Zack Snyder: Justice League is out, and is pleasing everyone. It is rare to see people enjoy something they’ve already seen before. But Snyder’s vision has changed this particular belief. Speaking of this, fans instantly started demanding the sequels too. And if you look at the 4-hr mini-series, you will see that the movie ends in such a way that leads to a sequel. But all this is too far-fetched. Things did not work out efficiently between Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder. Snyder laughed when he was asked in an interview with I Minutemen about his future leading DCEU projects — in particular, what he thought of the title “Zack Snyder’s Justice League: 2.” The director explained that
“the reality is, as far as I know, there’s no interests and/or appetite to do more of these movies from Warner Bros. with me anyway.”
The originally planned but ultimately shelved Justice League sequels would have continued Superman’s arc to explore his personal journey and the impact he had on those around him, leading to more of a definitive conclusion for his character than the open-ended closing audiences got. The seeds for Snyder’s entire Justice League plan germinated way back in 2013, when Man of Steel established Superman as an angelic being literally sent from the heavens who has to learn how to reconcile his divine power with the human society he cohabitates. The next entry in the planned five-part story, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, saw Supes facing the fallout from his big coming-out to the world. People like Bruce Wayne still view his strength as a threat, and the nightmarish visions of an evil Superman destroying humanity would start to build more significance if the “Snyderverse” moved forward.
Snyder’s idea of Superman as a source of heroic inspiration takes center stage at this point. It’s a theme that would repeat itself time and again throughout the rest of the planned Justice League storyline, in addition to Superman’s own struggles to embrace his humanity as Clark Kent. Justice League 3 (which was designated as Justice League 2A in the storyboards to signify that it was more like one movie split into two parts) pits a new Justice League that includes Green Lantern, Deadshot, and Mera against Evil Superman.
They sacrifice themselves to give the Flash enough time to use Cyborg’s Cosmic Treadmill to go back in time and convince Bruce to save Lois from Darkseid. In a dramatic climax, Flash has just enough time to race to Bruce and, in the original storyboard plans, tell him that he’s the father of Lois’ child. Despite the pregnancy drama’s eventual omission, the main point is that Bruce throws himself in front of Darkseid’s Omega Beams, sparing Lois and reinvigorating Superman’s spirit instead of crushing it.
Here’s where Snyder’s idea of Superman as the great symbol of unity really takes off. As Darkseid’s army invades Earth, superheroes, national militaries, and the old kingdoms of Themyscira and Atlantis “led and inspired by Superman” unite as one, repeating the ancient battle that was portrayed in the Justice League Snyder cut. By the end of the trilogy, Superman was supposed to be feeling more human than ever, according to the outline, a reminder about how Superman’s arc was ultimately supposed to be about a god finding his place among mortals. He also embraces his identity as Clark Kent at the end, re-connecting with Lois and fathering a son who, in the original Bruce-Lois draft, grew up to become the new Batman.
Zack Snyder saw Superman as the central focus of his saga, the DCEU now seems to be moving away from portraying Superman as the poster boy. Actor Henry Cavill stated in a 2017 interview with the Los Angeles Times that his contract signed him off to play Superman in one more film beyond Justice League, but so far, nothing involving him has been announced. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam are seemingly taking on a larger role in what’s left of the DCEU plans, while other interpretations of Superman are popping up elsewhere. The new Superman & Lois show on The CW is more interested in exploring Clark Kent the family man, while Ta-Nehisi Coates is on board to pen a Superman reboot script focusing on a Black Superman for producer J.J. Abrams. Reports suggested that we might get to see Michael B. Jordan as our next Superman.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ray Porter as Darkseid, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The film is now streaming on HBO Max.