The Snyder Cut of Justice League is now out into the world, and it is undeniably giving fans quite a lot to process. The four-hour epic, which brings to life Zack Snyder's fully-realized vision for the DC Comics superteam, is chock-full of surprising elements and unexpected plot points, ones that definitely set it apart from the 2017 theatrical cut. While Warner Bros. and Snyder himself have argued that Zack Snyder's Justice League is a narrative one-off, in part because segments of DC Films have already followed the canon of the theatrical cut, there's a lot within the film that will leave fans wanting more — and that could (and should) influence where the studio goes with the next Justice League film. Obviously, major spoilers for Zack Snyder's Justice League below! Only look if you want to know!
Purely in terms of narrative, there's a surprising amount of Zack Snyder's Justice League that lays the bedrock for a potential sequel. Sure, the cliff notes version of both films' endings are the same — the team defeats Steppenwolf in some capacity, and Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons) plan to turn the old grounds of Wayne Manor into a meeting place for the League. But beyond that, the Snyder Cut adds an extra incentive to the team continuing to form an alliance, particularly with the looming threat of Darkseid (Ray Porter). With Darkseid literally watching the League and Steppenwolf's fight via Boom Tube, the New God was able to see the teamwork and sheer power of the League firsthand, culminating in a stare-down of sorts between the two groups. This, coupled with the fact that Darkseid now definitively knows that the Anti-Life Equation can be found on Earth, sets up a pretty massive conflict that could be told in additional stories. Sure, it might not necessarily be the League sequel that Snyder initially had planned, but nuggets of that fight could still impact the main DCEU, especially after the overwhelmingly positive response that Darkseid has gotten from viewers thus far.
Even if we don't get to see the full breadth of the League's fight against Darkseid, we still have an indication of what it would entail through the "Knightmare" timeline, which showcased a potential dark future where the New God does succeed. The film's epilogue showcased the remaining heroes and villains that would be fighting the crusade against Darkseid and a corrupted Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill), including Batman, The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Mera (Amber Heard), Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello), and The Joker (Jared Leto). While the scene ultimately ends up being an actual nightmare that Bruce has, the exploration of that world and the complicated relationships between the defacto "Knightmare Justice League" could be compelling in and of itself.
And beyond that, the biggest element of Zack Snyder's Justice League that could impact the next Justice League movie is the way it establishes the team itself, and the sense of respect and camaraderie that comes up as a result of that. One of the biggest strikes against the theatrical cut of Justice League was its inconsistent tone, and the fact that too much of its humor and interpersonal dynamics were founded on an awkward or relatively shallow footing. In the Snyder Cut, the opposite is the case, as each team member not only gets their own individual arc but the team as a unit is cohesive and has a sense of levity in even the direst of situations. It's a tone that feels akin to the Justice League fans have been reading in comics for decades, and one that would work well when translated to the larger DC Films world. With a few quintessential comic-accurate League members — such as Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett) and Shazam! (Zachary Levi) — already being introduced on the big screen in the years since the two cuts, and more potential team members on their way, the next League movie could very easily contain a mix of existing members and newer ones, all while keeping the tone and bedrock of what's established in the Snyder Cut.
Zack Snyder's Justice League is now available to stream exclusively on HBO Max.