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Zack Snyder hints at shaky alliance between Deathstroke and Batman in new Justice League cut coming to HBO Max

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Mar 1, 2021, 1:55 PM EST

Jared Leto's Joker won't be the only villain with a new role to play in Zack Snyder's Justice League. During a 45-minute interview for IGN's Fan Fest, Snyder teased out some details for Joe Manganiello's Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. In the new version of the 2017 team-up film (more popularly known as the "Snyder Cut," which debuts on HBO Max later this month), the deadly assassin won't just be showing up in a post-credits scene that lays the groundwork for the Legion of Doom.

"When we find him, he and Batman have struck some sort of a deal and they have a bit of a partnership," the filmmaker revealed. "There’s a bigger enemy, I guess. That’s the big difference, they’re not locked in mortal combat. They’re actually working kind of together to try and figure out how to make this world work."

That "bigger enemy" is, of course, Ray Porter's Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips who wants to conquer Earth and turn it into the post-apocalyptic wasteland we saw in Batman v Superman's "Knightmare" sequence. "Darkseid has tons of human motivation, but I don't know if you would call it that," Snyder said of the cosmic warlord. "He operates on another plane, but certainly something happened to him in the past and he's not happy about it. It's kind of really hurt and shaped him, and he's looking to make it right. There's a lot of nuance in him and Ray does a great job of voicing him."

Later on in the stream, actor Harry Lennix showed up to ask Snyder if he could clarify some of the confusion surrounding Swanwick/Martian Manhunter's identity. 

"In my mind," the director began, "Swanwick is like his alter ego, that's kind of the way I see it. He's manipulated both Lois and Clark to kind of do their best, to be the best they can be. In this incarnation, he wants humanity to do it themselves and/or this new hero in Superman. That's the way I see it — they have the same voice."

When asked if he'd return to direct a second Justice League movie if his four-hour cut goes over gangbusters, Snyder said, "I'll believe it when I see it and I'm happy to cross that bridge when I see it approaching ... I think we should enjoy the movie we have, but yes [I would]."

Clocking in at just over four hours long, Zack Snyder's Justice League arrives on HBO Max on March 18. Contrary to what Snyder said at DC FanDome last summer, the film will be released as one giant behemoth rather than in four separate chunks. Watch the opening titles here.