Skip to main content

Zack Snyder Unpacks That Wild Justice League Ending

You had me at "five-part trilogy", sir.

Joker in the Justice League Snyder Cut.

***SPOILER ALERT: This post discusses the ending of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as well as spoilers for Snyder’s vision of future Justice League movies that probably won’t happen, but who knows. Is it possible to spoil something that doesn’t exist yet? Either way, you’ve been warned.***

Now that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is no longer a fandom pipe dream, many are speculating what a return to the Snyderverse would look like. The director gave audiences a glimpse with the final scene of the film, which was largely done with reshoots. The scene, which takes place in another prophetic Bruce Wayne dream, sees the embattered remaining Justice League members in a post-apocalyptic desert hellscape.

Batman is there, along with Mera, Victor Stone/Cyborg, Barry Allen/The Flash, a mohawked Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, and the Joker, played by Jared Leto. The team is on the run from someone, and we realize that it’s the red-eyed Superman, now under Darkseid’s control. Batman and the Joker have a conversation, where Joker alludes to killing Lois Lane. He also mocks Batman, asking “How many dead eyes can you look into before you die inside yourself?”

The scene mirrors an earlier premonition that Cyborg has, caused by The Flash hitting light speed. “When I approach the speed of light, crazy things happen to time,” he says, and Cyborg has a grim vision of the future: Wonder Woman on a funeral pyre with coins on her eyes, the Amazons grieving, Darkseid spearing Aquaman with his own trident. Superman weeps over a charred corpse as Darkseid rests a hand on his shoulder.

So what does this all mean? Luckily for us, Zack Snyder laid out his DCEU vision in a new interview with Vanity Fair.

“When I made the film originally, it was part of a five-part trilogy,” Snyder told Vanity Fair. You mean a quintology? Or maybe a pentalogy? Either way, Snyder imagined Justice League as the third chapter in his saga, preceded by Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, with two films to follow.

Snyder’s vision is set up in that final scene, where the Joker says, “You need me…to help you undo this world you created by letting her die.”

The “her” in question is Lois Lane, whose death pushes Superman over the edge and turns him into a weapon for Darkseid. As Snyder explains, “Darkseid comes to Earth. Superman says to Batman, ‘Guard Lois. This is a war between me and Darkseid. If you can help me as a friend, keep Lois safe.’”

Meanwhile, Lex Luthor aligns with Darkseid, and tells him that Lois Lane is Superman’s ultimate weakness. Snyder continued, “For whatever reason, Batman fails. Darkseid comes back and kills Lois. Batman fails, he hesitates. They were in an argument.” This revelation also lends more weight to Barry Allen’s prophetic warning to Batman that “Lois Lane is the key” in Batman v Superman. We assumed that his message referred to Lois talking down the confused post-resurrection Superman, but it also extends to this.

But what were Batman and Lois arguing about? That’s the second huge revelation from Snyder: while Superman was dead, Lois and Bruce Wayne begin a romantic relationship. When it comes time to resurrect Superman, Bruce must contend with the loss of his relationship with Lois. It’s a storyline that was ultimately nixed by Warner Bros.

“The intention was that Bruce fell in love with Lois and then realized that the only way to save the world was to bring Superman back to life,” said Snyder. “So he had this insane conflict, because Lois, of course, was still in love with Superman. We had this beautiful speech where [Bruce] said to Alfred: ‘I never had a life outside the cave. I never imagined a world for me beyond this. But this woman makes me think that if I can get this group of gods together, then my job is done. I can quit. I can stop.’ And of course, that doesn’t work out for him.”

Following Lois’s death, “The world falls because Superman succumbs to the Anti-Life Equation, and that’s it,” Snyder said. “That’s what the post-apocalyptic world is: Superman just searching for Batman to kill him to get his revenge for the death of Lois.”

The third Justice League film would, much like Avengers: Endgame, deploy time travel as a way to right the world. The team would use the Speed Force to turn back time to save Lois Lane, with Batman sacrificing himself to save her. That’s right, Snyder’s vision ends with the death of Batman.

“Superman doesn’t succumb to the Anti-Life Equation,” Snyder said. “Then the final movie has Aquaman leading the forces of Atlantis, Diana leading forces of Themyscira, and Superman and Flash leading the forces of [humans] against Darkseid in a giant war.”

But you didn’t think that would be the only ending, did you? “Lois is pregnant at the end of the movie,” Snyder said. The pregnancy test can be seen in a quick moment in Lois’s apartment. So what becomes of Lois’s pregnancy? “It was going to be Lois and Superman’s son,” Snyder said. “He doesn’t have any powers, and then he was going to end up being the new Batman. Twenty years later, on the anniversary of [Batman’s] death, they take young Bruce Kent down to the Batcave and they say, ‘Your Uncle Bruce would’ve been proud if you did this,’” Snyder said.

Warner Bros. gave Zack Snyder an estimated $70 million to finish his cut of the film, and he spent most of the reshoots setting up sequels that likely won’t get made? What a flex. And while Warner Bros. urged him to wrap the story up, Snyder refused. “They didn’t want me to suggest more films to come. They wanted me to cul-de-sac it as much as I could,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Look, that’s just not the genre.’ It’s not the comic book genre to end the story, regardless if we ever make [another] one or not.”

If there a future for the Snyderverse? It all depends on how successful the Snyder Cut is. After all, we never thought we’d see Zack Snyder’s Justice League, so who knows what the future holds.

What do you think of Snyder’s planned vision for the franchise? Would you watch 2 more chapters of his “five-part trilogy”?

(via Vanity Fair, featured image: Warner Bros.)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.