The first trailer for the Snyder cut of Justice League dropped this past weekend at DC FanDome. From the jump, set to a modern rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” the trailer served as a middle-finger to all those who never thought it’d see the light of day. Jam-packed with Snyder-esque visuals, Darkseid, Barry Allen’s girlfriend, Cyborg’s origin, and a black-suited Superman, one thing is abundantly clear—Zack Snyder’s Justice League is going to be very different from the theatrical cut.
Years ago, Snyder never finished post-production on his original version due to a personal tragedy. His departure sent the studio into a frenzy; bringing in Joss Whedon at the last minute (who ended up rewriting huge portions of Snyder’s script). The result was a mishmash of creative visions, a generic villain, a senseless plot, and a bad Batfleck. 2017’s Justice League is now commonly referred to as Frankenstein’s monster.
For years Warner Bros. denied the existence of a Snyder cut. However, the collective pressure of Snyder’s fans (who knew he had so many?) and the intervention of AT&T, has made Snyder’s Justice League come to fruition as a four-part limited series available on HBO Max in 2021—no more trimmed run times or vaguely visible mustaches— Justice League the way Snyder intended.
Will it be great? It’ll be better than that turd from 2017. That turd has been polished , repackaged, and is about to be shipped right to our doorstep. In the spirit of consumer appreciation, here are 10 things we’re excited to see in Snyder’s Justice League .
Cover Photo: HBO Max
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Snyder Cut Trailer
Superman’s Very Different Resurrection/Black Suit
No deceptive marketing here: Superman is back from the dead. However, how he is brought back in the Snyder cut is going to be different. In Whedon’s Justice League , Clark Kent aka the Man of Steel is brought back thanks to Bruce (and some Kryptonian tech) and then proceeds to beat up all the members of the Justice League . Alfred then shows up with Lois, who snaps Clark back into reality. The Snyder trailer shows Lois staring up in shock at a resurrected Superman, which clearly isn’t part of Bruce’s plan. On top of this, Superman is seen wearing the black suit aka the “Recovery Suit” from the comics.
The Snyder cut trailer began with Darkseid wielding his iconic weapon from the comics (or made the Spear of Destiny?). This means that Steppenwolf is no longer the primary antagonist; he is a servant of Darkseid, as is Desaad who can also be seen in the trailer—all of Apokalips will be coming to Earth. Darkseid was referenced in the theatrical cut but never shown. It will be more than interesting to see what role he plays.
Junkie XL’s Score
Thomas Holkenborg (Junkie XL) scored Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and also composed the music for Snyder's Justice League (over three hours' worth). Eventually, when Whedon starting reshooting the movie, Danny Elfman took over Holkenborg’s duties for the theatrical cut. Presumably, Snyder will be using the work Holkenborg did before his departure. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may not have been great (arguably due to its trimmed length), but the score was solid.
The Seventh Member of the JL
2017's Justice League was originally marketed with the phrase, “Unite the Seven.” However, we never saw a seventh member of the squad. Many hope that the Snyder cut will include that aforementioned seventh member. Best guess: Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern or Martian Manhunter aka Harry Lennix’s General Swanwick.
Another Knightmare Sequence
The Knightmare sequence from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , in which Bruce Wayne has a vision of a desolate future with an evil Superman before Barry Allen tells Bruce that “Lois is the key ,” feels very out of place. Clearly, this moment was meant to pay off in either Snyder’s Justice League or one of the two movies that were originally planned to follow it, none of which was even referenced in Whedon’s cut of the movie. The Snyder cut trailer not only gave us another glimpse of that grim future (where Easter eggs like Joker cards fluttered in the wind) but teased The Flash time-traveling. Perhaps the most upsetting thing about Snyder’s abandoned DCEU narrative was his intention to adapt the Injustice storyline by having Superman lose his shit following the death of Lois Lane at the hands of Darkseid. While we certainly won’t see Superman go full-on dictator, the former could occur.
As a director, Snyder has a very distinctive style; think 300 , Watchmen , Man of Steel , Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , etc. Whedon’s Justice League just wasn’t as beautiful as it should have been. Snyder loves to treat every shot like a vibrant abstract painting (that’s probably why he slows things down so much, just to get another look). Snyder has restored his original lighting and images; Whedon cropped much of Snyder’s footage just to match up with his aspect ratio (they shot with different cameras). Wonder if these guys ever talk...On top of that, the tone of Snyder’s cut will be a lot darker—fewer wisecracks and lame “Do you bleed?" throwbacks, this Justice League is “for adults ”— the way it looks reflection of this.
Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman was all over the place in Whedon’s Justice League ; acting like a completely different person from what we saw in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice . He wasn’t intelligent, angry or brutal, just sarcastic and corny. Whedon’s clearly tried to make Batman more of a Marvel character... a huge mistake. He ruined Batfleck and is arguably to blame for Affleck’s departure from the DCEU. Regardless, the Snyder cut looks poised to due Batfleck justice. The only dialogue in the trailer is spoken by Affleck’s character, the leader of the Justice League: “I don't care how many demons he's fought in how many hells. He's never fought us. Not us united."
Where has this guy been?
Cyborg’s Origin Story
Ray Fisher’s Cyborg had a minor role in Whedon’s cut. Snyder’s Justice League will restore the character’s origin story: a football player who suffers a life-threatening injury and is then transformed a cybernetic being by his father, Silas Stone. Whedon completely abandoned Cyborg’s arc about trying to find his place in the world (especially following the death of his father, which is seen in the trailer).
Yeah. Steppenwolf was lame in 2017. A cookie-cutter antagonist. Snyder’s version of the character—which we got a glimpse of in the extended cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , was much more intense. In addition to his look, Steppenwolf was also supposed to be, well, more of character. Ciaran Hinds, the actor who portrayed Steppenwolf has even said that what he saw in theaters did not reflect how hard he worked.
A Satisfying Conclusion
Man of Steel , Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , and Justice League were meant to be the beginning of a grand narrative equivalent to a Phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That said, there was supposed to be a Justice League 2 — Snyder’s original version likely ending on a cliffhanger. Hopefully, he finds a way to tie up loose ends or, better yet, the limited series does so well that they continue with Synder’s vision. The DCEU’s upcoming The Flash movie is set to break down the door of the multiverse; making everything valid. There’s no reason DC can’t go in multiple directions with different iterations of the “same” characters.