Zack Snyder’s Justice League is finally available to watch on HBO Max, and while it seems next to impossible that Snyder will be able to complete his larger vision for a planned five-film arc that would have included Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Justice League 2, and Justice League 3, that’s not stopping people from asking the director about his plans for what would have happened in those sequels.
And holy cow, did Snyder have a doozy of a plan cooked up for Justice League 3.
Warning: the following contains spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Some Necessary Backstory
This movie’s infamous Knightmare sequence features a battle-hardened and unlikely band of companions wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland: Batman, Jared Leto’s Joker, Deathstroke, Flash, Mera, and Cyborg. On the edge of civilization, the group comes face to face with an evil Superman who is under the control of the supervillain Darkseid thanks to the Anti-Life Equation – and then Bruce Wayne wakes up. It was all another dream…but also a look at a possible future.
“Darkseid comes to Earth,” Snyder explained to Vanity Fair about how the story would have played out. “Superman says to Batman, ‘Guard Lois. This is a war between me and Darkseid. If you can help me as a friend, keep Lois safe.’ Lex tells Darkseid that the key to Superman’s weaknesses is killing Lois Lane. For whatever reason, Batman fails. Darkseid comes back and kills Lois. Batman fails, he hesitates. They were in an argument.” That’s when Darkseid uses the Anti-Life Equation to control Superman’s mind.
Snyder has already spoken about how he wanted Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane to have a love affair while Superman was dead, but the studio wouldn’t allow him to go through with that subplot. If he had his way, though, Justice League 2 would have featured that post-apocalyptic team going back in time to prevent Lois’s death, and Batman would sacrificed his life to save her and the rest of reality.
When Batman’s sacrifice alters the timeline, “Superman doesn’t succumb to the Anti-Life Equation,” Snyder said. “Then the final movie has Aquaman leading the forces of Atlantis, Diana leading forces of Themyscira, and Superman and Flash leading the forces of [humans] against Darkseid in a giant war.”
Snyder’s Bonkers Plan for a New Batman
That’s all pretty huge stuff, but it pales in comparison to what may be the biggest revelation of this entire five-film series: the identity of a new Batman.
If you watched Zack Snyder’s Justice League and thought to yourself, “Wait a second, what about that scene in which Lois opens a drawer and has a pregnancy test in there? Why didn’t that ever get paid off in the story?”, it turns out that was just the first hint at a larger reveal of who would have donned the cape and cowl in a timeline that no longer had Batman in it.
“It was going to be Lois and Superman’s son,” Snyder told Vanity Fair. “He doesn’t have any powers, and then he was going to end up being the new Batman. Twenty years later, on the anniversary of [Batman’s] death, they take young Bruce Kent down to the Batcave and they say, ‘Your Uncle Bruce would’ve been proud if you did this.’”
Whoa. The mind reels at the implications here, and it sounds like that would have been the finale of this entire arc, so we wouldn’t have seen any of the adventures of that version of Batman. Would this Bruce Kent have superpowers as the offspring of a Kryptonian? Could that Batman have had heat vision and ice breath, and fly without assistance? Purists will likely scoff at Snyder’s idea here, but I have to say…I kind of love it. It’s definitely a big swing, but it feels tonally in line with his take on these characters, and it’s the type of decision that the studio would probably never have allowed. I may not love every aspect of Snyder’s DC movies, but this? I would absolutely have been on board with a bonkers move like this.
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