Zack Snyder’s Justice League, popularly known as the Snyder Cut, is finally out, and to say it leaves us with a cliffhanger ending is an understatement.
The various endings of the movie make the perfect setup for a sequel—or, as it turns out, two sequels. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Zack Snyder said, “When I made the film originally, it was part of a five-part trilogy.” Snyder’s version of Justice League is actually the middle section of that intended story arc, preceded by Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman (2016). “There were two more episodes of the Justice League to be shot.”
What does this mean for the future of the DCEU and the sequels to the first Justice League? Read on to see what we know.
1. Is There Going to Be a Justice League 2?
In January 2021, Snyder told ComicBook Debate that he has “no plan” to continue this world despite his original plan for more movies because he’s “got a lot going on”. He did add, though, “But like I said, I didn’t think I’d be here, so who knows?”
On the I Minutemen podcast, too, Snyder said, “The reality is, as far as I know, there’s no interest and/or appetite to do more of these movies from Warner Bros. With me, anyway.”
“At least for now, Mr. Snyder is not part of the new DC Films blueprint, with studio executives describing his HBO Max project as a storytelling cul-de-sac—a street that leads nowhere.”New York Times profile on DC Films president Walter Hamada, December 2020
So, as of now, it seems like there will be no Justice League 2—but never say never!
2. Why Did Justice League 2 and Justice League 3 Get Cancelled?
When Zack Snyder was brought on board by Warner Bros. in 2010 to direct the first DCEU movie, Man of Steel, he originally planned to tell the story over the course of five movies.
The first two DCEU movies, Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), directed by Snyder, were both box office hits, each raking in significant profits for Warner Bros.
By October 2016, production for the third film in the five-film arc, Justice League, had been completed. However, in May 2017, two months after Zack Snyder’s 20-year-old daughter Autumn died by suicide, he decided to step down from the post-production of Justice League.
After Snyder left the project, Warner Bros. brought on Joss Whedon to complete the rest of the post-production. Whedon ended up rewriting large chunks of the movie, and did two months of reshoots, which cost Warner Bros. $25 million—much more than the usual $6-10 million allocated for rewrites and reshoots.
Ultimately, Justice League (2017) bombed hugely at the box office, reportedly losing Warner Bros. about $60 million. This appears to have been the last nail in the coffin for any Justice League sequels.
Warner Bros. as well as Zack Snyder have both confirmed multiple times that there are no plans for these movies to get made in the future.
Another reason that makes it unlikely for the DCEU to continue is the departure of two essential actors from the franchise. Ben Affleck is no longer part of the DCEU films—the role has been recast and given to Robert Pattinson, and the 2022 solo Flash movie will likely be Affleck’s last appearance as Batman. Henry Cavill, too, seems to only be doing cameos as Superman, so it seems unlikely that we will see him reprise the role in a full film.
3. What Would Happen in Justice League 2 If It Were Made?
One of the major differences between Whedon’s Justice League and Snyder’s Justice League was the involvement of Darkseid, DC’s answer to Marvel’s Thanos.
Darkseid is not given much screen time in Whedon’s Justice League. In Snyder’s, he is given much more screen time and plays an important role in the ending, ordering a fresh siege on Earth, where he plans to go after the Anti-Life.
This ending is the setup for the ambitious plans Snyder formerly had for the future of the Justice League sequels before they were canceled by Warner Bros. He had originally intended to create the quintessential “heroes getting defeated by the supervillain, and coming back to defeat him thanks to time travel” arc, much like the last two Avengers movies.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Snyder broke down these former plans in great detail.
“It’s the fall of Earth, when Superman succumbs to Anti-Life. And then sending Flash back in time to change one element so that doesn’t happen. And then the big battle where we beat him.
When Darkseid comes to Earth, in the movie that you’ll never see, the armies of Earth all unite again, as they did before.
This time there would be aircraft carriers and Special Forces guys, all the armies of the world would come together, as well as Atlanteans rising out of the ocean and the Themyscirans coming off their island. That was our big finale. But it’s a long drumroll and guitar solo to get there.”Zack Snyder
We would also likely have seen new additions to the Justice League, such as Martian Manhunter, The Atom, and a member of the Green Lantern Corps.
4. The #RestoretheSnyderverse Movement
The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement, which was responsible for pushing Warner Bros. to release the Snyder Cut, has moved into a new phase since the film released: #RestoreTheSnyderverse.
After finally getting to see Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League realized, and hearing of his former plans for the next two sequels, fans are understandably thirsty for more.
Ann Sarnoff, CEO of WarnerMedia Studios, dashed fans’ hopes of any sequels to the Snyder Cut in her recent interview with Variety. “I appreciate that they love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his many contributions to DC,” she said. “We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the Justice League to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy.”
However, fans refuse to get discouraged by this. The day after the interview was published, the hashtag #RestoreTheSnyderverse was trending on Twitter. Zack Snyder even replied to one of the tweets, saying that fans can help the cause by watching the Snyder Cut and getting others to watch it.
Now, the question remains: will Warner Bros. prevail this time, or will fans once again get their way?
5. About Justice League Snyder Cut
Co-produced by Warner Bros. and DC Films, Justice League Snyder Cut is the fifth film of the DC Extended Universe and based on the DC Comics superhero team. As the theatrical release, Zack Snyder’s Justice League features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League follows the Justice League—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg—as they attempt to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.
Although fans have asked for Snyderverse to continue Warner Bros has no such plans.