Justice League hit theaters less than a month ago, and fans are still dissecting and discussing every shot from the Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon collaboration. Since the blockbuster arrived in theaters, fans have been campaigning for Snyder's original cut of the film, which was far longer and helped to further flesh out the world the director was crafting. The online petition has been signed by tons of fans, and director and DC superfan Kevin Smith has joined the campaign, and is apparently privy to how Darkseid originally factored into Superman's battle with Steppenwolf in the film's third act. He recently described this, saying:
Superman joins the fight and teams up with the League to defeat Steppenwolf, however at one point Steppenwolf tries to tempt Superman into joining his army, ready for this? This made me so fucking angry, and we see Darkseid for the first time in Superman's vision and we see flashes of the nightmare footage that Batman had in Batman v Superman, however, Superman snaps back out of it and delivers the final blow to defeat Steppenwolf.
Well, this would have been awesome. I don't know about you guys, but my FOMO is through the roof. Let's break down exactly what this deleted scene would have meant for Justice League, and the DCEU as a whole.
To start, the scene Kevin Smith described in Fatman on Batman podcast would have given Henry Cavill the opportunity to have a more significant role in Justice League. The majority of the film was void of the Man of Steel, as he had died killing Doomsday in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was eventually revived by the members of The League, but Superman definitely wasn't one of the biggest characters in the blockbuster. But if the final battle again Steppenwolf included Superman being tempted to join the villain, his arc defending the planet could have carried more emotional weight.
Darkseid had long been rumored to have a role in Justice League, with some reports that he would originally show up in a post-credits scene ala Thanos in The Avengers. But once Joss Whedon joined the project, this could no longer happen, as it would just be fodder for online trolls who are comparing the two films.
Additionally, this deleted scene would have helped further connect Justice League with Batman v Superman. One of the more bizarre aspects of the latter was Bruce's Knightmare sequence, where he saw an evil Superman ruling over the planet as a dictator, with an army of Parademons at his disposal. The nightmare/vision was never really addressed in Justice League, but it looks like the original cut helped to bring this plot line to a close. When asked to join Steppenwolf, Superman would have seen the same vision, and realized what would happen if he accepted the offer. In the end he'd overcome, helping to finish the villain once and for all.
Justice League is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.