In a 5,000 word article detailing the complex tale of the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, one sentence sent fans into a mild frenzy: “He has reshot the ending with a hero cameo that will blow hard-core fans’ minds.”
That quote comes from Vanity Fair’s recent, comprehensive article on the film and movement, which will culminate in the March 18 release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a four-hour completion of a project Snyder left in 2017 and has since returned to, after a groundswell of encouragement from the fans. But that’s another story.
This story is about that teased cameo. The line was picked up on blogs across the internet and speculation ran rampant as to which DC Comics character it might be—many were leaning towards one of the Green Lanterns. The theorizing got so big, in fact, one potential candidate, Ryan Reynolds, addressed it on Twitter.
Well, io9 spoke to a source with knowledge of the film and we know who the cameo actually is. It’s cool, yes, but you may want to lower your expectations just a smidge.
According to our source, the cameo is none other than DC’s J’onn J’onzz, otherwise known as Martian Manhunter.
Now, fans might be thinking “Wait, it can’t be him. We already knew Martian Manhunter was in the movie. The actor himself confirmed it.” That’s true. You may recall actor Harry Lennix played General Swanwick in 2013's Man of Steel and 2016's Batman v Superman. Snyder had intended that character to turn into the shapeshifting green hero eventually. He’s also worked with Justice League director Joss Whedon on Dollhouse.
In recent weeks, Lennix even talked to Variety to reveal that he filmed motion capture for Snyder’s Justice League. “[I got a call from Zack that said] “Hey, when can you come in and shoot?” So that was great,” Lennix told the trade. “I found out that it was a possibility, or at least that Martian Manhunter was going to be in it, when he revealed through the storyboard that Martha Kent is coming by visiting Lois, and then after she leaves, she reveals herself to be, in fact, Calvin Swanwick, or the Martian Manhunter. That’s how I knew about it.”
The actor is referring to storyboards Snyder revealed back in October 2019 of the scene in with Martian Manhunter reveals himself. Snyder had previously shot half of the scene but just needed the Lennix part. It seems possible that’s the scene in question here. So if all of this was already out there in the universe, why was it referred to as something that “will blow hard-core fans’ minds?” As far as we can tell, Vanity Fair was just being spoiler averse for a readership that isn’t up on all the latest superhero news. But we can confirm the reference is in regards to Martian Manhunter’s appearance.
To be fair, not everyone reads Variety. Not everyone saw Zack Snyder’s Vero two years ago. A fair amount of people won’t know it’s coming and those people will certainly be surprised (which is why we put this reveal behind a spoiler bar today). It’s not Ryan Reynolds type of mind-blowing of course, the newly cast Supergirl, or any number of other fun, multiverse recasting predictions that have dominated social media in the last 24 hours. But, it’s pretty cool nonetheless. Another instance of Snyder finally getting to complete a vision he’s planned for years.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League hits HBO Max March 18.
Correction 2/23/2021, 1:35 p.m. ET: The original version of this post misstated that the film would be in black and white. Snyder’s original rough cut was in black and white but the final version will not be. Also, Lennix worked with Whedon on Dollhouse and not Justice League. We regret the errors and have corrected them.
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