Zack Snyder’s Justice League: The original plan for the sequels

Jason Momoa (Aquaman / Arthur Curry), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg / Victor Stone) in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max
Jason Momoa (Aquaman / Arthur Curry), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg / Victor Stone) in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max /
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Justice League, Zack Snyder's Justice League, Snyder Cut review, HBO Max, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Batman
Justice League. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment, HBO Max /

Zack Snyder’s cut for Justice League may have given us a glimpse into what could have happened in the sequel and the future of the DCEU.

By now, those of you who have HBO Max probably watched Zack Snyder’s Justice League. And even if you enjoyed the movie, as quite a few critics and audiences did, you might be a little confused about certain things. For instance, that seven minute scene during the “Epilogue” where we revisit the “Knightmare” future from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)? Or the possible future glimpsed by Cyborg (Ray Fisher) moments before the resurrection of Superman (Henry Cavill)? Or when Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) tells Clark Kent, “congratulations, by the way,” when Clark, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) are moving back into the Kent Farm?

Well, all of this hints towards a much larger, five-movie saga that Zack Snyder originally planned for the DC Extended Universe starting with Man of Steel (2013) and ending with a two-part Justice League sequel. Much of this saga, particularly the Justice League sequel, was outlined in a series of Jim Lee illustrated storyboards that ended up being leaked online. And while, according to Snyder, the original plans for the sequels changed, and given Warner Brothers’ recent announcement that the “Snyderverse” won’t be coming back, you can still see hints of the two-part sequel Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio had set up.

And what were these early, original plans for Justice League 2? Well, strap in folks, because we’re about to go some of the good, the bad, and just plain bizarre about what might have happened to the DCEU. Oh, and I don’t need to remind you that there’s potential SPOILERS for Zack Snyder’s Justice League as well.

Justice League 2, part 1

So according to the original storyboards, after the Justice League prevent a “natural disaster,” each member would be involved in their own side story. Aquaman (Jason Maoma) returns to Atlantis where he, along with Mera (Amber Heard), attempt to reunite the last of the seven kingdoms. Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg, and Iris West (Keirsey Clemons) would be appealing Henry Allen’s (Billy Crudup) case based on what would’ve happened in The Flash movie. And Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) would find her way back to Themyscira with the help of her magic lasso, along with another Amazon who was originally supposed to be a supporting character in Justice League.

As for Superman, the original plan was that he’d stop being Clark Kent since, as far as the world knew, Clark was still dead as of Batman V Superman. But, of course, both versions of Justice League show him as ClarkWhat apparently didn’t change was that Clark would learn that Lois is pregnant. Hence why Zack Snyder’s Justice League held on that pregnancy test in Lois’ dresser drawer, and Bruce telling Clark, “congratulations.”

Speaking of Batman, he would be busy trying to track down Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who, in turn, would be gathering more members of the Injustice League/Legion of Doom. Each recruit would’ve been a villain from a previous DCEU movie. Thus the recruits would’ve been Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya), Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson), Captain Cold, and The Riddler.

Yes, Edward Nygma, alongside Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello), was always planned as the main big bad for The Batman. He’d also play a key role in Luthor’s ultimate revenge scheme because it would be the Riddler who would find and figure out the Anti-Life Equation. The knowledge of what the Equation actually does – which allows someone to completely control all free will – would drive him even more insane and commit suicide.

[Justice League 2’s] big, shocking twist would be that, sometime between Batman V Superman and Justice League, Bruce and Lois had an affair while Clark was still dead.

Luthor would also find the Mother Boxes and activate them, intending to use them and the Anti-Life Equation to rule the world. Instead, who should show up but Darkseid (Ray Porter) and his entourage. To save himself, Luthor convinces Darkseid to go after Superman. But since Darkseid sees the Man of Steel as a potential slave he can control, Luthor suggests that killing Lois “is the key.” Thus, as each member of Justice League battles members of the Legion of Doom, Superman flies off to battle Darkseid. But before he leaves, he tells Batman to protect Lois because “she’s my world,” an obvious callback to Batman V Superman.

And this is where things get a little controversial. According to the original outline, there was some unspoken tension between Bruce and Lois, and that they were obviously trying to hide something from Clark. It’s after Superman leaves that Bruce and Lois get into a heated argument that ends with Lois telling Bruce, “You are not the father!” That’s right: the big, shocking twist would be that, sometime between Batman V Superman and Justice League, Bruce and Lois had an affair while Clark was still dead. This also means that Lois may or may not be carrying Bruce’s unborn child.

In any case, Darkseid Boom Tubes himself to the Batcave and Omega Beams Lois in front of a helpless Batman. Superman, of course, returns too late and, because he’s overcome with grief over Lois’ death, Darkseid is able to control him with the Anti-Life Equation and turns him evil. This lines up with Cyborg’s Mother Box-induced premonition from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which also included both Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s deaths. Batman barely manages to escape as the Batcave is destroyed, and evil Superman kills Luthor.

And so Darkseid and the forces of Apokolips take over the world, Superman is corrupted, Lois is dead, and the Justice League is no more all because Batman turned his life into an episode of The Maury Povich Show. And things only get only crazier from here.