Movies & TV / Columns

A Look At What’s Next for Zack Snyder After Justice League

March 9, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Zack Snyder Justice League

After a long and winding road, we’re finally about to get to see Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League. For better or for worse. 

I’ve already gone on record numerous times to say that I was hugely disappointed in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even with the version of the Justice League that we got but I’ll focus on Snyder. As a DC fan, I’ve pointed out the many flaws each has had and I’m still waiting for a version of these superheroes where it all comes together and the characters I’ve been reading about since I was a kid are done…justice…on the big screen.

The truth is, Zack Snyder isn’t going to be the guy that makes that happen. 

We only have to go back to set visits when he was filming Justice League to piece together what’s tripping him up. When asked about the negative reaction to Dawn of Justice he was clear. “When Batman v Superman came out, I was like, ‘Wow, okay, oof,’” admitted Snyder. “It did catch me off guard,” he said of the response. “I have had to, in my mind, make an adjustment. I do think that the tone of Justice League has changed because of what the fans have said.”

At the time Snyder’s wife and producer, Deborah, gave interviews on set as well. “Listen, every film is a learning experience,” she explained. “We hear what everyone has to say because we care what the fans say.”
“What’s really great is that where we were going is kind of what the audience was wanting, which is a good thing. We just had to take the characters from somewhere [dark] to bring them up to where they are now.”
A crucial point in her interview was when she was asked what they learned from Batman v Superman. Her answer? “The main thing we learned, I think: People don’t like to see their heroes deconstructed.”

The version we got was Joss Whedon influenced. As we hear more and more behind-the-scenes stories, it doesn’t look like we got the best version possible and I’m sure someone will write a book detailing what happened. Justice League was a massive undertaking with plenty of moving parts and a massive cast. Even someone who truly understands the DC characters and has an affinity for them would be challenged to bring everything together in a cohesive story.

“I love the characters, and maybe to a fault sometimes, I dork out on the hardcore aspects of the comic books,” said Snyder. It’s a great quote but nothing I’ve seen so far supports that. Snyder has been focused on putting visuals above story and violence above all. Going back the set visit reports at the time,  During the set visit, costume designer Michael Wilkinson told everyone that the red in Wonder Woman’s costume had been enriched for Justice League because: “We always talk about it as almost like centuries of congealed blood from her victims on her breastplate.” One journalist could only mutter, “Wow.”

Last note from the set visit, which I think is important because I feel the Justice League we’re getting now is not going to the be what Snyder originally intended, Snyder was asked how the critical response to Batman v Superman was in forming Justice League and the director had problems finding the words. “Listen,” he said, “if it’s about putting more fun in the movie or embracing some of what I think is in all the characters inherently, this sort of larger-than-life, big, fun stuff …” Trailing off he turned his answer into a defense of Dawn of Justice. “You really had to dig down on the darker parts of them to make them fight each other. I really do believe that with this movie, with Justice League, they’ve been freed of the responsibility to be in a place where they would fight each other. That’s liberating for us in making the movie, because now we have a single enemy with a single objective, and it’s really about uniting the team. That, to me, is a fun activity.”

Now let’s fast forward to today and we’re weeks away to see what Snyder has learned. While the movie is meant to be a “one and done”, the original plan had been for the project to be a trilogy because everything is a trilogy these days.

Which brings us to the supposed “leaked” storyboards that are making the rounds on social media. 

I’ll pause here to say I looked to see where these storyboards have originated and the source is a stretch. I don’t want to give Mr. Jeremy Thomas two headaches in a weekend so I’ll tread lightly. 

These storyboards that have come out give details on what we could have expected from the planned parts 2 and 3 of Snyder’s Justice League. These storyboards were taken down by Warner Bros. hours after being posted but if real, give us a glimpse at the future. And it fits Snyder’s tone. 

We can confirm that Lex Luthor was assembling his version of the Legion of Doom. According to the storyboards, the Legion, which would have been fully revealed in Justice League 2, would have consisted of Dr. Poison, Black Manta, and Ocean Master, along with Captain Cold and The Riddler. 

I won’t go into all the specific plot details but it involves lots of death on both sides including Riddler, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Lex Luthor. Oh, and something else that Snyder had discussed in interviews…a romance between Batman and…Lois Lane. 

OK, since this is something that has already come out, let’s discuss. So Lois becomes pregnant with Bruce Wayne/Batman’s child but does not tell him about it. A time-traveling Flash tells Batman about it so Bats sacrifices himself to save Lois. Superman and Lois then raise the child as their own, and he grows up to become the new Batman.

I’ll just leave that there. 

So here we are. Thanks to fan demand, we’re getting Snyder’s take on Justice League. How soon will we be seeing petitions for Snyder’s Justice League trilogy?