How 'Zack Snyder's Justice League' Set Up DC's Future

With four-hours of new footage to dive through, here’s everything new in Zack Snyder’s Justice League movie & where DC could have taken the franchise.

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Image via HBO Max

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder’s fabled version of Justice League has finally arrived on HBO Max after a year of speculation, theories, and pleas from DC fans worldwide. Zack Snyder’s Justice League—fondly known as the “Snyder Cut” of 2016’s Justice League—comes in at an intimidating four-hour run time and features Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg teaming up to revive Superman and defeat the evil Steppenwolf, while also preventing the evil Darkseid from returning to Earth. Snyder had to step away from directing the original Justice League after a family tragedy, leaving Joss Whedon to take over, which is one reason why the final product felt a bit all over the place for many viewers. Snyder has admitted to never seeing the theatrical version of Justice League, which is both hilarious and telling. Still, his version is every “what if’’ fan theory brought to life. The Snyder Cut acts as all of Snyder’s plans for Justice League actualized on screen.

For what it’s worth, Snyder’s cut is a fun ride. Yeah, the length is a little overkill, but the pacing is so good that it doesn’t always feel four hours long. Snyder uses that extra time to pull out all the stops and bring some DC fans’ wildest predictions to fruition while also filling in some narrative gaps. The Snyder Cut differs from Whedon’s Justice League in several ways. Martian Manhunter pulls up, The Flash gets to show off his broken abilities, Superman rocks the black suit and a plethora of other memorable moments in between. The only thing that would’ve made this film any more completed would be getting to see the Green Lantern Corp highlighted as they should, but I digress.

It sucks that none of this is canon, but it’s apparent that Zack Snyder had a clear vision of where he wanted the DC extended universe to go if he would have stayed on for future projects. Besides heavy fan service, the Snyder Cut foreshadows big DC storylines by introducing the Anti-Life Equation, showcasing Darkseid’s massive army, and having The Flash utilize the Speed Force and time-travel. With four-hours of new footage to dive through, here’s everything new in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and where DC could have taken the franchise if it were canon.

Character Development and Fleshed Out Backstories

Ray Fisher as Cyborg in 'Zack Snyder's Justice League'

Extended (and More Graphic) Fight Scenes

Zack Snyder's Justice League

More Superpower Feats

Ezra Miller as The Flash in 'Zack Snyder's Justice League'

The Introduction of Martian Manhunter and Atom

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The Snyder Cut gives Martian Manhunter his official DCEU entrance, revealing that he was General Calvin Swanwick in disguise. We meet General Swanwick in Man of Steel, so Snyder establishes that the Martian, whose name is J’onn J’onzz, had been on Earth the entire time, waiting to reveal his true identity. Martian Manhunter talks to Bruce Wayne in Zack Snyder’s Justice League’s closing moments in a scene that had reportedly been added to the pre-recorded footage for the HBO Max release. In it, J’onzz reveals that Darkseid will be returning, and that he is willing to fight beside him.

Not only does this ending establish another core member of the original Justice League in the DCEU, but it also sets up a future Darkseid War storyline that Snyder would have likely explored in Justice League 2 and beyond. While there have been many iterations of the story, Snyder has said that Darkseid would have returned to Earth seeking the Anti-Life Equation, killed Lois Lane and made Superman succumb to the Anti-Life Equations power, raining hellfire down on the planet. This also follows closely in-line with the Knightmare dreams Batman has throughout the film, where he envisions the Earth ravaged by a Superman-turned-evil.

Another fun addition to the story was Ryan Choi, who would likely have been the superhero Atom. In the comics, Choi is the fourth person to take on the mantle as the hero, and with his access to nanotech in Star Labs can manipulate his size and weight. He’s basically the Ant-Man of the DCEU, and his origin story was quietly being set-up in the background of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Knightmare World and 'Injustice' Storyline

Ben Affleck as Batman in 'Zack Snyder's Justice League'

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