After watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it is easy to see the monumental journey he had planned for the DCEU’s future- a solo Batman film that was supposed to star Ben Affleck as the caped crusader. He had also planned a third Justice League film that was going to continue Batman’s legacy with a new Dark Knight- Superman and Lois’ son and Snyder put the seeds of both the above arcs in his version of Justice League.
Ben Affleck’s The Batman, Knightmare world, and Deathstroke
When Justice League released in 2017, heavily edited by Joss Whedon, it had many missing scenes and completely altered sequences. For starters, the post-credit scene in Whedon’s cut is now part of the film and when Lex Luthor welcomes Deathstroke, he doesn’t propose to make their own league in response to Batman’s Justice League. He instead tells Deathstroke the identity of Batman– that he is actually the millionaire, Bruce Wayne– thus giving him the ammo to target his nemesis.
This new development would have been explored in The Batman but Ben Affleck lost faith in the character after Whedon’s illogical presentation of the character in 2017’s Justice League. Now we have a reboot of the DC character being helmed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as the new Batman.
Unlike the altered Deathstroke scene, Batman never has the Knightmare vision towards the end of the earlier version, like he does in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. In his vision of the future, he sees a world taken over by Darkseid via the Anti-Life Equation (a mathematical formula so powerful that it gives the user absolute control over someone’s will.)
In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the apocalyptic future is as follows- Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman has been killed by Darkseid, Lois has been turned to dust as a result of which Superman has succumbed to the effects of the Anti-Life Equation, and somehow Deathstroke has joined hands with Batman. But the biggest change is that Bruce Wayne would have collaborated with Jared Leto’s Joker to save the world.
Superman’s son would have become the second Batman
When Zack Snyder joined Warner Bros and sketched a plan to give the DCEU a new direction, he planned a five-film arc, starting with Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman, and then three Justice League films. But even as that future will most likely never come to pass, the possibility of the same still exists in Zack Snyder’s Justice League– Lois Lane is pregnant with Clark Kent’s child.
In a recent chat with Vanity Fair, Zack Snyder shared his plans for Justice League 3, which would have featured Bruce Wayne’s Batman dying, followed by a twenty-year leap which would have seen Superman’s son, born after Zack Snyder’s Justice League take up his mantle.
“It was going to be Lois and Superman’s son,” the filmmaker 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.