It's no secret at this point that Justice League went through a lot of behind-the-scenes changes as it made its way through post-production. After principal photography had wrapped, director Zack Snyder left the project to deal with family concerns, and Joss Whedon was brought in as a "second unit director" to conduct significant reshoots and make big changes to the blockbuster. Fans were made aware of this through the news cycle over the last year or so, but even if we hadn't heard all those stories, we'd still know that a lot of changes were made. How? Because there is a lot of stuff that exists in the trailers but not in the theatrical cut of the movie.
Combing through all of the footage that has been released since San Diego Comic-Con 2016, we've picked out all of the moments that weren't actually featured in Justice League, and using context clues have tried to figure out why they were cut. Some are big, and some are tiny, but each one is interesting in its own right. Read on to learn more about each one!
More Of Bruce Wayne In Iceland
Early reports suggested that the original cut of Justice League was nearing three hours long, but the one that's in theaters clocks in around two. When this kind of cut down happens, it usually means both cutting significant sub-plots as well as "trimming the fat," and it looks like this example falls into the latter category. The first official trailer for the film features a lot more of Bruce Wayne trekking through Iceland to try and find Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman, including camping out on a barren tundra with a horse. In the finished movie, this sequence is basically just cut down to Bruce coming over a ridge on the port where he finds his target... which is really all you ultimately need.
Bruce Wayne's Failed Aquaman Recruitment
In Justice League, Bruce Wayne's attempted recruitment of Aquaman doesn't go incredibly well -- but we don't quite get the same kind of banter about it in the film that we did in the trailers. In the footage that was released during San Diego Comic-Con 2016, Wonder Woman and Bruce have a conversation about whether or not the aquatic hero will fight with them, and quickly break down what Bruce's "More or less" response means. In the finished cut, Bruce Wayne and Diana don't even come together until after the former is back from Iceland, so it's understandable why it's not featured in the movie.
Barry Allen Shattering Glass
As will be discussed as we get further into this feature, the Justice League trailers suggest that there was originally going to be a good deal more origin story-wise -- and that includes this bit with Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash. In the scene, it looks like Barry is just starting to learn about his super speed powers, and accidentally shatters a glass pane with a one-finger touch while out in some kind of store. And while we can't be entirely certain, the young woman behind him may be Iris West, who was originally going to appear played by Kiersey Clemons in the blockbuster.
Bruce Wayne Observes A Superman Hologram
Whether it's because he feels he had a hand in Superman's death, or just because he recognizes the important role he played in the world, Bruce Wayne has a hard time throughout the bulk of Justice League dealing with the fact that the Kryptonian is dead. Of course this obsession eventually leads to an act of resurrection -- but before then, it looks like we missed out on a bit of mourning. We don't know exactly why, but there was going to be a scene where Bruce sat at his desk observing a hologram of the Man of Steel. It's a question we may never get the answer to.
Lois Lane Has A Dreamy Moment With Clark Kent
Justice League does have a sequence where Lois Lane meets Clark Kent in a cornfield, and there is a moment during the opening credits where Lois wakes to find an empty bed, but a very different interaction is featured between the two characters at the beginning of the second full length trailer for the blockbuster. Not only does the marketing imply the moment is a dream (it isn't), but Clark never says, "I take that as a yes," and notes the ring on Lois' finger.
Alfred Sees The Return Of Superman
Following his resurrection, Superman goes from Metropolis back to Smallville, and then straight to Russia to fight alongside the Justice League in their battle against Steppenwolf. However, the trailers suggest that an earlier cut of the movie possibly featured an extra stop in Gotham. You never see Superman in action in any of the Justice League trailers, but this moment from the end of the San Diego Comic-Con 2017 footage definitely suggested a face-to-face meeting between Alfred and the Man of Tomorrow.
You'll notice that there aren't many Wonder Woman moments on this list, probably because Warner Bros. and DC wanted to keep her in the film as much as humanly possible following the remarkable success of her solo movie earlier this year. That said, Justice League does feature one moment with the powerful Amazon that didn't make it into the theatrical version of the blockbuster. The first official trailer concluded with Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg converging, and Diana taunting her enemy with a, "Shall we?" but that moment evidently didn't make the cut (literally).
"I'm Real When It's Useful."
The first ever Justice League footage from San Diego Comic-Con 2016 featured a final moment that doesn't really fit in with the movie that it was originally going to be a part of, making it an interesting puzzle. Set at what looks like the start of the sequence under the harbor, Cyborg and Batman have a little moment where the former says, "Didn't think you were real," and the latter replies, 'I'm real when it's useful.' Considering the established relationship between the two in the finished film, not to mention Cyborg's research into Bruce Wayne, the lines don't really make sense in context -- which does explain why they were cut.
Poor, Cyborg. Poor, poor, Cyborg. As you'll discover across the next few pages, it looks like there is no other character who saw more footage fall to the cutting room floor than the half-man/half-machine. This, for starters, includes two moments where he gets to act like a real hero. First he successfully destroys a piece of falling debris from falling on a bunch of people with his arm cannon, and then he uses his entire body to get in the way of a rolling tank, followed by the quip, "You should probably move." Unfortunately, it's really impossible to place where exactly these scenes would have been included within the Justice League movie we actually saw.
Victor Stone Walks
Our first introduction to Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg is in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which saw him being reconstructed by his dad following his violent accident in video files stolen from Lex Luthor's computer. Because Justice League picks up after those events, we never actually see Victor Stone as he originally was. But that wasn't always the case. As first evidenced by this quick moment from the San Diego Comic-Con 2016 footage, there were originally going to be sequences in the film that featured Victor as a normal person.
The Activating Mother Box In The Closet
Like some of the others mentioned, this one is a bit hard to explain. Clearly the Mother Box that was used by Silas Stone to turn his son into Cyborg was in the scientist's possession, but at no point was it ever featured in the back of a closet. Perhaps more significantly, it was never featured being activated while in said closet. Without more context there's not much more we can say about it other than the fact that it's weird.
Victor Stone On The Football Field
It turns out that Victor Stone's appearances as a normal human wasn't only going to be limited to just casually walking around in a letterman jacket. Instead, the original cut of Justice League evidently also featured a very Zack Snyder-esque football sequence, with the character playing the game he famously loved. As alluded to earlier, it's hard not to get the sense that the original version of the movie was going to do a deep dive into the backstories of the characters who didn't have their own solo features yet, but that idea was eventually scrapped. Thankfully we get at least a significant taste of Cyborg's lost material courtesy of the trailers.
One interesting aspect of Cyborg as a character in Justice League is the fact that he's continually evolving and learning new skills that he didn't know or have hours earlier. In fact, at one point he was going to learn that he can actually use his metallic body to cover his entire face with a badass mask. Unfortunately, that was a moment that didn't make it into the finished film. We don't know where Cyborg was supposed to be flying to in this bit from the first official trailer, but we wish it was included.
Aquaman Spends More Time In Atlantis
Aquaman gets a lot more scenes on land than he does underwater in Justice League, but it seems that's partially because at least one section of action got cut out. Following Arthur's interaction with Mera, it feels like he should be heading towards another Atlantean location so that he can pick up the Quindent to use in battle (not to mention meet up with Vulko), but that scene never happens. We do at least get a taste of that extra sequence from the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con footage, which features the aquatic hero doing a bit more swimming than he does in the theatrical cut.
NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.