Batman's Role In Snyder's Original Plot Of 'Justice League' & Possible 'Justice League 2'
The 2017 theatrical cut of the Justice League left out many key elements from the original story that Zack Snyder had intended. The Batman we saw in the theatrical cut was a far cry from the original plan.
When Joss Whedon replaced Snyder, the latter altered the story to fit Warner Bros’ then vision of a more light-hearted DCEU. The change from Whedon also altered Batman’s arc considerably.
In order to fully understand Batman’s role in the Justice League and its possible sequels, a brief understanding of the “Knightmare” scene of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016), the Snyder’s cut, and the premise of the planned The Flash movie is necessary.
This article analyzes the Batman character based on Batman Vs. Superman and the Snyder’s cut.
‘Batman V Superman’ Knightmare
During a key scene in Batman V Superman (that is now termed as “Knightmare”), Bruce (Batman) falls asleep and has a surreal dream. In his dream, Superman is ruling over the world with an iron fist, and he is leading a rebel group against ‘evil’ Superman’s forces.
Bruce is captured and is ultimately led to Superman’s lair. There, Superman unmasks him and tells him, “She was my world, and you took her from me,” referring to Lois Lane.
After hearing the voice, Bruce wakes back at his cave to encounter an unidentified person appearing through some kind of a portal. The unidentified figure tells Bruce that Lois Lane is the key and beseeches him to find them before vanishing back into the portal.
Bruce then sets himself to recruit the other metahumans to prevent a larger danger that is foreshadowing. The upcoming danger is evident when Batman visits Lex Luthor in Arkham Asylum, where Luthor warns Batman that “He is coming! He has found us.”
Who Was Lex Referring?
While Lex didn’t directly reveal that who was coming in the movie, many reports have connected the dots analyzing an indirect revelation from Snyder and suggested that Lex was referring to none other than Darkseid.
And not coincidently, Darkseid was also the main baddie that the original Justice League was supposed to introduce as the main villain.
‘Justice League’ Darkseid Exclusion
The theatrical cut never had Darkseid’s big reveal that Snyder might have intended. The movie, instead, focused only on Steppenwolf as the sole enemy of the Justice League.
However, the Synder’s version would have extensively followed the Knightmare storyline with the death of Steppenwolf leading to Darkseid’s arrival.
After his comeback, Darkseid would have eventually come to Earth to complete his invasion.
He's coming... to HBO Max pic.twitter.com/tthWwAqzWp — Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) May 27, 2020
Again, Lois’ death was not in the theatrical version, but Snyder’s first draft would have seen her die at the hands of Darkseid. In the draft, Darkseid killed Lois, and this invariably led Superman to lose his mind and become subservient to Darkseid.
Hence, this is why Superman’s downfall would have given Darkseid ultimate power to subjugate the Earth’s population—creating the apocalyptic Knightmare scenario.
This is theoretically how Justice League would have originally ended.
Snyder’s Cut Possible Orignal Cut
With the Earth destroyed and most of the heroes either dead or fallen to Darkseid’s control, the remaining Justice League members could try to correct mistakes and mishappenings of the past, the most prominent want being Lois’ death.
Since Lois’ death would have been the turning point in Superman succumbing to Darkseid’s control, Batman could have had Flash go back in a key point in time to try and prevent Lois’ death.
Idea of ‘Justice League 2’
Although Warner Bros. decided to drop their original idea of releasing the Justice League in two parts, Synder’s Cut may revive the idea once again.
If the concept was to be revived, the premise of the second part would have possibly connected to the “Knightmare” scene in Batman V Superman, revealing an arc across time.
Snyder Cut Will Reveal All
The lack of the “Knighmare” scene payoff and the absence of Darkseid in Justice League (2017) even after his importance in connecting the dots goes to show how much of Batman’s story was left out in the theatrical version.
Whether or not Batman’s role was pivotal for Snyder’s original plan remains to be seen. The director had announced to Grace Randolph that his cut would be a whopping 214 minutes, leaving fans to wonder with excitement what his plans entailed.