Everyone wants to know about Justice League 2. Who can blame them? Zack Snyder's Justice League left a legion of DC fans spellbound and expectant. The Snyder Cut nakedly sets up a sequel - but it's one that may never see the light of day.
Yet, here's always hope. That's what the 'S' on Superman's chest stands for, after all. The director has spoken at length about the likelihood of Justice League 2 (and Justice League 3). On the off-chance we don't get to see a sequel, Snyder has outlined the major story beats for his Justice League trilogy. It's not quite as good as seeing it on the big screen but, for now, it'll have to do.
The bell has been unrung. Here's everything you need to know about Justice League 2, the sequel to the Snyder Cut.
Justice League 2: is it happening?
If you can believe it, Justice League 2 was as good as official at one point in time. The sequel was penciled in by Warner Bros. for release on June 14, 2019. That, of course, never came to pass. Justice League 2 was quietly scrubbed from the schedules after the release of 2017’s Justice League (partly directed by Joss Whedon after Snyder left the project following a personal tragedy) and fans' attention instead turned towards getting Snyder’s original vision for Justice League released.
Unfortunately, it sounds like Justice League 2 is going the way of the DC dodo. That’s due in part to Snyder revealing so much of the story (more on that below) – a sign that the director possibly feels it’s never going to be made. Even as recently as February 2021, Snyder has talked about the studio not being on board with the idea of releasing a sequel.
Speaking to the I Minutemen Podcast (opens in new tab), he said: "As far as I know, there's no interest and/or appetite to do more of these movies from Warner Bros. – with me, anyway." That, coupled with a New York Times (opens in new tab) report suggesting sources close to Warner Bros. believe Snyder’s Justice League is a "storytelling cul-de-sac" paint a bleak picture.
Snyder doubled down on his disappearing hopes for the film in an interview with sister publication Total Film. Describing 2021’s Snyder Cut as a "primer for another two [Justice League] movies," Snyder said: "Not that those movies are ever going to get photographed, I don't see that happening."
Sad times. Snyder fans will know, though, that you can never say never when it comes to reviving projects. Zack Snyder’s Justice League – perhaps deliberately – leaves things incredibly open-ended, both teasing a sequel as well as further expanding the League’s roster.
Justice League 2 story: the plot for the DC sequel
So, let’s say Justice League 2 doesn’t happen. As of writing, there are no plans, Snyder sounds unconvinced, and neither Warner Bros. nor HBO Max have released statements on its vision for the so-called ‘Snyder-verse’. Still, we have a sizeable amount of story beats to imagine what could have been.
Speaking to the New York Times (opens in new tab), Snyder broadly outlined the sequel’s downbeat premise: "It’s the fall of Earth, when Superman succumbs to [the Anti-Life Equation]. And then sending Flash back in time to change one element so that doesn’t happen.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair (opens in new tab), Snyder elaborated that, when Darkseid comes to Earth after the events of the first Justice League, Lex Luthor would team up with the villain. Meanwhile, Superman would task Batman with protecting Lois Lane while he battles with Darkseid.
“Lex tells Darkseid that the key to Superman’s weaknesses is killing Lois Lane,” Snyder said. “For whatever reason, Batman fails. Darkseid comes back and kills Lois. Batman fails, he hesitates. They were in an argument.” Basically, Batman got distracted and failed to protect Lois.
Why were they arguing? In Snyder's original vision, Batman falls in love with Lois – though this idea was nixed by Warner Bros. Even without the romantic subplot, Lois was bound to die, and Batman is riddled with guilt over her death. Meanwhile, the broken-hearted Superman succumbs to the Anti-Life Equation – the mythical power that grants the user full control over anything it touches.
That's where the so-called Knightmare scene, seen at the end of the Snyder Cut, comes in. During the epilogue, Batman teams up with Cyborg, Flash, Mera, Deathstroke, and Joker on a Darkseid-conquered Earth, with evil Superman popping up at the end to take on his former super-friends. Presumably, the Knightmare scene, along with Batman’s similar visions of being captured in Batman vs Superman, would have formed part of the sequels.
In an interview with Esquire (opens in new tab), Snyder said "the movie was basically going to be about a ragtag group of Justice League members pulling off a crazy mission to steal a Mother Box from this half destroyed cathedral in Gotham and get it back to the Batcave in order to use it to power the cosmic treadmill to jump Flash back in time."
Justice League 2 would then end at that point, in an Infinity War-style downer. However, there is hope. "What happens in the post-apocalyptic world is, Cyborg works on an equation to use a Mother Box to jump Flash back in time to warn Bruce about this moment, where he didn’t have the courage to sacrifice himself to save Lois,” Snyder said of Justice League 3.
From there, Flash meets Bruce back in time – which we saw in Batman v Superman, though at that moment he overshot the mark – and Batman realizes that he must sacrifice himself to save Lois from Darkseid.
As a result, everything changes. "Superman doesn’t succumb to the Anti-Life Equation," Snyder said. "Then the final movie has Aquaman leading the forces of Atlantis, Diana leading forces of Themyscira, and Superman and Flash leading the forces of [humans] against Darkseid in a giant war."
Talking further with the New York Times, Snyder added: "And then the big battle where we beat [Darkseid]. When Darkseid comes to Earth, in the movie that you’ll never see, the armies of Earth all unite again, as they did before. This time there would be aircraft carriers and Special Forces guys, all the armies of the world would come together, as well as Atlanteans rising out of the ocean and the Themyscirans coming off their island. That was our big finale. But it’s a long drum roll and guitar solo to get there."
Snyder has also teased that the New Gods, the warriors of Apokolips, would also be present in a sequel. He namechecked Big Barda in an interview with Wonder Meg (opens in new tab) and said Darkseid would be "rolling" with the New Gods. The third movie in a potential Justice League trilogy would be a "New Gods invasion movie" in a lot of ways.
Kevin Smith also hinted back in 2019 that the trilogy would have touched upon a larger battle on Darkseid’s homeworld of Apokolips alongside the Green Lantern Corps, with the fight eventually brought back to Earth.
Snyder also told Vanity Fair that, following Batman's death, Superman and Lois would have a child and name him Bruce. Bruce Kent would go on to take up the Batman name. "Twenty years later, on the anniversary of [Batman’s] death, they take young Bruce Kent down to the Batcave and they say, ‘Your Uncle Bruce would’ve been proud if you did this," Snyder said. “Anyway... something like that.”
While Justice League 2 and Justice League 3 may never come to pass, we now have a good idea of what would have happened. But, who knows, a #SnyderCut2 hashtag might just turn this Mother Box of ideas and supposition into a fully-fledged sequel involving Darkseid, evil Superman, and the return of Jared Leto’s Joker.
For now, we finally have the first Snyder Cut, and, hopefully, that's enough. For more on Zack Snyder's Justice League, be sure to read our pieces on:
- The biggest differences between Zack Snyder's Justice League and Joss Whedon's
- What would have happened in Zack Snyder's Justice League post-credits?
- Zack Snyder's Justice League ending explained
- Zack Snyder's Justice League Easter eggs explained
- Watch Snyder Cut – get the best deals on the film
- The best HBO Max prices