JUSTICE LEAGUE: Warner Bros. Initially Suggested Releasing The "Snyder Cut" In An Unfinished State

When Zack Snyder's Justice League arrives on HBO Max next month, it will be as a fully completed, four-hour feature. However, Warner Bros. initially hoped to put the movie out there unfinished...

Zack Snyder's Justice League isn't a movie we ever thought would become a reality, and it doesn't sound like Warner Bros. ever wanted to release it. Ultimately, it seems parent company WarnerMedia decided it would be a good idea to launch this director's cut on HBO Max (in a bid to drive up subscriber numbers), and it's now heading our way on March 18th.

While Snyder was able to bring back certain cast members - and new ones like Jared Leto as The Joker - for reshoots last year, the "Snyder Cut" was far from finished. Visual effects were missing, the score was incomplete, and the whole thing obviously needed to be edited together.

However, studio executives originally considered releasing this version of Justice League in that unfinished state according to producer Deborah Snyder. We've seen that happen with previous director's cuts, of course, but it wouldn't have been overly satisfying to watch the movie like that.

"When they approached us we had to come up with an idea of what it was because originally [the studio was] like, 'You can just put the cut [out] just the way it is.' Zack's like, 'No.' It's like a mish-mosh. The music we can't use. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it the right way, or it's not going to be the right way,'" she explains in an interview with LightCast.

As for the difficulties of actually finishing Justice League, Snyder added: "[Just] to figure out the costs of the visual effects, and we were doing this kind of on our own, so we could put together a presentation that we could go to the studio with and a big part of the presentation was the fans and what that represented to them."

It certainly would have been quite something to watch Zack Snyder's Justice League like this, but no one can blame the filmmaker for not wanting to share that version with the world. We heard a lot of conflicting information about just how complete (or incomplete) the movie was during the height of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign, but it's clear now that it wasn't as simple as just releasing it on Blu-ray!

Click on the "Next" button below for a breakdown
of Will Beall's Justice League screenplay! 

10. Batman And Superman Are Allies


Superman is dead when the Snyder Cut begins, but in Beall's version, the Man of Steel is good friends with Batman. They know each other's secret identities, and meet in a Metropolis diner for a catch-up. 

Before heading to Central City to recruit the Flash, there's a battle in Lexcorp Tower against KGBeast and Killer Croc to deal with. Lex Luthor is in the midst of attempting to buy Kryptonite from the former, but they're all interrupted by the arrival of Desaad, one of Darkseid's most loyal followers. 

He kills Croc, and makes off with the Kryptonite. 

This action-packed, character-heavy opening doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what's to come, however...

9. Darkseid Is The Film's Big Bad


Steppenwolf doesn't get as much to do in this Justice League, and Darkseid is the lead baddie from the start. The film wastes no time in introducing the ruler of Apokolips, with the opening scene taking place on the villain's home planet. 

Snyder and Terrio clearly had a different idea for how Darkseid's big screen introduction would work, as he's only expected to make a cameo appearance in the Snyder Cut. The reason for that is because he was supposed to take center stage in the Justice League: Part 2 film Warner Bros. initially greenlit.

Had Beall's script been used, Darkseid might have beaten Thanos to theaters. 

While this film may have had Darkseid in spades, there's one member of the League who was set to be M.I.A.

8. There's No Aquaman


Jason Momoa's Aquaman has become a firm fan-favorite, and his solo film grossed over $1 billion globally in 2018.

Beall, however, had no intention of using the King of Atlantis. While there are a lot of other heroes in this Justice League, it seems the writer couldn't quite figure out how to bring this divisive superhero to the screen. Remember, when Beall was penning this screenplay, it was before DC Comics reinvented Arthur Curry with the New 52 reboot.

As you'll soon come to see, it would have been tricky to squeeze Aquaman into this story, because Beall instead focused on characters who Snyder overlooked in his film.

Chief among them is Green Lantern...

7. Green Lantern/Hawkman Team-Up

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There was a huge cosmic element to Beall's Justice League screenplay, with Green Lantern John Stewart and Hawkman teaming up in an outer space nightclub to stop Kanjar Ro from helping Dessad weaponize the Kryptonite he stole from Lex Luthor and KGBeast.

We don't get a Hal Jordan mention, and this film was presumably set in a separate world to 2011's Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds. 

While all this is happening, there's a subplot about Amanda Waller and the Department of Metahuman. Interestingly, she has her own team made up of Tattooed Man, Copperhead, Cheetah, and Solomon Grundy (we'll come back to them).

Also on Earth, Superman is kidnapped by Steppenwolf and his Parademons, and taken back to Apokolips. 

6. Massacre On Oa

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Batman heads to Themyscira to seek Wonder Woman's help, and we learn they have a romantic history.

John Stewart, meanwhile, returns to Earth, and and meets with Bruce, Diana, and the Flash in the Batcave (which is packed full of Easter Eggs, including The Penguin's Umbrella and multiple Batmobiles and Batsuits). 

As the team formulates a plan to rescue Superman, John heads back to Oa, only to find the planet decimated by Darkseid. Katma Tui, Kilowag, Guy Gardner, Salakk, and Tomar-Re are all dead, a sign Beall wasn't exactly thinking ahead to their potential future in the DC Universe...for now, anyway. 

With no Green Lantern Corps standing in his way, Darkseid heads to Earth. 

5. Batman v Superman

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Superman has fallen under Darkseid's control, and a fight with Batman ensues. 

Like in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, the Caped Crusader dons a special armored Batsuit to take on the Man of Steel in hand-to-hand combat. 

It's Wonder Woman who eventually figures out how to free Superman from Darkseid, and the hero quickly rejoins the League to repel the villain's invasion. However, things get a little strange at this point in Beall's Justice League film because Kal-El finds himself thrust eleven years into the future after travelling through a Boom Tube.

This has to be where Snyder and Terrio got the idea to tackle a "Knightmare" future in their version.

4. A Desolate Future

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Superman learns that Darkseid has wiped out 80% of the planet's population, and Diana and Bruce are leading what's left of the human resistance. 

Batman is Wonder Woman's second in command, and they have a son: Clark Wayne. 

It seems Superman's disappearance through the Boom Tube left Earth defenseless, and even Lex Luthor is now aligned with the heroes. "Batman's Berzerkers" is a team made up of Deathstroke, Captain Boomerang, Huntress, and Cheetah, essentially meaning the Dark Knight is the leader of the Suicide Squad.

The survivors are based in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. 

3. Time-Travel


We know Batman and Cyborg are responsible for sending the Flash back in time in the SnyderVerse, though it's likely those scenes were being saved for the sequel. 

In Beall's film, it's Lex Luthor who figured out how to send Barry Allen eleven years into the past. 

The Future Flash arrives on Earth prior to Darkseid's invasion, and dies in his younger self's arms shortly after warning the younger Barry about what's to come for the League.

After warning his teammates, the stage is set for an epic battle...

2. Epic Final Battle


Superman has already been taken to Apokolips at this point, so Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern travel to the planet to stop Darkseid before he can brainwash their teammate. 

Superman is rescued, and the heroes take on the villain and his forces. 

The Green Lantern Corps - who are alive in this timeline -  soon arrive to lend a helping hand, as do the Amazon warriors from Themyscira. As you might expect, the heroes emerge victorious from the battle, and stop that desolate future from ever becoming a reality. 

Darkseid may be defeated, but there's another foe waiting in the wings.

1. President Lex Luthor


Lex Luthor is planning to run for President, a nice hint at how his story played out in the comics. However, there's one final surprise that could set the stage for a Superman spinoff film. 

Lex receives a message from his future self, and learns that Superman is, in fact, Clark Kent.

Beall's screenplay doesn't reveal what the villain does with that information, but there are plenty of ways that could have been addressed. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lex deduces that himself, and the pay off wasn't quite what a lot of fans out there hoped for.

Beall's film sounds like it could have been a fun ride, but how much Snyder and Terrio borrowed is currently up in the air.

h/t The Wrap

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