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Zack Snyder Explains His ‘Justice League’ Knightmare Timeline



The Director’s Cuts

What more could be said about Justice League that hasn’t been said already? Apparently, a whole lot more. Fans at this weekends ‘SnyderCon’ had the privilege of watching Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition on the big screen with Zack Snyder himself. This was all made possible for a charity event that Snyder initiated to raise funds for his Alma Mater, The ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

During the 3-day event, each screening of his Director Cuts of Dawn Of The Dead, Watchmen, & Batman v Superman were followed by a Q & A session. Showing respect to films NOT associated with the Elephant in the room, Justice League, the first two days were modest. However, fans soon displayed pluralistic ignorance when it came to the ONE question everyone watching at home had on their mind. Maybe it was the bystander effect that created such social proof NOT to ask about the Snyder Cut. Or maybe people truly don’t know how to ask for the sale? Either way, now I know how the Yankees felt when they blew that 3-0 Lead over the Redsox. But thankfully, Zack, himself, broached the subject of what could have been.

Zack Snyders Knightmare

If there was one thing I wanted to know from Batman v Superman, it was the payoff for the Knightmare scene. Beautifully shot with astonishing VFX’s made this one of the most intriguing aspects of the film. The only issue? It was left up for so much interpretation that in order to understand it, one needed to see the next iteration.

In comes Justice League and the ‘why’ of that seemingly random alternate universe. Or so we thought. Zack, understanding that he had a beginning, middle, and end to his Saga, wanted to tell a specific story. If only we had known then what we know now, it would have been the boldest storytelling ever witnessed in Comic Book Movie History. Read below to hear his thoughts:

Zack Snyders Answer

When [Batman v Superman] came out, Chris Terrio and I had finished the script for Justice League before this movie came out, right. So the [Justice League] script was done. The movie came out, and some people didn’t like the movie. A vocal minority. And so I was asked by the studio. [They said]: “Hey, you can’t…there’s a lot of stuff we don’t want you to do from THAT script.” So we did a re-write of the script.
So the original Justice League [script] that Chris and I wrote, we didn’t even shoot. And there was a lot of it that we shot, but the actual idea; the heart idea; the scary idea; we never filmed. Because the studio was like “That’s crazy.” And we were so insecure at the time, after [Batman v Superman] came out that we were just like “I guess it is we’re fucking nuts. There’s going to be mass hysteria in the streets if we film this…apparently.

What kind of crazy? Asks a fan:

It’s a long story…suffice it to look. The truth is that the Knightmare sequence in [Batman v Superman], right, was always my idea that all of that would be eventually explained, of course. Is that a surprise? And that we’d end up in the distant future where Darkseid has taken over Earth. Or where Superman has to come to be in the anti-life…and where…now..with his ragtag band…And there were a few members of the Justice League that had survived to that [Knightmare] world and that they were fighting to try and..Batman’s with Cyborg..with broken, half of Cyborg, because.. there’s only half of him because..of whatever happened [Steppenwolf ripping him apart]…They were working on the equation to jump Flash back to tell Bruce…ya know..obviously. You guys are surprised? You know this! This is what….I read it!

The Knightmare Continues

So, those were the things that we were dealing with. And not to say that, the studio still, they were still sort of into the big look. But the details of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ everyone was mad at each other? That was the stuff that they were a little bit like…because..Lois, it’s in that [Justice League] teaser that wasn’t in the movie apparently. Where – I guess – where Wonder Woman says, it’s this line where Bruce says “I was right here, and Barry Allen came to me and he said Lois Lane is the Key”, right. And then she goes “She is for Superman. Every heart has one” and then he goes “I think it’s something more, something darker.
And so, what it means is that the thing that was darker was that… it was all about, if Lois died, Superman would succumb to the anti-life of course, right. And if Superman knew that somehow it was Bruce’s responsibility to protect Lois, he would have been mad at him in [Batman v Superman], so that’s why he’s, that’s why he says “She was my world and you took her  from me”. That was sort of the, and then of course, he has to jump back.
And the other thing that we were working on was this idea that Cyborg said to Bruce, in this [Knightmare] future, like, there’s two windows. We had come up with this idea of time travelling concept where basically the way the window, the time travelling window worked, is that it’s not awesome physics that doesn’t make any sense. But, that you had to jump, you had to do a time jump when the Earth was in the relatively the same spot, right. Because if you did a time jump and the Earth wasn’t in the same position in space, you would jump into space. And you’d just be like, dead.
So, they had two windows to do the jump and Cyborg says “Which of these two windows do you think we should use?” and Bruce was like “Well, what window would you have put me through if you didn’t ask?” and [Cyborg] says “This one” and [Bruce] is like “Use the other one.” Because that one you already did and it was the wrong one. Barry Allen was in my freaking batcave yelling at me about nonsense so we need to put him through that other one because that’s the one that will…because he had to jump right before Darkseid boomtubes into the batcave to murder Lois. So that was the reason that he had to go there. It’s in the future.

Our Knightmare

As you can imagine, fans were pretty distraught after that last bit of information. With Darkseid eventually making his way to the Batcave to murder Lois, it would make sense that The Flash is willing to time jump. Superman is the strongest being on the Planet. If he were to lose his morality, he would be worse than Zod. And kudos to Zack for attempting to bridge the Superman we would come to recognize superimposed with the Injustice version of Superman. What a tremendous achievement this entire world would have been. Add that the original Justice League script wasn’t even filmed, and things become grandeur.

The Snyder Cut has a new definition. It would only be in name. His true version, his true vision, was never filmed. The compromised version was and even that version was hacked to bits. Even though he filmed 100% of principal photography, he never truly filmed his movie. If that versions runtime was 214 Minutes, confirmed by Zack himself, what runtime would his original script have been? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: Warner Bros. royally botched their biggest IP because of a vocal minority. Let’s just hope they learned their lesson.

Watch the full Q & A here!


Father // Senior Editor // Co-Host for The Reel in Motion Podcast @TheReelinMotion // Male Feminist // Unapologetic Snyder Enthusiast // Xbox X