Zack Snyder Sees His Justice League Cut as an Alternate Branch of DC's Movieverse

A returned Kal-El embraces his family.
A returned Kal-El embraces his family.
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

And it’s a branch that, as far as Snyder’s concerned, he’s too busy to explore right now.

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The trajectory of the post-Justice League DC movie slate at Warner Bros. has been a fascinating thing to watch unfold—a sharp, arguably very smart, break away from building up a deeply-interconnected universe stories to instead focus on individual characters, alternate takes, and now even alternate layers to a singular multiverse of characters. The freedom there is now in the idea of potential, that these characters may one day team up and bounce off of each other—that radically different takes and iterations of these classic characters can co-exist and tell their own stories—rather than that being the specific draw as it was when Snyder’s own Man of Steel gave way to Batman v Superman and eventually Justice League.

Or was, at least meant to, in the alternate life where it isn’t 2021 and we’re talking about Snyder finally getting the chance to release the Justice League movie he wanted to, if tragic, personal circumstances in his life hadn’t intervened. But that is indeed the slice of the multiverse we find ourselves in—and for the most part now that he’s on the precipice of actually getting to release his own version of Justice League, Snyder is at peace with that.

“Look, I never thought I’d be here doing this. I didn’t think I’d be finishing Justice League…the truth is, and it’s been widely reported, and I have no issue, this is an old movie,” Snyder recently reflected in an interview with ComicBook Debate. “This is a years-old movie I’m working on. The DC universe has gone and branched off and done its own thing, and that’s fine.”

Although the release of the fabled ‘Snyder Cut’ has emboldened some fans to push for Snyder and WB to continue building off what would’ve once been their grand plans for the DC Cinematic Universe rooted in what Justice League planned to set up, for now Snyder is content with the idea that he doesn’t have to or really need to continue playing in that space for now. “As far as what I did and as far as what my vision for what I wanted to do with these characters and the journey I wanted them to go on, it’s well known that I planned on more movies—five movies or something—but I’m busy. I’ve got a lot going on,” Snyder continued. “Is it cool that the fans have so much faith in the trajectory? Yes, it’s amazing, and I couldn’t be happier and I’m excited for them to see Justice League so they can really drink the entire elixir of Justice League.”

Although the release circumstances are probably far from the ideal of what what Snyder or Warner Bros would’ve originally envisioned for this version of Justice League—as was the years of harassment that came with the wider push to see Snyder’s Justice League actually get completed—the cinematic landscape it’s releasing in is probably better suited. As DC embraces the comic book multiverse as a concept to do wild things like smash Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s Batmen together in a Flash movie, or put out such tonally disparate movies like Joker and Birds of Prey alongside each other—stories that draw on similar character pools without having to actually be connected to each other. In such a world, the ‘Snyder Cut’ is free to be what it really is: an alternate take on what might have been, another layer of a universe that can stand on its own.

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One that doesn’t really need to be explored further...for now at least. Snyder himself might be fine accepting that Justice League isn’t the future of DC’s movie plans now, but he’s not quite ready to draw the line at ever trying to explore it again. “Would I continue? I have no plan to,” the director concluded. “But like I said, I didn’t think I’d be here, so who knows?”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is set to stream on HBO Max sometime this year.

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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

DISCUSSION

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Snyder is what happens when that 13 year old edgelord in class never grows up and somehow fails upward in life.

In case you’re having trouble seeing what’s going on in the image, those are the severed heads of her enemies Wonder Woman is holding. You know, for fun.