Justice League's Knightmare Timeline Explained

Zack Snyder's Justice League revisits that "Knightmare" timeline that was first introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. That's no kind of surprise twist or spoiler: Zack Snyder has literally spent years teasing DC fans with elements of the Knightmare world he wanted to explore in the larger Justice League trilogy. Now that the Snyder Cut is out, we have so many new reveals about how the story of Batman's campaign against Darkseid and Evil Superman is going - and where it could be headed next! Here is Zack Snyder's Justice League Knightmare scene, explained.

Warning: Justice League Snyder Cut SPOILERS Follow!

The Knightmare Scene of Zack Snyder's Justice League takes place at the end of the film, in the "Epilogue" section. Like in Batman v Superman, the Knightmare sequence is ultimately revealed to be a dream being had by Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) - and yet again that premonition comes just before Bruce has a pivotal meeting with a new hero (Martian Manhunter).

However, in Justice League's Knightmare scene, Batman has a few more friends than he did in the Batman v Superman sequence. Well, "friends" may not be the right word, exactly...

Batman has his own Knightmare Justice League team in the sequence, which includes old teammates Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Flash (Ezra Miller), and new additions Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello), Mera (Amber Heard) and Joker (Jared Leto). The Knightmare League is trying to sneak across the wasteland with some important MacGuffin in Cyborg's possession. Things go sideways when Superman discovers the group's location and shows up for a fight. Luckily for Bruce, he wakes up right at that moment.

Justice League's Knightmare Scene Explained

Justice League Snyder Cut Knightmare Scene Explained Spoilers
(Photo: Warner Bros/HBO Max)

It's not a secret what the Knightmare scene in The Snyder Cut is foreshadowing. Zack Snyder has already explained that elements of dialogue in the scene ( most notably the heated exchange between Affleck's Batman and Leto's Joker) is a reference to the dark events of Justice League 2. Snyder originally planned for the sequel to have a twist where Darkseid murders Lois Lane and corrupts Superman with the Anti-Life Equation. That's actually the dark turn of fate Let's Joker makes reference to, when chastising Batman about having to fix his failure to protect Lois. Clearly The Knightmare League has a plan to fix history - which will result in Knightmare Flash going back to the timeline of BvS to warn Bruce.

In Justice League's Knightmare Scene, Joker also asks Batman how many timelines get screwed up because Bruce won't let himself die. That line is a foreshadow to Justice League 3's scenario, where Cyborg, Batman, and Flash have to pull off two trips into the past: the one where Barry arrives too early, and helps cause the Knightmare; and a second one where Barry gets it right and the warning hits home, leading Batman to re-write the timeline by sacrificing himself to save Lois, and avoiding Superman's fall to Darkseid. The Justice League would then unite Amazons, Atlanteans, and superheroes, to once again repel Darkseid from Earth.

Zack Snyder explained that original plan a year ago, during the Batman v Superman watch party:

"I had this idea that in the future when they [The Justice League] are talking about sending Flash back to warn him [Bruce Wayne], that Cyborg would be doing the calculations to send him back and would say 'I have two possibilities of where to send Flash back in time. The numbers point to two moments to warn you [Bruce]... Like if it's right near the moment when this event might happen - where Lois might get killed, or Bruce isn't able to stop it, however that's happening - it would be important if Flash came closer to that moment so that Bruce could understand the reality of it."

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Justice League's Knightmare Scene has certainly set the stage for this scenario to still play out. Question is: will fans ever get to see it onscreen?

Zack Snyder's Justice League is now streaming on HBO Max.