While screening Man of Steel for fans ahead of the announcement that Zack Snyder's Justice League was coming to HBO Max, the filmmaker revealed to fans that a shattered moon seen briefly onscreen near the start of the movie was, in the film's canon, the handiwork of Doomsday. The moon, which was destroyed by Kryptonian scientist Jax-Ur in the comics, was the staging ground for a major battle with Doomsday on Krypton. In that reality, the moon was destroyed by Kryptonian explosives, but it was done in order to kill Doomsday, laying the blame for its destruction at least sort-of at the creature's feet.
Snyder expressed a desire to build Doomsday's mythology into the DNA of Krypton -- something that was implied when a version of the creature showed up in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder would later say that while the version created by Luthor in Batman v Superman died during his battle with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the original Doomsday is still out there in the universe somewhere.
"Notice up there is the broken moon," Snyder said during the Kryptonian sequence during his screening of Man of Steel, "Which in the comic book lore that moon was broken a long time ago by Doomsday. So this Doomsday concept we wanted to plant early. That Doomsday is a thing that could exist, that could be brought into the universe. Because I really like that character. From the beginning I thought it would be cool to have Doomsday involved somehow in the movies."
While there were no direct references to the original Doomsday's backstory in Batman v Superman, Snyder's Man of Steel Blu-ray did include an Easter egg that said "Beware Bertron's curse, for it is called Doomsday." Bertron is the name of the ancient being that created Doomsday in the comics.
At some point in 2017, Snyder reportedly screened an assembly cut of Justice League for Warner Bros. executives. Such cuts are extra-long, filled with temp music and effects, and essenitally just every shot that has been photographed up to that point, strung together to give the movie a narrative shape. Later reports have claimed that this screening was not well received, although at the time the consensus was that the movie was a step in the right direction. You see, while Man of Steel and Batman v Superman had nominally made a ton of money, neither one quite made what Warner Bros. had hoped -- and critics were brutal with them, particularly Batman v Superman.
On March 12, 2017, Zack Snyder's 20-year-old daughter Autumn died by suicide. After a brief period of throwing himself into the work in the hopes of completing the movie and distracting himself from grief, Snyder and Warner Bros. decided that the filmmaker would step away from Justice League, with Warner selecting Marvel's The Avengers director Joss Whedon -- said to be an old friend of Snyder's -- to complete the movie. The narrative around the project was that it was going to continue to be Snyder's movie, and that Whedon was essentially just helping a friend through a difficult time.0comments
The movie, though, came in with a much shorter runtime than Snyder's previous DC films, in spite of having to balance so many characters. Rumors immediately started that, in addition to reshoots to fill in missing gaps and improve select takes, Whedon had worked with the studio to alter the tone and plot of the movie, as well as shortening it significantly and removing elements that Snyder had planned but not shot.
Zack Snyder's Justice League is coming to HBO Max in 2021.