Zack Snyder’s Justice League is likely the end of Zack Snyder’s DC Extended Universe story, and it leaves viewers with a lot of questions that may never be answered. After the launch of Man of Steel and Warner Bros. seeing the Marvel Cinematic Universe take off, WB and DC Films pushed to create a shared universe of its own. Snyder was effectively put in charge of the big picture and had plans for a timeless five-movie arc that included Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and three Justice League films.
Snyder was able to make Man of Steel with little interference from the studios, and the same was largely true of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, the overall reception to the latter resulted in changes being made to Justice League. Snyder reworked his story, the film’s overall tone, and much more to try and accommodate the studio’s demands before ultimately walking away following the death of his daughter. The version of Justice League that hit theaters in 2017 was vastly different from what Snyder intended, which is why fans campaigned for three years to get Zack Snyder’s Justice League released. HBO Max eventually stepped up to be the home to one of the most talked-about movies in recent history.
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Now that Zack Snyder’s Justice League has been released, fans can see exactly what Snyder had planned. The four-hour R-rated movie changes character arcs, includes new characters, features a different aspect ratio, and much more. Snyder was adamant that he would not compromise when it came to what the Snyder Cut of Justice League includes, which means the film leaves plenty of storylines unresolved and questions unanswered. The movie was meant to be the middle chapter of Snyder’s DC story and plays as such.
Unfortunately for Snyder and his fans, the DCEU has effectively moved on. The universe has changed, characters are going on different arcs than what Snyder imagined, and WB even considers the 2017 Justice League theatrical cut DC canon. This means that Zack Snyder’s DCEU story is not expected to continue beyond the already unexpected release of the Snyder Cut. Barring a seismic shift in WB and DC’s mindsets, the DCEU won’t acknowledge the events of Zack Snyder’s Justice League or attempt to pay off its storylines down the road. As a result, we’re left with a lot of questions.
Will The Justice League Assemble Again?
The future of the Justice League is both a product of Zack Snyder’s Justice League and WB’s unclear roadmap for where the DCEU is going. The ending of Justice League‘s Snyder Cut set up that the League would join forces again to stop Darkseid’s invasion. The initial attempt to fight Darkseid would’ve seen Batman, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and potentially Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and more fight the Apokolips army. Snyder planned for them to fail first, resulting in the Knightmare timeline where Batman, Cyborg, Flash, Mera, Deathstroke, and Joker are the last resistance to Darkseid. This would’ve resulted in a version of the Justice League fighting together in Justice League 2 and Justice League 3, but now what?
WB currently has no plans for a future Justice League movie, and many of the Snyder Cut members have uncertain futures. Ben Affleck is expected to use The Flash as a way to stop playing Batman for good, Ray Fisher is battling WB and DC over his experience with Justice League‘s reshoots, and Henry Cavill’s DCEU future as Superman always seems to be up in the air. A future version of the Justice League on the big screen might only include Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and possibly Flash, with newer heroes like Shazam, Supergirl, Green Lantern, and others potentially filling out the remaining slots. Whatever the future holds, the DCEU likely won’t see the original six Justice League members on screen together again.
What Happens To Cyborg Next?
As mentioned before, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg has a very uncertain future with the DCEU. Fisher has gone on record to say that he will not be part of any project that Geoff Johns, Walter Hamada, and others are apart of. Cyborg was originally set to have a solo movie and appear in The Flash. His part in the latter was written out due to Fisher’s ongoing dispute with WB and DC. The studio has so far decided not to recast the part, meaning Cyborg’s time in the DCEU could be done for now. That’s unfortunate given where Zack Snyder’s Justice League leaves the character and means fans will potentially never know what happens to Victor Stone next.
Will Darkseid Invade?
Zack Snyder’s Justice League makes Darkseid a looming presence throughout, but the ending sets up the ruler of Apokolips coming to Earth himself. Snyder planned to feature Darkseid prominently in future installments of his DCEU story, but now viewers will be left to wonder if Darkseid will even come. The non-Snyder DC movies haven’t dealt with any cosmic elements or hinted at the arrival of New Gods. This could change if Ava DuVernay’s New Gods ever happens. Even if that movie gets off the ground at some point in the future, the story won’t be about Darkseid’s invasion of Earth. At the very best, it could set up Darkseid’s place in the DCEU proper and allow him to attack the planet at a later date.
What Happened To The Anti-Life Equation?
Snyder had big plans for his Justice League‘s Anti-Life Equation, but now the DCEU might not revisit that plot element. The Anti-Life Equation would have been how Darkseid enslaved most of Earth, including Superman, to follow his commands. It is hidden within Earth and is a major tool that some villains could use to take over the planet. But with the DCEU going in a different direction than what Snyder had planned, we may have already seen the last of the Anti-Life Equation.
Did Deathstroke Hunt Batman?
The end of Zack Snyder’s Justice League set up Deathstroke hunting down Batman. Lex Luthor told Slade Wilson that Bruce Wayne is Batman, and that information was supposed to lead directly into Ben Affleck’s The Batman. Deathstroke was going to be the main villain of the film, but that iteration of the Dark Knight solo project is no longer happening. While Batman will return for The Flash, there are no current plans for Deathstroke to return. This means the DCEU will likely never answer if Deathstroke did go after Batman and ruin Bruce Wayne’s life.
What Was Lex Luthor’s Plan?
Lex Luthor doesn’t have a large role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but he would be part of Snyder’s sequels. Now that he’s free from Arkham Asylum, Snyder’s version of Lex teased that he had bigger plans ahead. What is known about the Justice League sequels points to Lex working with Darkseid more, but the character’s DCEU future will take a very different turn if Jesse Eisenberg ever comes back. The theatrical cut of Justice League revealed Lex’s desire to make a supervillain team. Since the studios consider the theatrical cut to be canon, the DCEU won’t show what Lex’s plan was supposed to be.
Why Did Martian Manhunter Hide For So Long?
Zack Snyder’s Justice League depicted one popular fan theory with the reveal that General Swanwick is Martian Manhunter. The reveal is an intriguing one, especially regarding what it means for Swanwick’s past. One of the biggest questions it raises, though, is why Martian Manhunter chose to remain in hiding for so long. The alien shapeshifter could have helped out in the past to fight Zod or Doomsday. Justice League‘s Snyder Cut doesn’t reveal a great answer as to why Martian Manhunter chose to stay in the shadows this whole time. Unless the General Swanwick version of Martian Manhunter makes a return in the future and takes on a bigger role, it is unlikely the DCEU will provide additional backstory on him and this decision.
Will Martian Manhunter Return?
Another question viewers are left with after Zack Snyder’s Justice League is about Martian Manhunter’s DCEU future. Since this reveal only happened in the Snyder Cut, it is unclear if the wider DCEU will consider this twist to be canon. This could mean that this will be the only appearance by Martian Manhunter. That could change down the road, but it’s also possible that the studios will decide to go in a completely different direction with the character. Martian Manhunter could even wind up being recast.
Is Clark Kent Still Believed To Be Dead?
Clark Kent’s status in the DCEU remains a mystery after Zack Snyder’s Justice League. He was declared dead in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as part of the destruction that happened during the Doomsday fight. However, the League revived Superman in the Snyder Cut and gave him a second chance at life. Superman’s return in the DCEU is understandable, but that leaves a major question regarding Clark Kent. He also can’t miraculously return from the dead simultaneously as Superman without people starting to connect the dots. So is Clark Kent still technically dead, and Kal-El now has a new name and human life? The League repeatedly refers to Superman as Clark after his resurrection, so Superman’s secret identity may be no more. It will take another appearance by Henry Cavill’s Superman to clear the air.
Why Did Joker’s Appearance Change So Much?
Jared Leto’s Joker returned for Zack Snyder’s Justice League at the very end. His allegiance with Batman and his allies in the Knightmare future is a surprising place to see the character, but it is also fascinating to see how different he looks. The Joker’s appearance in Suicide Squad was very distinct with his multiple tattoos, metal teeth, slicked-back green hair, and so on. However, the Joker who appears in the Knightmare future doesn’t have any of his tattoos. The movie doesn’t take time to explain the differences in his appearance, and even Snyder doesn’t have a clear explanation of what happened. Since more of Knightmare Joker is not expected to come, the DCEU won’t address this change even if Jared Leto’s Joker returns in a future DCEU project.
How Did Harley Quinn Die?
One final mystery Zack Snyder’s Justice League teases is the fate of Harley Quinn. The Knightmare version of Batman tells Joker that Harley Quinn died in his arms, and she told him to make sure to kill the Clown Prince of Crime. This grim future for Harley Quinn is surprising, especially since there is no indication of how she died or who killed her. Did Batman kill her for her involvement in Robin’s death? Did Harley join the resistance against Darkseid and died after working with Batman? Zack Snyder’s Justice League doesn’t provide the answer. With Harley Quinn being one of the DCEU’s fan-favorite characters, it will be a long time before she dies in any fashion.
MORE: How Zack Snyder’s Justice League Set Up A Sequel
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