10 Things We’re Excited to See in Zack Snyder’s Justice League!
Get ready, world! Zack Snyder’s definitive vision of Justice League is finally coming to fruition. I, for one, couldn’t be happier. For all the (minor) flaws inherit in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, each film represents a level of ambition I truly admire and am eager to see more of. We have to wait what feels like an eternity to see if Snyder can deliver the goods, but that just means there’s plenty of time to ruminate on the film we hope will hit HBO Max next year.
For this writeup, I invited two big-time Snyder aficionados to the discussion — my brother Josh Ames, and this guy named Bryce Carlile, who I found roaming the streets in search of bread. Actually, both work with me on Podcast 426, which you can find on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Each offers their personal choices on the matter, for better or worse.
So, without further ado, here’s the Top 10 Things I’m Excited to See in Zack Snyder’s Justice League!
Comic book aficionados know quite well that Zack Snyder was going full on Injustice with his alleged five-arc story. In Snyder’s hands, Justice League would have delved into the Tom Taylor/Brian Buccalleto storyline that saw Superman devolve to into an evil dictator after the death of Lois Lane at the hands of the Joker. From what I gather, Darkseid was supposed to murder Lois in the Batcave, leaving Superman susceptible to something called the Anti-Life Equation, which would ultimately set up that insane (and bad ass) Knightmare-future sequence we saw in Dawn of Justice. Superman, controlled by Darkseid, would preside over Earth and fight against the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Flash.
While admittedly pretty damned dark, especially for a character like the Man of Steel, I genuinely want to see this storyline play out, because it sounds like something we haven’t seen before. Yeah, yeah, I know. Snyder hasn’t filmed any of that stuff — yet. Justice League will likely end on a cliffhanger, which sucks, but we will hopefully get a few teases at what could have been, including a black suited Superman battling the squad in a much grittier (read: violent) way than what we saw in the theatrical cut.
Assuming Zack Snyder’s Justice League proves an enormous success, I would imagine HBO Max and Warner Bros. would want to continue with the director’s unabated vision. To that I say: Hell, yeah! — Jeff Ames
Superman Completes His Arc
Snyder has constantly referred to his DC films as an ongoing series focused more on exploring how Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman became the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman we all know and love. Or, as Deborah Snyder explained, “This movie was the culmination of a hero’s journey that all these characters went on. And the idea was always to build them up to be the heroes people expected them to be.”
From my vantage point, Snyder was making a film version of a five-issue comic book. Now, if you’ve ever read a comic book you’ll know that each issue features numerous plot threads that aren’t resolved until the final issue. And so, while sequences such as the aforementioned Knightmare bit might feel, ah, detached from the main plot of Batman v Superman, by the fifth and final film that moment would actually make a lot more sense. And while that may not completely justify the existence of such a random action beat (to say nothing of Flash’s cameo) the end results would at the very least provide a bit more clarification on the matter.
That said, Superman was always going to mature into the Man of Steel we love. Perhaps not in the vein of Christopher Reeve, but definitely lighter and happier than the character seen in Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice. Since Justice League will purportedly serve as a culmination of the previous two films, Snyder will likely accelerate Superman’s ascent to the light, which would, in turn, pave the way for more of those rumored Henry Cavill cameos/appearances. Who doesn’t want that? — Jeff Ames
Batfleck! Batfleck! GIVE ME MORE BATFLECK! In 2016 Snyder introduced us to one of the best portrayals of the Caped Crusader to ever grace the silver screen ala Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder’s Batman was angry, brutal and completely bad ass — akin to the Batman found in those gritty, violent 1980s Frank Miller comics.
And then everything went sideways.
One of the biggest letdowns to the DCEU reform was Ben Affleck’s sudden departure. He was slated to write and direct his own Batman film in which he would have squared off against Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke and, presumably, Jared Leto’s Joker in and around Arkham Asylum, but ultimately left the project for personal reasons. Who could blame the guy after the disappointing critical reaction to BvS and the bizarre Justice League situation?
Snyder’s Justice League paves the way for another truly great Batfleck performance that will hopefully allow us to forget all those corny Bat jokes witnessed in the theatrical release. In other words, more this:
And less this:
Are you excited yet? — Josh Ames
The Darkseid Cometh
“I hope you appreciate, Kal-El, that everything that happens from this point is on your head. The skies will rain fire, the oceans will boil, the streets will run red with the blood of billions. Only then, after your last pitiful hope is extinguished, will I end your life. Let’s go.” Oh yeah. This guy’s coming. Fans have been clamoring for Darkseid’s jump to the big screen for a while now. But, after the abomination that was Justice League, that dream slowly faded into the cold dark of night.
Thankfully, Snyder has confirmed that Darkseid — as portrayed by Ray Porter — will indeed have a sizeable role in his cut of Justice League. And, if I know Snyder at all, that means we’ll get a violent, mean, bad ass, menacing-as-Hell villain that will make Thanos look like Buzz Lightyear in comparison. — Josh Ames
Junkie XL’s Score
As a film music lover, I am absolutely ecstatic to hear a new Justice League score from Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, aka the brilliant mind behind Mad Max: Fury Road and 300: Rise of an Empire. Holkenborg provided additional music for Man of Steel but served as co-composer alongside Hans Zimmer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I’m a sucker for his electronic work and would love to hear a continuation of the stellar themes crafted in Snyder’s previous films.
Apologies to Danny Elfman, who scored the theatrical cut of Justice League, and, oddly enough, opted to mix bits of John Williams’ classic Superman theme and his own Batman theme (from the Tim Burton flicks) with a more traditional score, but the culmination to Snyder’s series deserves a big, muscular sendoff that only Holkenborg (and/or Zimmer) can provide.
A while back, Holkenborg revealed that he had already written the music to the film and was just waiting for a time and place to unveil it to the world. Let’s go! — Jeff Ames
The Original Steppenwolf
I was ecstatic when Ciarán Hinds was cast as Justice League’s big bad Steppenwolf, as I thought bringing in an actor of his caliber meant we would get a truly complex, layered and interesting antagonist. Instead, we got one of the least threatening villains ever concocted in a superhero film who was apparently rendered using Playstation 3 technology.
The Steppenwolf seen in the director’s cut of Batman v Superman was a fearsome sight; and by all accounts infinitely more unique than the one seen in the theatrical release. Thankfully, the Snyder Cut should amend this issue and deliver a big bad worthy of the Justice League’s time. — Jeff Ames
One of Batman v Superman’s ultimate highlights, at least for me, was the Knightmare dream sequence that teased a future world that had been wiped out by Darkseid and had Batman going full on Mad Max to stop him. Of course, while comic book fans (and nerds like me) dug the admittedly random sequence, general audiences were left asking, “What the f**k was that?” To each their own, but I appreciated the insane world building on display, and was totally on board with Snyder’s vision. The man was trying to introduce a massive storyline the likes of which had never been seen before on this grand of scale or in this particular style — i.e., a violent, gritty world with truly terrifying consequences. Additional teases into this bleak future have been confirmed for Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which means more kick ass, trench coated Batfleck; and more of those amazing one-shot fight sequences! — Josh Ames
Green Lantern — Finally!
The hope for Green Lantern coming to the DCEU was/is high, especially after the many teases we received leading up to Justice League’s release. The theatrical cut even featured an enormous battle featuring Lantern Corps members taking on Steppenwolf as part of the united forces of Earth. After one of the Lanterns dies during the struggle, his ring slips off his finger and flies away, presumably to find a worthy heir. Steppenwolf later proclaims that, “Earth has no Lanterns,” essentially setting up the idea that Earth needs one. There was also a rumor that the scene in which Alfred talks to Superman in the Batcave before the final assault on Steppenwolf was initially going to feature Hal Jordan or Jonathan Stewart as Green Lantern rather than the Man of Steel. Lastly, Snyder teased a post credit scene that saw Bruce come face-to-face with Tomar-Re and Kilowog, two senior members of the Green Lantern Corps.
Since HBO Max has already revealed plans to produce a Green Lantern TV series, why not introduce the character in Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Let the multiverse thrive! — Bryce Carlile
Cyborg Gets His Due
I’m pumped to see more of Ray Fisher’s take on the half man/half machine hero known as Cyborg. The character’s origin story played out during the infamous “email sequence” in Batman v Superman; and, according to the bajillion blog posts out there on the subject, was set up to serve as the heart and soul of Justice League. A majority of the trailers for the superhero team up flick put Cyborg front and center; and yet, most of his scenes — including the bit where he slices through a patrol car and saves a cop — were ultimately axed from the theatrical release. As a result, Cyborg felt more like a poorly rendered supporting player than an essential part of a film more redesigned to focus more on Wonder Woman and Batman. Behind-the-scenes images from Snyder himself reveal a more detailed arch for our robotic pal, including sequences in which he discovers and learns to hone his powers for good.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League will provide the character development Cyborg deserves, and will hopefully pave the way for future adventures. — Jeff Ames
Uniting the Seven
This was the slogan attached to Justice League when it was first announced. We all waited with glee to find out who the seven were, but after the critical drubbing Batman v Superman endured, “Unite the Seven” was changed to “Unite the League.” And, even more disappointingly, the theatrical release never identified a seventh member, but stuck with the core of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman. With all the information I mentioned about Green Lantern above, my feeling is that he was going to take the mantle as the seventh Justice League member. And, as also mentioned above, there were obviously plans for Green Lantern(s) to appear and subsequently set up a solo spinoff flick. Naturally, after all the teasing, the Green Lantern film fell through the cracks; and the character was left out of Justice League altogether. With Snyder’s vision now making its way to the screen, will we finally see the fulfillment of the “Unite the Seven” promise? Will Green Lantern appear and actually help our heroes in their struggle with Steppenwolf and Darkseid? Or does the “seventh” refer to another hero like Martian Manhunter? Or Supergirl?
This is the type of stuff I want to see! It feels like 2015 again when the Snyder-verse was really starting to come together. Hopefully, we can keep it intact this time. — Bryce Carlile