With the arrival of Snyder Cut at long last, the last remaining hopeful DC fans were expecting to see a knockout film. Turns out, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was indeed the hero we deserved and perhaps needed, too, given how disappointing the theatrical cut was. Not just that, Snyder Cut had some major differences compared to the theatrical cut, which were exactly what made the former better. All in all, I’d say the four-hour movie was worth the watch.
However, Snyder Cut ended with windows open for some significant plots/subplots. Do they set up the arrival of a Justice League 2? Let’s have a look at what could have been!
1. Will There Be a Justice League 2?
While Zack Snyder poured all his hard work into his version of Justice League, it is unfortunately not to be considered canon. And this is straight from the horse’s mouth. Here’s what Snyder revealed about whether his version of Justice League is canon:
“Warner Bros told me when I started this process that they consider the theatrical cut as canon to their DC Universe that they want to build out and that my version will always be like this outworld non-canon version.”Zack Snyder
He also added what his plans were with the possible sequels:
“At the time we made the movie, when the story was written and sort of developed, the plan was to make two more Justice League movies while these other solo films were spinning out.”Zack Snyder
So the Snyder Cut would technically have allowed us to have a Justice League 2. But if there’s such a long movie to watch, there’s obviously a vital reason why one would put up with it, which is that Snyder Cut gave us a lot to look forward to! A handful of subplots emerged, including Flash traveling through time to warn Batman of a world conquered by Darkseid.
Moreover, the theatrical cut of Justice League received a great deal of backlash that resulted in Warner Bros agreeing to release the Snyder Cut. And if you’ve watched the movie, it fits a lot better in the DCEU. So even though WB has officially rejected Snyder’s Justice League sequels, there’s a chance we get to see everything Snyder teased in his version. Let’s have a look at the many intriguing plots!
2. The Warning from Martian Manhunter
While we might never actually get a Justice League 2, Martian Manhunter’s visit to Bruce Wayne in Snyder Cut did set up an intriguing potential plot. We see Martian Manhunter appear right when Bruce wakes up after a dream of the Knightmare—first mentioned in Batman v Superman where Darkseid has conquered the Earth and there’s a corrupted Superman.
Martian Manhunter also appears during a significant scene in the movie when he visits Lois Lane as Martha Kent. He later shows up to tell Bruce about how Darkseid is still out there and waiting to attack the Earth in search of the Anti-Life Equation.
He adds that a war is coming, leaving space for a Justice League 2, where Bruce would reassemble the Justice League.
In the comics, Martian Manhunter is one of the founding members of the Justice League, and it would have been interesting to see him if there were another movie!
3. The Anti-Life Equation
The next most important plot that Snyder Cut sets up is the lack of detail about the Anti-Life Equation that Darkseid is after. But here’s what we know. Instead of being a physical object like Marvel’s infinity gauntlet, the Anti-Life Equation is a form of knowledge, or an abstract concept, that gives one the power to control any sentient race.
This, according to the DC comics, is the antithesis of the Life Equation that the Martians live by, i.e. free will.
Darkseid discovers the existence of the Anti-Life Equation when he first comes into contact with the Martians. We hear the Anti-Life Equation being mentioned in Snyder Cut several times, including at the end by Martian Manhunter.
Darkseid also leaves once Steppenwolf is killed by the Justice League, saying that he’s felt the presence of the Anti-Life Equation on Earth.
This would have been the main plot of Justice League 2 had it seen the light of day.
4. What Does Darkseid Ultimately Want?
Darkseid is the ruler of the hellish war planet Apokolips, and he is a power-hungry beast that thrives in war and his dictatorship. His plan is to conquer all the planets with sentient life in the universe through The Unity—the synthesis of the three Mother Boxes. Now that he knows that the Anti-Life Equation is somewhere on Earth, as he states at the end of Snyder Cut, he’s definitely going to return for it, which is also alluded to by Martian Manhunter.
“It was always our plan that the next movies would be all about the fall of earth and how to fix that. The idea for the next movie was, Darkseid comes to earth, kills the pregnant Lois, which sends Superman into a spiral of grief that Darkseid takes advantage of, uses the Anti-Life Equation to bring him on to his side, and that’s really what makes the earth fall.
Then, in the post-apocalyptic world, Flash has to run back in time, and Batman sacrifices himself so Lois doesn’t die, and then Superman is able to fight Darkseid. That’s kind of the pieces that were in play in there. The five-movie arc would end with the big battle for earth.
The ‘ask’ by the fans was, ‘Do your thing, we want Zack Snyder’s version,’ and that meant I would do the best I can to say, ‘Well, this is what I would do.‘”Zack Snyder on Sequels
5. Why Did Deathstroke Show Up?
While we’re talking about what Snyder would have done with the Justice League sequels, we also get to see one of Batman’s most popular villains Deathstroke talking to the Superman villain Lex Luthor. This would basically have set up the Injustice League, a group of supervillains in the DC universe.
If not that, Deathstroke was to appear in a standalone Batman movie, which Ben Affleck stepped down from. This scene would have set up the next Batman movie to come, but that was also shelved along with the Justice League sequels.
6. Flash’s Message to Batman
One of the other significant plots that Snyder Cut presented in the end happened during Bruce Wayne’s dream of the Knightmare, complete with the Joker offering Bruce a truce (no, I did not make up that rhyme; the Joker did).
But this is also alluded to during the movie when Bruce is talking to Diana and tells her about a premonition he had, where Barry (the Flash) tells Bruce that “Lois Lane is the key.” In the Knightmare scene, Batman and his crew are waiting to fight the corrupted Superman in a Darkseid-ruled Earth, no doubt which would have been part of a Justice League 2 or 3, based on what Snyder said about his plans that may never come to fruition.
7. And Room for More
The ending of Snyder Cut doesn’t just leave us with tons of possibilities to explore in future films, it also shows Batman buying the Hall of Justice building.
And while he’s talking to Diana and Alfred about his plans for the team to meet again—Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Flash along with Martian Manhunter—Wonder Woman adds, “and room for more,” suggesting that there’s always a place for more superheroes to join the Justice League and protect the Earth!
This allows us to wonder (sorry, couldn’t help it) if that dialogue might even apply to future movies.
What would you have liked to see in the what-could-have-been Justice League 2? Tell us in the comments!
8. 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.