It was always going to be impossible for Justice League to live up to the years of hype, so we probably should have expected the inevitable mixed reception to the movie upon its release earlier this month. It didn’t help, though, that – as some fans are putting it – Warner Bros. sabotaged their own film by removing a ton of footage from the finished product.
You no doubt know by now all about how Joss Whedon helmed the reshoots for Justice League, changing much of the tone and structure of Zack Snyder’s initial vision in the process. While some appreciated the film’s breakneck pace and love of yucks, many others are holding out for an extended cut to be released at some point, so they can see what the blockbuster looked like before it was altered by Whedon and the studio. In fact, a petition on the subject has been started and has since earned over 100,000 signatures.
To misquote Bruce Wayne, the world needs a Justice League Director’s Cut. And, if we’re to get one, these are just some of the deleted scenes that we need to see in it. As always, if you feel that we’ve missed anything, be sure let us know in the comments section below.
“I’ll Take That As A Yes”
Fans had been waiting forever to get a glimpse of Superman in Justice League‘s marketing, and it wasn’t until the final trailer released in October that Henry Cavill made his big appearance. Cleverly, the reveal of the Man of Steel in costume was kept for the movie itself, as we instead got a moment with Clark Kent and Lois Lane. As Amy Adams’ Lois leaves the Kent farm to find Clark standing in the field, he tells her “I’ll take that as a yes.” He explains that he’s talking about the engagement ring she wears on her finger, given to her by Martha after Clark died.
It was assumed that this was a dream sequence, but the film made it clear that this scene comes after Clark’s resurrection. The only thing is that this sequence is nowhere to be seen in the theatrical cut. From the lack of CGI on Cavill’s top lip, it’s clear that this was the work of Zack Snyder, with Whedon replacing the dialogue with his own during reshoots. In his version of the scene, there’s some comedic chitchat about Clark describing coming back from the dead as “itchy.”
In a Director’s Cut, we’d really love to see the original version reinstated. It’s a much more poignant and all-round memorable moment, for one thing, and also addresses where Clark and Lois’ relationship stands. In the theatrical cut, no reference is made to the couple’s engagement.
Flash Saves Iris
Barry Allen’s powers were teased a lot in Justice League‘s marketing, and one of the more intriguing moments we couldn’t wait to see was the scene where he breaks through a window in slow-motion, with the shattered glass appearing like water making for a great visual. Unfortunately, this was left on the cutting room floor.
However, a silent copy of the scene has since leaked online, revealing that Flash was breaking through the window to save a woman from a car crash. In fact, this was set to be Kiersey Clemons’ debut as Iris West, meaning it was a hugely important moment for Barry, as it saw him meet his future wife.
From what we’ve gathered, it’s likely that this scene was removed due to Clemons’ future as Iris in the DCEU being called into question. She was hired by Rick Famuyiwa, after all, who has since dropped out of Flashpoint. Word has it that WB were initially going to digitally replace Clemons with a random bystander, but these plans have been scrapped due to the leak of the original scene.
Considering the lean runtime, Justice League does the best it can with showcasing each of the League in an equal fashion. However, arguably the one who’s short changed the most is Cyborg. Ray Fisher’s techno-whizz doesn’t get to show as much personality as the rest of the gang and he mostly fills the role of a plot device, thanks to his powers being tied in with the Mother Boxes.
In the original cut, though, there was a lot more for Victor Stone to do. One important scene formed a flashback to his fateful car crash, and it turns out that he was arguing with his father when he lost control of the vehicle. This would have been a nice detail to include, as it further explains why Silas Stone was so willing to do anything it took to bring his son back to life.
Some more deleted snippets that have leaked online also show that we would have seen more exploration of Cyborg’s abilities to rifle through his own memories, which is only hinted at in the finished film. In one clip, he projects a hologram of a location and an avatar of himself appears inside – like a 3D version of Google Maps.
Aquaman And Vulko
If you aren’t a hardcore DC nut, you’d be forgiven for being left completely lost during Arthur Curry’s trip to Atlantis in Justice League. The sequence does a very quickfire job of telling you everything you need to know about Aquaman’s origins, but it sounds like this would have been more elegantly explored in the original cut. For one, we would have seen the introduction of Willem Dafoe’s Aquaman character, Vulko, an Atlantean scientist.
According to Jason Momoa, Vulko would have acted as Arthur’s anchor to Atlantis, which he feels ostracized from due to his mother, Queen Atlanna, abandoning him as a child. These scenes would have made clear that his insecurities about where he comes from have caused his attitude problems.
“Vulko’s his connection to Atlantis. I think what Zack [Snyder] and I did, we were kind of trying to establish that he was taken down there as a boy, and he was an outcast, he was a half-breed, and he was built up as a young boy, because he was fed all these ideas by Vulko — that he was the rightful king. And he gets down there, and he’s a half breed, he’s impure, and I’m just made to feel like I’m this disease. So after that, I was like, ‘fuck you, fuck you, I’m on my own.’”
As interesting as these scenes would have been, the silver lining here is that we’re guaranteed to get more between these characters in the very next DC movie, Aquaman, which is coming next December.
Did Superman’s return to full health after his resurrection strike you as being over bizarrely quickly? Yeah, us too. Given the constraints of the runtime, it felt like a big opportunity to explore the newly-reborn Clark’s confused mental state was wasted. Well, in Zack Snyder’s cut, that was allegedly not the case.
One source has it that Superman is still muddled when he returns to Smallville with Lois, even almost attacking the curious townsfolk with his laser vision. With his powers going haywire, it actually takes Martha Kent to calm him down – reciting her speech from Man of Steel about imagining the world as an island. Clark then has a vision of Jonathan Kent (apparently Kevin Costner was back, as well) in the field. He tells his son to “embrace who you really are.” This finally does the job and Superman is truly back.
This sounds like a very satisfying sequence, particularly for longtime DCEU fans as it calls back to Man of Steel – not least in featuring another Costner cameo. Maybe it’s not completely necessary, but it would have added more texture to Superman’s rather rushed return in the theatrical cut.
“Let’s Hope You’re Not Too Late”
The end of the SDCC 2017 trailer for Justice League produced one of the most-discussed moments of the movie’s marketing campaign. The clip showed Jeremy Irons’ Alfred being disturbed in the Batcave by an unseen individual (who’s powerful enough to shake the surroundings when they arrive). Alfred, clearly taken aback to see them, comments: “They said you’d come. Let’s hope you’re not too late.”
The scene sparked numerous theories about who this extra player could be – the main two contenders were Green Lantern and Superman. When fans went into the movie looking to find out the answer, though, the scene was not included. Comments from an insider on the production have revealed that it had already been cut from the film before it was featured in the trailer, but it still begs the question: Who was Alfred talking to?
We’re guessing it was Supes. Presumably after he leaves Lois at the Kent farm, Clark goes to Alfred to find out where the League are, and he directs the Man of Steel to the big fight in Russia.
Much is being made of Steppenwolf’s general ineptitude as a villain. Due to all the heavy-lifting Justice League had to do with its six leads, the alien invader was left with little-to-no characterization beyond his aim to take over the world. In the original cut, however, his backstory was fleshed out somewhat, giving him much clearer motivations for his actions.
According to blogger Haroon Shareef, who claims to have insider info, the Mother Boxes actually contain the essence of his mother Heggra. Hence why he frequently refers to them as “Mother” within the film. What’s more, the Unity – aligning the Boxes – would unleash Heggra and her enormous powers. With his mother on his side, Steppenwolf secretly hoped to usurp Darkseid as ruler of Apokolips.
We’re not totally sure this is genuine, but it does seem to fit with what’s left of Steppenwolf’s character in the film. It’s a real shame that it’s cut out, as it would have both put some form of meat on the villain’s bones as well as teasing the wider New Gods mythology.
Speaking of which…
Darkseid Is Coming
Considering he’s the biggest, baddest evil in the DC universe and the movie featured appearances from his underlings, it’s disappointing for fans that Justice League didn’t have any sort of role for Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips (which wasn’t even named in the film). All we got was a quick namecheck at one point (“For the Unity! For Darkseid!”).
According to several sources, though, Darkseid had some kind of presence in the original cut. Haroon Shareef claims that he would have briefly appeared during the climactic fight with Steppenwolf. Allegedly, the general would have tried to coax Superman onto his side. It’s unclear how this would have happened, but at this point, Supes was to have had a vision, a sort of reprise of Bruce’s Knightmare scene from Batman V Superman showing Darkseid ruling the Earth.
Shareef further claims that the film originally followed Steppenwolf back to Apokolips. Darkseid would have properly appeared this time to kill the general for his failure. He would then have remarked that he wished to go to Earth himself to “meet this Kryptonian.”
Again, we have no way of knowing at present if we can trust this info, but – if they do exist – we would kill to see these scenes in an extended cut.
Green Lanterns Arrive
After all those rumours, it turns out that no, Hal Jordan and John Stewart didn’t turn up in Justice League. Instead, what we got was a couple of nondescript Green Lanterns in the flashback to Steppenwolf’s prior attempt to invade the Earth. Their inclusion is a neat way of setting up the (potentially) upcoming Green Lanterns Corps, but there could have been a much more meatier role for the GLs if this original post-credits sequence had remained.
According to a source on the production, the first post-credits sequence was much different in Snyder’s cut. In place of the Flash/Superman race, the scene involved Bruce Wayne investigating a disturbance. It turned out to be two alien Green Lanterns – namely, Tomar-Re and Kilowog – and while we don’t know anymore about what would have happened, we can imagine that it would have teased the arrival of a human Green Lantern.
While the race sequence directed by Whedon was very fun and loveable, it’s a lot more disposable than this original Green Lantern-based teaser. It’s possible that the scene was ditched before any CGI was added to it, but assuming that it’s even in good enough shape to be released, let’s hope it surfaces on the fabled Justice League Director’s Cut.