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The DCEU has gone through a large number of changes over the last few years, many of which have occurred as a result of Zack Snyder's reduced involvement with the films. The 300 director was largely responsible for determining the original direction of the entire DC cinematic world with his work on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and now it even seems that the latter 2016 superhero smackdown actually teased some significant plot developments for his ill-fated sequel to Justice League. Check out the subtle tease, below.
As noted by Josh Costella on Vero (a go-to source for Snyder-related DC information lately), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice features a clear shot of three crosses in the background of the scene in which Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) lay the body of Superman (Henry Cavill) down after the fight against Doomsday. Though it may seem like nothing more than an interesting shot, Zack Snyder actually commented on the picture and noted that "that's a reference to Justice League 2," i.e. he intended to use this as foreshadowing for something that would eventually happen in his second Justice League movie, "#untilitwasnt." As fans already know, that's not how things shook out, and we're left wondering what would've happened if Snyder had completed his entire Justice League story.
On that note, we're diving into this image and hashing out the possible story avenues that Zack Snyder may have wanted to explore. To kick things off, let's begin with the potential deaths of the other fan-favorite DC heroes.
More Hero Deaths
The most straightforward explanation of these crosses also stands out as one of the most likely of the bunch. Crosses generally connote imagery of death, and the presence of three crosses in the background of that shot could possibly hint at more fatalities on the Justice League roster. The demise of Clark Kent in Batman v Superman served as a massive blow to Earth and its ability to defend itself, and the arrival of the armies of Apokolips would leave heroes like Batman and Wonder Woman outgunned. Remember, Batman v Superman actually features a scene in which The Flash (Ezra Miller) travels back in time in order to prevent a horrific future from taking place. It is entirely possible that Zack Snyder's original vision for his Justice League story could've seen things go to a very dark place by allowing The Dark Knight and The Amazon to fall in battle before ultimate victory (and their resurrections) could be achieved by the end of Justice League 2.
A Tease Of The New Gods
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice leaned heavily into its tease of a looming threat from Apokolips, and it's pretty clear that Zack Snyder did initially have a plan to introduce Darkseid into the DCEU. Justice League partially made good on that promise by using Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) as a villain, and the imagery of the crosses in the background when Superman died could've indicated a more in-depth look at the "gods" of the DC mythos. Specifically, it seems entirely possible that Zack Snyder's Justice League 2 intended to serve as a springboard to launch the New Gods and explore the Jack Kirby-inspired cosmic corner of the DC universe, complete with characters like Darkseid, Orion, Big Barda and others. Of course, now that A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay is working on a New Gods movie of her own, it' possible that we could see elements of this potential storyline salvaged for use in another project at some point.
The League's Ascension To God Status
One of the easiest ways to distinguish the heroes in the DC universe and the heroes from the Marvel universe is the fact that DC's heroes often find themselves referred to as gods. Characters like Superman and Wonder Woman often feel far more powerful than heroes like Captain America or Iron Man, and even Batman sometimes gets to pull off intellectual or physical feats that seem outside the realm of possibility for a human. The DCEU has actively embraced the idea of its heroes looking and feeling like gods to the people of Earth, and Batman v Superman specifically focused on the use of religious imagery to highlight the divine nature of someone like Superman. With the emphasis placed on the crosses in the background of that Trinity shot, it seems like a viable indication that Snyder meant to tease the eventual ascension of the DC heroes to full-blown god status by the end of their battle with the forces of Apokolips.