Love him or hate him, there's no denying director Zack Snyder had a fascinating plan for the live-action DC Extended Universe. With Warner Bros. moving away from Snyder's grim vision for the DC superheroes, his original DCEU plans are probably scrapped entirely.
Though DCEU films like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were met with critical and commercial disappointment, Snyder still developed an active fandom who wanted to see more of his world. It's why, nearly a year after the release of Justice League, many rabid DCEU fans are still pressuring WB to release Snyder's director's cut of the film. Who knows, maybe Snyder's Justice League could have been one of the best DC superhero movies of all time.
While a release of Snyder's director's cut may seem impossible, the former mastermind of the DCEU has been sharing his original plans for Batman, Superman, and the like online. The director's social media accounts seem like the only way we'll find out more about his proposed vision.
One thing fans have noticed when watching Man of Steel or Batman v Superman is the gritty atmosphere of these films is reminiscent of the Injustice video game series. Particularly in the case of the latter, as the "Knightmare" sequence featured Batman fighting an evil Superman, which feels inspired by the game. According to Snyder, that's not a coincidence.
When a fan asked if he planned on adapting the Injustice storyline, Snyder simply said, "Oh yes." While the Injustice video games have only been around for a few years, the alternate take on the Justice League has become incredibly popular, spawning two comic book series and a sequel in 2017, Injustice 2. Given its popularity, it's not a surprise Snyder would turn to Injustice as inspiration for a dark interpretation of the DC heroes.
While casual moviegoers consider Marvel's Thanos the big bad of the comic book world, DC fans know in their heart that Darkseid is where it's at. With a live-action Justice League movie finally happening after all these years, many DC fans were hopeful for the big screen introduction of the ruler of Apokolips. Unfortunately, Darkseid never appeared in the final version of the movie.
With Darkseid only getting a mere whisper in Justice League, many DCEU fans wonder if things would have been different if Snyder continued his vision. Well, a leaked storyboard drawn by Snyder revealed Darkseid was indeed supposed to show up in Justice League, in what appears to be another Knightmare vision scene.
Furthermore, concept art for the movie revealed a younger-looking Darkseid that may have been from a flashback scene. Snyder commented on the concept art, saying Darkseid was "searching for something that would make him unbeatable." Snyder eventually shared a look at the Darkseid scene on his Vero account.
Among the numerous plotlines in Snyder's DCEU, it's safe to assume WB will likely ignore the Knightmare storyline from Batman v Superman moving forward. Batman fighting a murderous Superman in a post-apocalyptic world no longer fits the optimistic narrative WB is trying to build with these DC heroes. Nonetheless, fans are still wondering what could have pushed that version of Superman to his breaking point.
According to Snyder, Superman became the victim of a "certain equation" following the loss of a loved one, which may have been Batman's fault. If you're unfamiliar with the "equation" line, Snyder was hinting towards the Anti-Life Equation, a powerful concept in the comics that convinces people life, hope, and freedom are pointless. And it's an equation often sought by Darkseid, who was meant to appear in Snyder's two-part vision of Justice League.
During the early days of Justice League filming, rumors abounded that Henry Cavill would don the black Superman suit in the movie. A believable rumor, as Superman wore a black suit following his resurrection in the comics. The theatrical version of Justice League had no such scene, though. And in the home video release, the black suit only appeared as an Easter egg in one of the film's deleted scenes.
According to Justice League costume designer Michael Wilkinson, there were talks of using the black Superman suit in the film, but they ultimately decided to stick with the red and blue to better represent Superman's new optimistic tone. Given Zack Snyder was replaced by director Joss Whedon on Justice League, the black Superman suit may have remained if Snyder retained creative control of the film.