If you’re reading this you’ve either watched the Snyder Cut, skipped to the end of the Snyder Cut, or have no intention of watching the Snyder Cut and you’re just really curious as to how it ended, even though you’re never going to watch it. That’s all fine because we’re here to briefly guide you through the most obvious question any normal person might have: Now that there is a new version of the 2017 movie Justice League, does that mean there’s now suddenly going to be a Justice League 2?
Here’s (again, briefly) what happens at the end of the brand-new Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and why it seemingly ends on a huge cliffhanger. Spoilers ahead for Zack Synder’s Justice League which is streaming now on HBO Max.
Snyder Cut Ending, Explained
Okay, so although the “Epilogue” of Justice League (that’s Part 7, it’s divided into parts on HBO Max) has three different scenes, the one you’re probably really confused about is the Jared Leto stuff. Yeah. It’s weird and confusing. Here’s what it means. Way back in 2016, in Batman Vs Superman, Batman had a “Knightmare” in which he saw a creepy future in which Superman ruled the world as some kind of evil overlord. Now, in the Snyder Cut, this is heavily implied to be something that will happen at some point in the future and not just a dream. (Even though Bruce Wayne wakes up from a dream when the sequence is over. Yeah, the movie has it both ways.) Anyway, in Snyder’s original plan for Justice League sequels, he wanted Superman to get turned into Darkseid’s toady, which is what we’re seeing in the outlandish and seemingly nonsensical “Epilogue” sequence. In this possible future, half of the Justice League is dead, and Superman has turned evil.
Why is Jared Leto’s Joker there? Well, in the DCEU (an unofficial umbrella term for the shared continuity of movies that began with Man of Steel in 2013) Jared Leto’s Joker is technically the incumbent Joker. Even though he only appeared in 2016’s Suicide Squad, that movie did, in theory, directly set-up all versions of Justice League in the post-credits scene. (That’s when Bruce Wayne is slipped a secret dossier with info about the Flash and Aquaman, as well as the Suicide Squad.) In 2020’s Birds of Prey, Let’s Joker is mentioned, but, notably, absent.
So, sure, Leto was only the Joker in the critically panned Suicide Squad, and but his green wig looms large in the DCEU “canon.” And so, if Batman has a nightmare (or future vision) and it includes the Joker, then Batman has to dream about Jared Leto. It’s canon! (Imagine being forced to dream about Jared Leto’s Joker.)
Will there be a sequel to the Snyder Cut?
Short answer: Probably not. When asked directly by Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times as to why his newly restored version of Justice League ends on a “cliffhanger, testing another movie that’s never going to come,” Zack Snyder said, “The ask was for my version of the movie.”
Snyder then told Itzkoff that his sequels would have featured “the fall of Earth,” and a period where “Superman succumbs to anti-life.” Basically, this specific idea for a sequel is teased in the nutso dystopian scene with Batman, the Joker, Mera, Cyborg, Deathstroke, the Flash, and yeah, evil Superman.
Could positive reception of the Snyder Cut generate enough renewed interest that audiences will demand that Warner Bros let Snyder make a Justice League 2, in which Superman is bad?
In recent interviews, Snyder makes it sound like he’s done with DC and Warner Bros, so it feels unlikely we’ll see a Justice League sequel from him. But somebody else? Using the same ideas and the same cast? At this point, when everyone assumed for years that the Snyder Cut would never happen, anything feels possible.
The collected trade paperback of the 1993 comics in which Superman came back from the dead.
The strangest thing in all of this is perhaps something you barely noticed. In the Snyder Cut, the only time Superman returns to his familiar blue and red suit is when he’s turned evil in the flash-forward. But, his black-and-silver suit means he’s still good. This black and silver suit references Superman’s comeback outfit from the 1993 comic book arc “The Return of Superman.” Sadly, Henry Cavill didn’t sport the same mullet Superman rocked back in the day. Then again, if we did get a sequel, to Justice League a super-mullet is something to hope for.