Zack Snyder had hugely ambitious plans for his time at the helm of the DCEU before it was cut short, but he’s finally set to get some closure when his intended version of Justice League comes to HBO Max in less than a week.
The filmmaker has already revealed he had a five-movie arc in mind, albeit one that unsurprisingly didn’t appear to involve a Man of Steel sequel, with Justice League Parts 1 and 2 debuting on either side of Ben Affleck’s The Batman, which would all be paid off in the end by a third ensemble epic that Snyder hoped would ultimately rival Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy in terms of fantastical scope, scale and spectacle.
The director is clearly much more interested in Batman than he is Superman, but until he recruited Jared Leto for Justice League reshoots, he never got the chance to get his hands on anyone from the Dark Knight’s illustrious rogues’ gallery. However, in a new interview, he explained how he could have tied the Riddler into his established DCEU mythology, revealing that at one stage Edward Nygma was under consideration to be the antagonist of Affleck’s solo outing.
“At that point, Ben was considering it, but I don’t think he’d committed to directing it yet. It was that early. I liked the use of Riddler by Lex to figure out the Anti-Life Equation, I thought that as a concept was really cool that we would employ him to understand it. It’s a big equation, it’s a mystery, and he’s the one that could decipher it, and he does, but you’ll have to read the thing to find out. I thought it was pretty cool. He’s like a tool. And he was doing it for Lex. The fact that Batman’s journey at that part of the movie is to try and find out what Lex is up to. So he would have tracked him to this place where he was working it out. It’s just like a movie moment where he’s following the traces of the mystery to find him.”
We might not have seen the Riddler in Snyder’s DCEU, but he’s set to make a major impact in Matt Reeves’ version of The Batman, with the trailer hinting that Paul Dano’s take on the character could be the big bad, although there’ve also been conflicting theories that he might even be an antihero. It would have been interesting to see Zack Snyder tackle some of the Caped Crusader’s marquee villains, but we’ll have to make do with a brief cameo from the Joker in Justice League instead.