A behind-the-scenes photo from the Justice League set reveals a deleted scene centered around the Atlanteans, the underwater race of superhumans from which Aquaman (Jason Momoa) hails.
Stunt man Thomas Billings — who doubled for Ray Fisher's Cyborg — shared the photo to Instagram, revealing a cut scene where Steppenwolf's insect-like minions, the Parademons, would have attacked Atlantean warriors.
The scene presumably would have occurred during Steppenwolf's attack on Atlantis, where the hulking brute does battle with Mera (Amber Heard) and then Aquaman to claim one of three all-powerful Mother Boxes. The Atlantean soldiers would have likely fended off the villain's flying monkeys just above the surface as Steppenwolf went to claim his prize in the icy waters below.
Justice League was reportedly forced to trim its run time to under two hours as required by a Warner Bros. mandate, another blow to the film that lost original director Zack Snyder in the wake of a family tragedy. The Avengers director Joss Whedon stepped in to assume control of the project and helm reshoots, and many of the advertised scenes didn't make it into the final product.
Deleted scenes are par for the course in almost all productions, but Justice League is more unique in that there's two cuts overseen by two very different filmmakers. Though Whedon reportedly adhered to Snyder's vision — for the most part — the movie as it plays now isn't exactly how Snyder would have made it: the director's son says the superhero team up "isn't what it could have been," and more than 100,000 fans have signed a petition calling for a Zack Snyder director's cut that would restore most, if not all, of the scrapped footage and be closer in touch with Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
A handful of unfinished Justice League deleted scenes recently leaked online, giving fans a taste of what lies on the cutting room floor. Snyder — who stepped away from the project in May and later said it would be "unfair" to still be involved with Justice League — recently showed support for the petition calling for a home release of a Zack Snyder director's cut.
A previous behind-the-scenes photo shared by Snyder gave a closer look at the Atlanteans in arms with the Amazons, who joined forces against Steppenwolf thousands of years ago in a flashback "history lesson" as told by Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman.
Fans will see more of the Atlanteans in Aquaman, swimming into theaters December 21, 2018.
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher and Amy Adams, Justice League is now playing.