Snyder Cut explained: the cameos of the epilogue of the Justice League and the hanging threads of action

Batman plays the lead role in the final scenes.

Warner Bros.

Zack Snyder is the much-anticipated cut of the Justice League landed on HBO max Thursday, brings original directorial vision for DC heroes streaming service. Film – available in black and white snider hardcore – comes more than three years after Joss Whedon’s 2017 theatrical cut disappointed fans and challenged a a massive, intense fan campaign demanding the release of Snyder Cut.

It’s also four hours long, so it’s better to sit comfortably with lots of snacks before diving into Batman and the company’s epic adventure. I can save you a little time by telling you that there are no middle or post-credit scenes like we conditioned to expect in superhero movies. Instead, the last 20 minutes or so act as an epilogue.

Let’s look at what happens at the end of the film and consider what it might mean for the future of DC expanded space. Be warned, full SPOILERS lurk forward like a creepy clown.

Ah-ha-ha-ha.

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Scene 1: Deja vu on a beautiful Lex yacht

This scene might look familiar if you’ve seen a theatrical cut. After stopping Steppenwolf from bringing Darkseid and the armies of the planet Apokolips to Earth, our heroes return to their lives and mostly get happy endings. However, a guard at Arkham Asylum reveals that some bald guy has taken the place of Lex Luthor (who was arrested in the end Batman v Superman), giving the super villain a chance to escape.

Lex (Jesse Eisenberg) is found on a yacht, where he is joined by Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello). The mercenary resents Batman – Bat seems to be responsible for Deathstroke losing an eye – and Lex reveals that Caped Crusader’s real name is Bruce Wayne so Deathstroke can kill the hero.

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The vile Lex Luthor hangs out on the ship.

Warner Bros. / screenshot Sean Keane / CNET

What it means?

This one is pretty simple: The battle of Batman and Deathstroke will soon become more personal. Alfred better watch out. Lex also says he has to do “more important things” – possibly related to the fact that he knows Darkseid is coming. What a scam.

The scene is also connected to the canceled solo film about Batman by Ben Affleck, which would present Deathstroke as the main villain. It’s a little weird to get a reference to a canceled project (which has since been replaced Robert Pattinson film), but this thread of action could be picked up somewhere down the line.

A shorter, worse version of this scene played out during the merits of Wedon’s theatrical version – Lex suggests that he and Deathstroke form “their own league” to oppose the Justice League. The new one sends Deathstroke on a more focused path of killing Batman, instead of just forcing him to join a team of bad guys (or run an all-female baseball team).

Still, there’s still no explanation for Lex suddenly dressing up as Gene Hackman’s version of the character.

Scene 2: Journey to the Post-Apocalypse

The last scene jumps into a dark, unhappy future (which is Snyder previously teased in the BvS) in which Darkseid’s forces destroyed the Earth. However, there is still hope – Batman, Cyborg, the Atlantic Measure, the mohawked Deathstroke (he and Bats seem to have buried the ax) and Flash have created a resistance group.

And there’s another person: the Joker (Jared Leto), who laughed superbly creepy and sounds like a creaking door. There is a ball of tension between him and the Dark Knight, while he mocks Bats for the loved ones he has lost – his parents and his “adopted son”. When Batman warns the Joker to be careful, the clown adds a slightly more dramatic spice.

“I need you to help you undo this world you created by letting it die,” he says. “Poor Lois, how she suffered so much.”

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Ha.

Warner Bros.

The Joker also wonders about the number of alternative deadlines in which Batman has allowed the world to be destroyed because he lacks the “cojons” to die alone. The clown gives Batman the Joker a playing card that marks a truce between them. If the Bats want to renew the beef, they just need to tear the map.

Batman opposes revealing that Harley Quinn (the Joker’s girlfriend sometimes) died in his arms, but he begged Batman to slowly kill the Joker when he killed him. Batman also drops the F-bomb here, because this post-apocalyptic scene about death and revenge was supposed to be extremely solid.

Their plans, threats, and curses seem to have been thwarted by the arrival of Superman (again in his red-and-blue costume), whose eyes glow ominously red as he prepares to turn on the laser. I hope someone has a piece of kryptonite on hand (none).

Bruce wakes up from this obvious nightmare in his sweet background on the lake in the present, pre-apocalyptic world and finds a Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix) outside. The alien hero warns Bruce that Darkseid will return in search of the Equation Against Life, and pretty much offers to join the Justice League.

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Let’s see the world after Darkseid and he doesn’t like being a fun place.

Warner Bros.

What it means?

A lot can be unpacked here, but it seems to look like a setting for some great sequels (I love seeing the reality in which the villains have won). The Joker scene was just new recording for Snyder Cut – everything else there were recordings.

“After realizing there would be no more DC movies about Zack Snyder, I’m most sorry there wasn’t a scene of a Batman / Joker conflict,” the director said in production notes. “They both went through a series of movies and never met. It didn’t make sense to me. Well, I thought maybe I could fix that.”

The dark scene of the future implies that Darkseid returned to Earth in the hunt for the Equation Against Life, a mathematical formula that would allow him to dominate his entire life, and took power. You may remember the allusion to that about an hour and 40 minutes earlier in the film, when a Krypton ship warned Cyborg not to activate the Mother Box.

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Cyborg gave us a glimpse of how the dark future came about.

Warner Bros.

At that moment, we were given an insight into the reality in which a dead Wonder Woman was burned at the funeral pyre, Aquaman was impaled by Darkseid, and Superman rocked a charred corpse, and Darkseid hovered over him.

We get confirmation that Lois Lane was a corpse, and with her death, Superman was left emotionally devastated enough that the big villain dominates his will. It seems that Lois was also killed by moving the laser eye of Darkseid’s Omega Beam, which is why Supes joined him – he should hit Darkseid in the sun badly. We also don’t know what role Batman played in Loisa’s death.

The situation is made worse by the fact that Lois is pregnant – we see a positive test on her nightstand during the movie. The situation is quite similar to the situation seen in the Injustice games, in which Superman becomes a ruthless dictator after the Joker tricks him into killing the pregnant Lois and blowing up Metropolis.

This epilogue also refers to two moments in BvS: the Flash warning, where the future Flash uses his powers to go back in time and warns Bruce to fear Superman and the sequence of “Knightmare,” in which Bruce dreams of a dark future in which Superman went bad. The events seen in Knightmare probably happen after the JL scene, since Batman is alone, is captured and eventually killed by Superman.

It’s not clear why Superman is wearing his red-and-blue suit again in the black future – surely the more whimsical black clothes he wore after the resurrection would have been a better option? In the comics, Superman wore a black suit specifically designed to help him absorb more sunlight after coming back from death. If that’s the case in movies, it didn’t take him until dark future events. It also acts as a visual differential between Snyder Cut and the theatrical version of Justice League.

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Back in black.

Warner Bros.

Snyder is in the years since the theatrical version has filled fans with disappointment confirmed some details about the plot around the future of Knightmare. Flash used the Cosmic Treadmill – a time machine it activates with its powers – to travel back in an effort to prevent a dark future. When he sees BvS Bruce, he realizes that he has returned too far in the timeline (since Bruce did not meet Flash at the time).

The scene at the end of the Justice League is probably taking place before Flash returns, and the team is probably preparing for his time travel. Flash also seems to be wearing armor from the Justice League epilogue when he warns BvS Bruce.

Snyder told Vanity Fair that his original plan was to reverse the timeline of the dark future, but Batman would die. The cloak would be taken over by Bruce Kent, the helpless son of Lois and Clark.

It’s unclear why the Joker is necessary to undo this fucking future or how Harley died, but it’s entirely likely that this version of Batman would end the clown as soon as possible – at any point in the timeline he has no major killing problems.

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It will save each of us.

Warner Bros.

The rare “adopted son” alludes to Robin’s death from the Joker’s hand. You may remember seeing a graffiti Robin costume on the BvS – this was supposed to be a version of Dick Grayson’s character. In comics, the Joker killed Jason Todd (another Robin).

Because they exist no plans for more Snyder-led DC movies it is possible that this action will never continue or will be played in a Flash movie next year. He’ll see Affleck as Batman again, together with Michael Keaton’s Batman returns to a version of the character from the series Tim Burton and Pattinson who plays a brand new in Matt Batwn The Batman. We could also see Mars Manhunter appearing in Flash.

Now my brain is sleepy; too much time travel and alternative realities. Wake me up when Flash is gone.

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