by Jason McCullum
It is likely no secret to any reader that Zack Snyder’s Justice League was an experience unlike any other for me. After years of anticipation, Snyder’s four-hour epic lived up to all the hype that willed it into existence. The only major letdown from the Snyder Cut was the major cliffhangers that the film presented, showing just how unfinished Snyder’s ultimate vision was. The filmmaker extraordinaire had high hopes of continuing the Justice League tale with plenty of intentional loose ends that would lead fabulously into future films. However, the future of the DCEU seems to be moving in a completely different direction.
Upon releasing Joss Whedon’s 2017 cut of Justice League, it was essentially confirmed that future Zack Snyder projects were going to die off. Yet, there might just be some hope for diehard fans that want to continue where Snyder Cut left things. It was the fan enthusiasm that got the film released in the first place and given its widespread praise from fans over the opening weekend, there is a chance for more story. Not a phenomenal chance, but a chance, nonetheless. So here is my pitch of 5 films that DC and Warner Brothers could, and should, make to restore the Snyder-Verse:
* Note * These are ranked five to one on my personal feelings of how essential this film would be in restoring Snyder’s vision and allowing him to continue his story:
5. Man of Steel 2
Admittedly the least likely entry on this list due to the recent news that Warner Brothers would be rebooting Superman once again, this time likely opting for a Black Kryptonian God (excellent idea, by the way). However, as DC eyes opening their multiverse (more information later), bringing Henry Cavill back for the long-awaited Superman sequel would help tie up many of the loose ends that Snyder Cut left for that character. Most specifically, Kal-El could finally go on to properly battle Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, a character and role that never got a proper chance due to the many flaws that BvS presented to audiences. Another main reason that this would be an excellent contender for the next chapter in Snyder’s story is the financial success of the original Man of Steel picture. All things considered, the film did not underwhelm at the box office the way BvS and Justice League did. While those may have technically grossed more in terms of dollars, MoS was more efficient at grossing the money that was expected by Warner Brothers executives, while the other films greatly underwhelmed projections. Also given that Cavill has been such a major supporter of Zack and the Snyder-Verse movement, it may be time for the Man of Tomorrow to return.
4. Green Lantern Corps
Not only are fans overdue for a decent Green Lantern movie after the abysmal Martin Campbell effort in 2011, but the Snyder Cut set the stage perfectly by introducing audiences to lesser-known members of Green Lantern Corps. Specifically, the film briefly introduces audiences to a deceased Kilowog as Cyborg has a vision in the Knightmare timeline. Additionally, Yalan Gur is shown in battle during the History Lesson story, fighting alongside humans as Darkseid invades Earth before the events of Justice League. Both inclusions not only satisfy diehard Lantern fans but set the stage to introduce the masses to Green Lanterns that separate from the typical green flame individual that has been popularized in comic culture. Diving deeper into these two characters, specifically acknowledging how Kilowog came to join the battle, would pave the way to include these characters in future Snyder stories. Remember, Snyder was hoping to introduce Green Lantern more officially in Justice League before Warner Brothers blocked it. So, it is safe to assume that he would be eager to tell some larger stories with those characters.
3. The Flash
The Flash is the only film on this list that is currently scheduled to happen. With or without the Snyder-Verse, Andy Muschietti is set to direct an Ezra Miller starring Flash film, although considering recent events, Miller will hopefully be replaced by Grant Gustin. However, the recent reports that have surrounded the film could be an excellent way to bring Snyder’s story back into the mix. The film has been said, since June of last year, to prominently feature the returns of both Michael Keaton’s and Ben Affleck’s portrayals of the Caped Crusader. Similarly, Christian Bale has been rumored to have a cameo role, meaning audiences would get three different Bruce Waynes in one movie which could mean only one thing: flashpoint. The inclusion of flashpoint allows the story to open other universes which allow there to be multiple people playing Batman at one time. Assuming this occurs, The Flash is DC’s most logical explanation for rebooting Batman and Superman while also allowing Affleck and Cavill to play their respective roles in future Snyder-Verse films. (It is also important to consider that the Snyder Cut directly acknowledges that Darkseid comes from another universe, something that the theatrical cut did not include. This helps confirm that a multiverse exists, strengthening the argument that this will be a primary focus of The Flash.)
After the financial success of Joker, giving Deathstroke an origin movie should be a no-brainer. Despite how limited his inclusion in Justice League is, Joe Manganiello is such an incredible candidate to play Slade Wilson that it would be a shame if he never got a chance to star in a feature film. The Knightmare sequence in the film that introduces Wilson makes the idea of a Deathstroke movie even more intriguing, as the audience sees a world that Bruce Wayne envisions in which the two are working together alongside Cyborg, Joker (!!), and others. So, while a standalone outing for Deathstroke would feel most obvious as a gritty, villain background, there is now such potential to do something truly unique, exploring his persona in the Knightmare scenario. On the other hand, Wilson is shown to be working with Lex Luthor at the end of Justice League. Exploring a film that centers around an alliance between the two would not only be a creative villain venture but could also return Affleck and Cavill to fight their respective enemies. While there is plenty of ground already laid for a potential Deathstroke film, there are endless possibilities, all that could help build on the story that is hardly started in the Snyder Cut.
1. Justice League: Part Two
Of course, the most obvious, efficient, and overall best option for restoring the Snyder-Verse is simply to follow up Zack Snyder’s Justice League with the much-needed second half of the story. While all other proposed films would be wonderful individual adventures that could help expand the Snyder-Verse, the ultimate way for Snyder to continue his story would be to return the league to the big screen as one. Snyder proved that he could tell a long, complex story while keeping it engaging all the way through. Because of this, a Justice League sequel could continue the Lex Luthor / Deathstroke arc, introduce the Lantern Corps, and potentially even explore a multiverse all-in-one film, while also building up to Darkseid. A proper sequel would also continue along with the fan-driven desire of allowing Snyder to finish his vision in the way he sees most appropriate. He sought out to make a sequel directly after its predecessor before diving into other standalone stories, showing his passion for utilizing the excellent ensemble cast to expand his narrative. Given the green light for another epic film with an extended runtime, Justice League: Part Two would be the ideal direction for Warner Brothers to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse.
Stream all three Snyder-Verse films, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Man of Steel, and Batman v. Superman, on HBO Max now.