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Zack Snyder opens up about his time-traveling Justice League script DC scrapped
Since the theatrical release and mixed reception to Justice League, director Zack Snyder has been steadily dropping little tidbits about his grand plans for the DCEU that we'll never get to see.
Snyder's main vehicle to deliver the intel is via the social media platform known as Vero, which decided to screen the director's cuts of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Watchmen, and Dawn of the Dead across three separate nights, followed by a Q&A with Snyder and his creative teams on each film.
During the Q&A portion for Batman v Superman, the filmmaker unloaded some major teases about his unused ideas for the DC Extended Universe, which included Darkseid killing Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in the Batcave, boom tubes galore, Superman (Henry Cavill) turning evil, and time-travel moments for both Batman (Ben Affleck) and the Flash (Ezra Miller). All of this was deemed too crazy for Warner Bros., which forbade Snyder from fulfilling his initial vision.
"The original Justice League that Chris [Terrio] and I wrote, we didn't even shoot," Snyder said. "There's a lot of it that we shot [but] the actual idea, the hard, hard idea, the scary idea, we never filmed because the studio was like, 'That's crazy.' And we were so insecure at the time after [Batman v Superman] came out, we were just like, 'I guess it is crazy. We're f—in' nuts. There's gonna be mass hysteria in the streets if we film this.'"
A lot of that original script had to do with explaining the post-apocalyptic "Knightmare" dream sequence from BvS where Bruce Wayne fights his way across a desolate wasteland in which Darkseid rules supreme and Superman has succumbed to the Anti-Life, a Jack Kirby-created equation that can override the free will of any sentient being. To try and reverse this, Batman works with a broken version of Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to find an equation that will allow them to travel back in time and warn the past version of Bruce, but they only have two certain windows in which to do so.
All of that ties back to Barry Allen's warning to Bruce in the Batcave about Lois being the key to Superman turning evil; Snyder has already confirmed that Allen was using the cosmic treadmill during that scene.
In the end, however, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) was made the main villain of Justice League, although his plan to conquer the Earth with Mother Boxes was meant to herald the eventual coming of Darkseid. With Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Ben Affleck all apparently done with their DC counterparts, it is more than likely that none of Snyder's plans will ever see the light of day.
After his alleged ousting from the DCEU, Snyder's first project will be the zombie heist movie Army of the Dead for Netflix.
"There are no handcuffs on me at all with this one," Snyder said back in January. "I thought this was a good palate cleanser to really dig in with both hands and make something fun and epic and crazy and bonkers in the best possible way."
Following the poor critical reception and box-office performance met by Justice League, Warner Bros. is semi-rebooting its own shared universe, placing a greater emphasis on singular, standalone projects for the time being.