New concept art from Zack Snyder’s Justice League confirms the director’s original version continued the Knightmare plot and introduced the DC supervillain Darkseid. Justice League is now available for digital download in North America, including a number of deleted scenes, but it seems like the limited selection of cut content has left a lot of Snyder’s original version shrouded in mystery. After Justice League was released and fans realized that Joss Whedon and Warner Bros. executives made drastic creative changes to Snyder’s original movie, the call for the release of the “Snyder Cut” has only grown louder.
There has been much debate as to whether or not any sort of “Snyder Cut” actually exists, with many claiming it was never more than an assembly cut, with some estimates saying it would take millions of dollars to complete. But thanks to a number of social media posts from Zack Snyder himself, we were able to corroborate previous reports that a relevant version of the cut exists with significant VFX work done.
Now, Screen Rant has acquired a previously unseen storyboard from Zack Snyder’s cut of the movie featuring Darkseid and an apocalyptic Earth future as previously seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s Knightmare sequence. The art clearly matches Snyder’s style from previously released storyboards such as the burying of the Earth Motherbox, the deleted portion of the Kent Farm scene, and the Deathstroke and Lex Luthor scene. Screen Rant has also confirmed that this storyboard is, in fact, from Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League.
Without full context it’s hard to know exactly how significant each of the things shown in this art would have been to Justice League, but considering Bruce’s Knightmare and the warning from Flash seemed to be a pretty big set-up for Justice League in Batman v Superman and ultimately saw no payoff, this confirmation is likely to excite a number of fans.
One of the chief complaints about the movie was the undercooked villain in Steppenwolf, and since he’s from Darkseid’s world of Apokolips, the fact that this ties directly into that plot suggests it also may have contained significant relevance to Steppenwolf as well.
The other cool thing that immediately jumps out is the buried archway from what appears to be the Hall of Justice. We’ve already seen the Knightmare Batman and Flash, but with confirmation that the entire League had formed in this version of reality, could we have seen even more cameos or references in this scene like with the Flash’s Speed Force cameo in Batman v Superman?
Snyder is known for personally storyboarding every scene he intends to shoot during pre-production, and he completed 100% of principal photography, so there’s no reason to assume this scene wasn’t a part of his cut, but it would obviously be heavily CGI dependent, so there’s no knowing just how much of it was completed.
With news surfacing the past few days that Zack Snyder was actually fired from Justice League, it’s become clear that his original product was far more in line with Batman v Superman than Warner Bros. wanted, and this scene and many others with clear ties to the previous divisive movie were scrubbed from Justice League. While the impulse to “de-Snyder” the movie is partially understandable from a business perspective after the vitriolic response to previous entries in the franchise, the final product ultimately alienated fans and failed to win over critics, landing a franchise low box office haul, leaving concept art like this as an example to fans of what might have been.