Just like the The Avengers did in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Justice League saw the starring heroes of the DC Extended Universe coming together to defeat a threat none of them could have handled on their own. Unlike The Avengers, Justice League was drastically altered during the course of its creation from what director Zack Snyder originally planned, with the final cut resembling a Frankenstein-like creation that underwhelmed critically and commercially. As a result, the plan to make more Justice League movies has been put on hold, but filmmaker and longtime DC Comics fan Kevin Smith has provided details about what Snyder supposedly had planned for his Justice League trilogy, and it would have seen the cosmic side of the DCEU opening up even further.
During the latest episode of Fatman Beyond, Kevin Smith mentioned that during his trip to the Star Wars: Episode IX set in London months back, he met members of the crew who had also worked on Justice League. They claimed to have seen storyboards (illustrated by DC’s co-publisher Jim Lee) for what was in store for all three Justice League movies back when Zack Snyder was still working on Justice League. Regarding that first movie, what we saw in theaters was basically the same story that was conceived, only at the end, a Boom Tube opens up (presumably the same one that those Parademons dragged Steppenwolf through), and on the other side was Darkseid, Steppenwolf’s master. He sees the Justice League on the other side and vice-versa, which paves the way for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to take the fight to Apokolips in Justice League 2.
One would imagine Justice League 2 would have also seen the protagonists either visiting New Genesis as well or meeting some of its denizens given that that world and Apokolips are the two main anchors of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World mythology. But that wouldn’t have been the only cosmic element in the sequel. Apparently the Green Lantern Corps would have been involved as well. In fact, remember that deleted Justice League scene (part of which was also in a trailer) where Alfred Pennyworth meets Superman and tells him that he prays he’s not too late? Kevin Smith heard that when that scene was shot, green lights were flashing on Jeremy Irons, meaning that Alfred was originally interacting with Green Lantern, although it wasn’t said specifically which Emerald Knight.
However, similarly to how things turned out for the heroes of the MCU at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Justice League 2 would have ended poorly for its heroes. They would have been defeated by Darkseid, who then goes to Earth and “levels” it. Meaning that the Knightmare vision that Bruce Wayne had in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would have come to pass, and Justice League 3 would have seen the heroes making one last stand against Darkseid and the forces of Apokolips.
Needless to say that this is a lot to chew on, though keep in mind that this information is by no means official. Even if it is true, one also can’t rule out that the details have been embellished by these crew members, either accidentally or on purpose. Nevertheless, hearing about this Justice League trilogy, I can’t help but agree with Kevin Smith that “we might have missed something.” And that’s not even taking into account other things we’ve heard about these Justice League sequels, like how Zack Snyder was interested in killing off Batman. It makes one wonder even more what the Snyder Cut would have looked like.
Assuming all this information about the Justice League trilogy is true, then clearly Zack Snyder had a grand vision for these heroes. Counting Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, that adds up to the five-movie run that we’d previously heard had been in the works. It is worth noting, though, that Justice League 3 has never been a guarantee. Back when the initial slate of DCEU movies was announced in late 2014, Justice League: Part Two, as it was known then, was scheduled to come out this June. But then plans changed so that Justice League would be one movie as opposed to be split into two parts, and then Justice League 2 was eventually taken off the calendar.
As things stand now, while Justice League 2 hasn’t officially been scrapped, given that Justice League was met with mixed reviews and only made $657 million worldwide off a $300 million budget, it’s hard to say if a sequel will ever get made. Currently, Warner Bros is less concerned with tying the various DCEU movies together and more focused on keeping each entry standalone, even though they all still exist in the same continuity.
One thing is likely, though: if Warner Bros and DC re-explore making Justice League 2, Zack Snyder won’t be creatively involved. Although he is named as an executive producer on several upcoming DCEU movies, directing-wise, he’s moving on, such as helming Army of the Dead for Netflix and developing The Fountainhead. Again, we could still see a follow-up to Justice League someday, but I seriously doubt it will closely resemble what Snyder envisioned.
Fortunately for those of you who’ve wanted to see the Fourth World mythology explored more deeply on the big screen, you’re in luck. Director Ava DuVernary is helming a New Gods movie, and rumor has it that will see Mister Miracle and Big Barda clashing with Granny Goodness and the Female Furies. It’s a good bet that Darkseid will appear too considering his importance to this corner of the DC universe. Whether or not Darkseid or any of his other minions will ever battle the Justice League in a different movie and try to finish the job that Steppenwolf started, that’s hard to say.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates concerning the DCEU, which continues on April 5 with the release of Shazam!. If you’re curious about what else this franchise has on the way or in the works, browse through our handy guide.