The numbers have rolled in, and it looks like Zack Snyder's Justice League isn't the blockbuster success that some had hoped for ahead of its release. Sure, it's a movie that has already developed a strong fanbase (early screenings had plenty of positive feedback, and our review is favorable), but the film's middling box office performance has left quite a bit to be desired. It also leaves us wondering what could've been in another Justice League project -- such as the never-made Justice League script written by Gangster Squad scribe Will Beall back in 2011.
We have looked into some of the details behind Will Beall's leaked Justice League script (via The Wrap), and it's safe to say that many of the ideas in the story are pretty wild. But in a good way! Usually. On that note, let's dive in and talk through some of the most bizarre details of this unmade DC epic.
Desaad Fights Killer Croc In A Shark Tank
You read that correctly. One of the earliest set pieces in this unused Justice League script involved a battle between Darkseid's henchman, Desaad, and longtime Batman baddie, Killer Croc, in a LexCorp shark tank. The sequence would've seen Killer Croc take a massive bite out of a shark in the middle of the battle, and come to a head with Desaad murdering the scaly-skinned Batman rogue and making off with a stash of Kryptonite obtained by Lex Luthor to take down Superman. And to think, that's just how this absolutely insane movie begins, and it only gets even weirder from here.
The Justice League Is Already Formed (And They Get Coffee)
Zack Snyder's Justice League tells the story of the formation of DC's most iconic superhero team, but Will Beall's original script from the story introduced audiences to a version of the group (albeit with some omissions like Aquaman) that has already formed and worked together in the past. This incarnation of the Justice League has a friendly rapport, and they even get coffee together when they're not out saving the world. Whether intentional or not, it oddly feels like DNA of this idea would eventually make its way into the Justice League movie in the form of The Flash's repeated jokes about brunch.
Green Lantern And Hawkman Take Down A Space Station Nightclub
While the DCEU has not had too many opportunities to go cosmic yet, this unmade version of Justice League would have thoroughly explored the furthest reaches of the outer space DC world. One of the most notable moments from the screenplay that exemplifies this is a sequence in which John Stewart and Hawkman take down a nightclub on a space station. Their mission in the scene is to stop Desaad from successfully weaponizing Kryptonite to use against the Last Son of Krypton, but considering what happens next, it appears that they are not exactly successful in their endeavor.
Steppenwolf And The Parademons Kidnap Superman
With a weaponized iteration of Kryptonite firmly in the hands of Darkseid, Desaad, and the rest of the baddies from Apokolips, Steppenwolf makes his way to Earth to capture Superman. Darkseid's lieutenant is ultimately successful in this mission, and he proceeds to brainwash the Kryptonian hero and assimilate him to become a member of Darkseid's army. Of course, as we learned during the resurrection sequence in Zack Snyder's Justice League movie: if you're an Earth-based hero, then you really don't want to have Superman come up against you in battle as an enemy. That seldom ends well for anyone in the DC world.
The Batcave Is Full Of Trophies
The version of The Batcave seen in the current DCEU is somewhat stark by comparison to other versions seen in comics and animated series. In fact, the memorial to Jason Todd is one of the only personal touches that we have noticed. That would've changed in a significant way in Will Beall's version of Justice League, as The Batcave would've been a treasure trove of trophies dedicated to Batman's life as a crimefighter. Among these prizes are Scarecrow's gas mask, Victor Fries' cold gun, and an umbrella belonging to The Penguin. It was a small detail, but it would've shown just how experienced this version of Batman truly was.
A Batman And Wonder Woman Love Story
The possible romantic entanglement between Batman and Wonder Woman has long stood as a fan-favorite element of the DC mythos -- particular for fans of classic DC animation. Will Beall's Justice League script would've capitalized on that by introducing us to versions of Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince that have a romantic history with one another when the movie begins, and then explores that romance as the story progresses. In fact, this love would've become a central element to the narrative, as a later portion of the arc would go on to reveal Bruce and Diana eventually have a son named Clark Wayne -- obviously named for their powerful teammate.
Darkseid Kills The Green Lantern Corps
Darkseid is easily one of the most imposing and formidable bad guys in the entire canon of DC characters, and Will Beall's take on Justice League could've capitalized on that by showing just how powerful he really can be. Specifically, we would've gotten a scene in which John Stewart returns to the Green Lantern home on OA to find that the ruler of Apokolips has massacred the entire Green Lantern Corps. Among the dead bodies, we would discover well-known Lanterns such as Guy Gardner, Kilowag, and Tomar-Re, thus taking the Corps off of the table as a possible ally against Darkseid's army.
Batman Fights Brainwashed Superman
Because these two can never seem to get along for an extended period, Will Beall's Justice League script naturally included a sequence in which Batman takes on the Man of Steel in a mano-a-mano match. Like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this involves Bruce donning the armor from The Dark Knight Returns, but the nature of the fight is someone different because it includes Batman trying to get through to a brainwashed Superman, rather than both of them trying to kill each other during the match. The sequence ends with Wonder Woman breaking Superman from his trance, and the blue boy scout eventually goes on to rejoin the League.
Superman Travels To An Apocalyptic Future
Following his Dark Knight Returns-esque battle with The Caped Crusader, Will Beall's version of Superman would travel through a Boom Tube and find himself stuck eleven years in the future. In a setting highly-reminiscent of the seminal Rock of Ages story arc, this version of the DC world would see an Earth in which Darkseid has effectively wiped out roughly 80% of the entire planet's population, and the remaining survivors have banded together in a last-ditch effort to prevent this horrible future from ever becoming a reality. Think Batman's Knightmare scene from Batman v Superman, except it is Superman stuck in the hellish landscape.
Wonder Woman Leads A Resistance Force From The Fortress Of Solitude
Once he emerges into the future from the Boom Tube, Superman would eventually go on to discover that a small surviving group of DC heroes and villains are working together as a resistance against Darkseid's army. Led by an aging Batman and Wonder Woman, this group consists of heroes like Huntress, as well as DC characters with somewhat vaguer moral leanings like Deathstroke, Cheetah, and Captain Boomerang. The team would've been called Batman's Berzerkers, and use Superman's Fortress of Solitude in the artic as its base of operations to stage its attacks on Darkseid's oppressive regime.
Flash Sacrifices Himself To Warn The Present Justice League
Future Lex Luthor discovers a way to send Barry Allen back in time (because of course, Barry goes back in time) by eleven years and warn the modern day Justice League about the impending arrival of Darkseid's forces. Barry willingly makes the trip using a Boom Tube to hurtle him into the past, but he dies in the arms of his younger self while delivering the warning to his modern-day teammates. Elements of this moment were seen in Batman v Superman Flash cameo, but this version adds a neat layer to the story because we know where Flash came from.
The Justice League Assaults Apokolips
Back in the modern day, the Justice League (now equipped with the knowledge Barry Allen brought back with him from the future) stages an assault on Apokolips to rescue Superman before Steppenwolf, Desaad, and Darkseid can take control of his mind. Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and young Flash all make the trip to the hellish planet, and they are soon joined by the Green Lantern Corps and the Amazons of Themyscira in an enormous battle to prevent the future seen earlier in the film from becoming a reality. In the end, Superman is rescued by his friends and the day is ultimately saved by DC's greatest heroes.
Lex Luthor For President
Once Darkseid and his minions have been thoroughly defeated, all seems well in the DC world. However, the script ends with Lex Luthor planning a presidential run (a common occurrence over the years) and subsequently receiving a message from a future version of himself informing him of Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent. Although it's quite a bit different than the version of Luthor seen in the final end credits scene in Zack Snyder's Justice League, the underlying intention seems to be clear: the story is meant to leave room for Lex Luthor to step in as the main villain in a future Justice League sequel.
An Insane Number Of Cameos
Last, but certainly not last, it needs to be said that Will Beall's unmade Justice League script would've been a massive, sprawling DC adventure with an absolutely insane cast of characters strewn throughout the story. In addition to the core members of the League that fans have come to expect, it also would've featured classic characters like KGBeast, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, Amanda Waller, the Guardians of the Universe, and Mercy Graves -- just to name a few. Moreover, the script also featured references to several major DC heroes and villains, thus suggesting an enormous playground of existing DC characters to be used in future films.
Would you have wanted to see this version of Justice League?