Zack Snyder is teasing fans with the return of Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) in his upcoming "Snyder Cut" of Justice League, which will be released on HBO Max in 2021. This isn't the first time that Kevin Costner's "Pa Kent" has appeared in Snyder's DC movie arc, following his death in Man of Steel: Costner was featured in a scene of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where he appears as a figment of Clark Kent/Superman's (Henry Cavill) mind. No telling how he would fit into Zack Snyder's Justice League storyline, but it's a least nice to know that Costner will (likely) be showing up.
It goes without saying that Kevin Costner's version of Jonathan Kent is still one of the most divisive elements of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. In Snyder's vision, Jonathan Kent actually acted as a more somber counter-point to Kal-El/Clark Kent's heroic inclinations. In two now-infamous scenes of Man of Steel, Jonathan cautions an adolescent Clark Kent that he may not be able to save everyone that he wants to, and needs to question whether he should. The final scene of Pa Kent sees him stop Clark from saving him from an oncoming tornado, in order to keep his Superman powers secret from the onlooking crowd.
Both interpretations of Jonathan Kent offended some Superman fans, who feel the Kal-El's earthly father is supposed to be the bastion of his All-American values and heroic nature. However, there's always been an indication that Zack Snyder's DC movies saga (running through Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and several Justice League films) was building a thematic long game. Snyder started with complicated and morally-murky Superman themes in a post-9/11 world, but it was always teased that through Justice League we would see Henry Cavill's Superman literally and figuratively get second life as a much brighter symbol of hope. Having Jonathan Kent be part of that transformative process would not only bring completion to a big piece of Snyder's Superman story arc - it would also vindicate a lot of fans who stuck up for the challenging ideas Snyder put forth in Man of Steel.
Granted, the relationship between Jonathan and Clark in Snyder's Superman reboot are dark moments; Zack Snyder's Justice League has the opportunity to show us the other side of Jonathan Kent, who instilled Clark with the sense of humility, nobility, and fairness, which creates the Superman we know and love. The Superman that Henry Cavill can then carry forward into his next DC movie appearances.
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