smith, these people had access to previsualization materials and other aspects of the Justice League trilogy plans—albeit acknowledging that plans certainly change over time, and this may not have been where the trilogy exactly went.
Smith says he was told that in Snyder’s version of Justice League, the fim’s ending was similar to the one we see now but with one major difference: as Steppenwolf zooms up the Boom Tube back to his home planet, defeated, Darkseid appears at the other end and glimpses the Justice League:
“[The League] saw Darkseid, and Darkseid saw them,” Smith said. “Boom tube closes, and that’s the end of the fucking movie. With them all knowing there’s something out there, and we have to go.”
Smith also says that the shot in the Justice League trailer of Jeremy Irons’ Alfred talking to an unknowon person offscreen was meant to be Green Lantern’s arrival, not the re-emergence of Superman. This would have opened the doors for a sequel set off-Earth:
“Justice League 2 was going cosmic as they take the fight to Apokolips … and the Lantern Corps was involved.”
The end of Justice League 2, however, would have been a defeat, with Smith referencing Empire Strikes Back and Infinity War, noting that Darkseid would have defeated the Justice League then gone back to Earth to desecrate the world, forming the hellscape we glimpsed in Batman’s Knightmare in Batman v Superman. This would have led to the third and final film being a showdown with Darkseid:
“That was going to be the entire third movie,” Smith said. “The heroes’ last stand against Darkseid and the forces of Apokolips — holy fuck!”
Alas, none of this will come to pass. Warner Bros. has no current plans to revisit the Justice League franchise, and with news that The Batman will introduced a new, younger Bruce Wayne, it appears we’re in line for a fractured timeline in which Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman still exist—owing to the success of their individual films—but Ben Affleck’s Batman is gone. Ezra Miller’s Flash status is still TBD as production on that standalone film has been delayed yet again owing to delays on Fantastic Beasts 3, which won’t start filming until late fall/winter of this year.
This, that was what we would have gotten. Something truly epic and unlike anything Marvel Studios was putting out. Snyder has since moved on to Netflix Army of the Dead, and Warner Bros. has moved onto lesser known characters such as Aquaman, Shazam, and Birds of Prey.
What do you think? You think we missed something big with Snyder’s Justice League trilogy? Let us know in the comments.