DC Extended Universe Wiki

We've split

By community choice, all content related to the DCU has been split to its own wiki.

More info


DC Extended Universe Wiki
DC Extended Universe Wiki
For other uses of Justice League, see Justice League (disambiguation).

"They said the age of heroes would never come again."
"It will... it has to."
Diana and Bruce Wayne

Zack Snyder's Justice League, alternatively known as Justice League: The Snyder Cut and often referred to as the Snyder Cut, is the director's cut of Justice League, with material directed exclusively by Zack Snyder. Like the theatrical version, it is the sequel to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and a cross-sequel between Man of Steel and Wonder Woman. The film was co-produced by Atlas Entertainment, The Stone Quarry, and DC Films, and was released on Max on March 18, 2021.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana/Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/Flash, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf and Ray Porter as Uxas/Darkseid.

A grayscale version of the film titled Zack Snyder's Justice League: Justice is Gray Edition premiered on March 25, 2021 on Max.

The film is thematically separated into six parts: "Don't Count On It, Batman", The Age of Heroes, Beloved Mother, Beloved Son, "Change Machine", All the King's Horses, and "Something Darker". An epilogue follows, titled "A Father Twice Over".


In Zack Snyder's Justice League, determined to ensure Superman's ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united; Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash must save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.


Uxas terraforms Earth in color - ZSJL

Darkseid's Invasion of Earth

Thousands of years ago, the New God Darkseid and his legion of Parademons attempted to conquer Earth using the three ancient Mother Boxes. The attempt was foiled by a combined legion of Amazons, Atlanteans, and a Green Lantern. The Mother Boxes were unintentionally left behind during their retreat. After the battle, the Boxes were hidden in different locations, guarded by the Amazons, Atlanteans, and Men, respectively. In the present, the death of Superman triggers the Boxes' reactivation, attracting Steppenwolf, Darkseid's disgraced lieutenant, to Earth. Steppenwolf hopes to regain Darkseid's favor by gathering the boxes to form "the Unity," which would terraform Earth in the likeness of their world Apokolips. Steppenwolf begins by invading Themyscira and retrieving the Mother Box there, killing many Amazons in the process.

Bruce and Diana

Bruce and Diana discussion

Meanwhile, to fulfil a promise he made to Superman and following Lex Luthor's warning of a potential invasion, Bruce Wayne, his confidante Alfred Pennyworth, and Diana Prince search for a team of Metahumans. These candidates include the half human-Atlantean Arthur Curry, the speedster Barry Allen, and the cyborg Victor Stone. Eventually, Diana's mother Queen Hippolyta sends a warning message to man's world, which Diana receives and connects the events to Darkseid and informs Bruce. Bruce then recruits an enthusiastic Barry, while both Arthur and Victor refuse to join. When scouts from the Atlantean outpost guarding their Mother Box go missing, having been kidnapped and interrogated by Steppenwolf for its location, Arthur is asked by his mentor Vulko to assist fellow Atlantean Mera in protecting the outpost when his half-brother Orm refuses to take action. Arthur reluctantly goes to the outpost, but ultimately fails to stop Steppenwolf from taking the Box.

JL spying on Steppenwolf

The Justice League under Gotham Harbor

The team, now joined by Victor, receives intel from Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon, leading them to Steppenwolf's army in an abandoned facility under Gotham Harbor, where Steppenwolf is interrogating several kidnapped employees, including Victor's father, Silas Stone of the whereabouts of the last box. The facility is flooded during combat, trapping the team until Arthur arrives and delays the flood so they can escape. Victor retrieves the last Mother Box, which he had hidden, for the group to analyze. Victor reveals the history of the Box and that Silas used the Box to rebuild his body after a car accident that had killed his mother and fatally wounded him. He explains that the Boxes are "change machines" that unfalteringly enforce the will of their master, destroying or restoring to life without bias. The group comes to the realization that they could use the Box to resurrect Superman to help fight Steppenwolf.

Steppenwolf with DeSaad - zsjl

Steppenwolf communes with DeSaad

Meanwhile, the two Mother Boxes in his possession show Steppenwolf a vision of a secret power on Earth, the Anti-Life Equation, which was sought after by Darkseid for countless millennia and initially discovered during his first failed invasion of Earth, only to be lost alongside the Mother Boxes. Steppenwolf then informs Darkseid's servant, DeSaad about the discovery. When Darkseid also learns of this, he vows to personally come to Earth as soon as Steppenwolf completes the Unity. Barry and Victor exhume Superman's body and place it in the amniotic fluid of the genesis chamber in a Kryptonian ship kept in S.T.A.R. Labs. During this process, Victor gains a vision of Darkseid killing Diana and Arthur while he controls Superman. After Barry activates the Mother Box, an amnesiac Superman is resurrected, immediately attacking the group after Victor's armor's defense system fired a missile that he dodged before it could hit him. He defeats the group soundly, but Lois Lane, who had been visiting the Superman memorial, arrives just in time to calm Superman down, preventing him from killing Bruce. Together, Lois and Superman leave for the Kent Farm in Smallville, where he regains his memories and reunites with his mother, Martha Kent. Clark returns to his ship where he dons a new black suit and goes to Alfred, ready to return to the fight.

Silas dies - ZSJL

Silas sacrifices himself

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Steppenwolf attacks the lab and retrieves the last Mother Box, though Silas manages to supercharge it with laser heat at the cost of his own life. Victor tracks down the heat signature and locates Steppenwolf's base using one of Bruce's six satellites. The team travels to an abandoned Russian city, where Steppenwolf aims to form the Unity. The heroes fight their way through the Parademons and confront Steppenwolf. However, they struggle to distract Steppenwolf enough for Victor to separate the Unity. A portal to Apokolips opens revealing Darkseid, DeSaad, and Granny Goodness. Superman returns just in time and overpowers Steppenwolf, but Victor fails to separate the boxes. The Unity is formed, destroying the planet.

The Flash in the speed force

Flash reverses time

However, Barry enters the Speed Force before the shockwave reaches him and uses his abilities to reverse time, allowing Victor and Superman to separate the boxes and the heroes to kill Steppenwolf, tossing his body into the portal to Apokolips. Darkseid assures DeSaad they will return to Earth and orders him to ready the armada as they will use the old ways to complete his quest for the Anti-Life Equation. In the aftermath of the battle, Dr. Ryan Choi is promoted to director of Xenoscience at S.T.A.R. Labs; Bruce, Diana, and Alfred agree to set up a base of operations using the old Wayne Manor building; Barry acquires a job in the Central City Police Department impressing his imprisoned father; Victor is inspired by his father's message to use his abilities for good; Arthur bids Mera and his mentor Vulko farewell as he goes to see his father; and Clark resumes his life as a reporter and Superman in Metropolis. Elsewhere, Slade Wilson visits Luthor after breaking him out of Arkham Asylum, and Luthor reveals to him Batman's identity of Bruce Wayne.

Knightmare Timeline

Bruce's second knightmare

In a post-apocalyptic dream, Bruce, Victor, Mera, Barry, and Wilson are shown making their way to Metropolis. Joker taunts Bruce about losing people, naming his parents and adopted son. Eventually, an evil Superman arrives just as the dream ends. Bruce awakens from the dream in his home where he is visited by Secretary of Defense Calvin Swanwick, who is revealed to be the Martian Manhunter. He thanks Bruce for putting together the team of heroes and promises to keep in contact in preparation for Darkseid's next plans.







| valign="top" style="width:50%;" |


Sentient species




This section needs a rewrite

The 2017 theatrical cut of Justice League had a troubled production history, with its script and photography undergoing major changes before and during production as well as a change in directors, resulting in the release of a version markedly different from what was initially conceived during pre-production and principal photography. Most of the changes were driven by the negative critical reception to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which caused shake-ups at Warner Bros. despite the film's overall commercial success.

Justice League was initially helmed by director Zack Snyder through most of its production, from principal photography to an undetermined amount of post-production. Snyder completed principal photography in October 2016, then stepped down from post-production in May 2017 following a family tragedy, and director Joss Whedon took over as an uncredited director (he had writer credits, however). Whedon oversaw reshoots and other changes that added a brighter tone and more humor to the film, and cut the runtime down to 120 minutes in accordance with a mandate from Warner Bros. executives.

The theatrical release of Justice League was a commercial failure and was met with mixed reception from critics and audiences, leading Warner Bros. to re-evaluate the future of the DC Extended Universe. With details surfacing about the movie's troubled production and the state of the movie before Snyder stepped down, interest was shown for an alternate cut more faithful to Snyder's vision for the movie. Fans of Snyder's works, members of the cast and crew, and other film industry figures began petitioning for the release of this "Snyder Cut", though Warner Bros. stated they had no current plans to release an alternate cut of Justice League. The "Snyder Cut" would finally be announced on May 20, 2020 by Zack Snyder, entitled "Zack Snyder's Justice League" and launching on Max in March 2021.

Immediately after the theatrical release of Justice League, fans created an online petition to release the "Snyder Cut" that gained more than 180,000 signatures. The movement, which used the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut on social media, began before fans had any knowledge that a cut of Snyder's Justice League film actually existed in any capacity. The movement was ignited by the divisive reaction toward the theatrical cut, knowing that Snyder left directorial duties and the final cut of the film in the hands of Joss Whedon, and the assumption that Whedon created an inferior film. The circumstances have been compared to a similar situation with the film Superman II (1980). The productions of both Justice League and Superman II experienced the replacement of the director, for different reasons, before completion of the film, which led to a second director coming in and making substantial changes to the tone. Although the reasoning behind each Snyder and Donner's departure from their respective films differs, Donner was able to complete his Superman II cut in 2006. Some assumed that an alternate cut of Justice League was inevitable because historically several of Snyder's films have been re-released as extended cuts for home media (Watchmen, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) often seen by critics as superior to the original version. Several members of the Justice League cast and crew showed support for the "Snyder Cut"'s release, including actors Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Ciarán Hinds, Joe Manganiello and Jason Momoa, as well as photographer Clay Enos, storyboard artist Jay Oliva, cinematographer Fabian Wagner, and Ben Affleck's stunt double Richard Cetrone. Other film and comic-book-industry figures not related to Justice League have also supported the release of a "Snyder Cut" including filmmaker Kevin Smith, television producers Steven S. DeKnight and Damon Lindelof, and comic book writers Rob Liefeld, Robert Kirkman, and Jerry Ordway. People involved in former DCEU movies such as Christina Wren also supported the release of the cut. The hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut was relayed over 800,000 times on Twitter on November 17, 2019, making it to the top trends worldwide on the second anniversary of the theatrical release of Justice League. #RestoreTheSnyderVerse, the continuation of the movement post the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, eventually peaked with a trend of 1.42 million, which is the largest tweet count among all comic book-based Twitter trends.

Other figures were less optimistic that the "Snyder Cut" would ever be released. Shawn Robbins, chief analyst for Boxoffice.com suggested the size of the movement was too small to make an impact, stating, "another cut of Justice League just doesn't seem to be something many outside the die-hard fan base are clamoring to see." Clay Enos, who supports the release, also pointed out several logistical complications as hurdles impacting a possible release, including how royalty payments would be handled with two different versions of the same film. Citing industry sources, writer Mario F. Robles said Warner Bros. didn't trust Snyder's vision and wouldn't be willing to spend the millions of dollars it would cost to finish his cut. Brooks Barnes, Hollywood reporter for The New York Times theorized that the "Snyder Cut" would never be released due to a mix of the high cost to finish the project and corporate ego. He elaborated: "The ego kind of comes in where, like, no studio will ever put itself in a position of looking like they made the wrong decision. Let's just say it was finished, they put it out, everyone loves it, 'Oh my God, this should have been the movie.' That puts jobs at risk at the high level. Right? And so right there, it's not happening." Writing for Forbes, Scott Mendelson suggested it would be more likely for audiences to see either an animated or comic-book adaptation of Snyder's script than a polished, full-length feature film being finished and released. Box-office analyst from Exhibitor Relations didn't believe Snyder's version of the film would have fared much differently from the theatrical release, stating, "His Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a train wreck of a film, and that was all on him. So, with that as a barometer, I don't have much faith that there was anything inherent to his vision that would have pushed this past $1 billion."

Members of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement engaged in acts of activism to promote their cause. Assuming that corporate leadership was what was preventing the release of a "Snyder Cut", fans directly reached out to new figures related to Warner Bros. to demand its release. In June 2018, fans reached out to executives at AT&T following a merger between the company and Warner Bros.' parent company Time Warner (now WarnerMedia); in June 2019 they reached out to new WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff, who replaced Kevin Tsujihara following his resignation, and again the following month with a mass letter-writing campaign; and in July 2019 they reached out to WarnerMedia following the announcement of its new streaming service HBO Max. Ahead of the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, a fan launched a crowdfunding campaign with half of the funds going toward an advertising campaign including billboards and a flying banner ad promoting the "Snyder Cut", and the other half would be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For a similar campaign at 2019 New York Comic Con, the movement purchased ad space on two billboards over Times Square featuring quotes from members of the cast and crew.

Some accused large elements within the movement, or the movement at large, of taking their activism beyond promotion, into areas of toxic behaviors including cyberbullying and harassment. Yohana Desta of Vanity Fair described the act of fans demanding an alternative cut as an example of toxic fandom, placing it in the same vein as the alleged 2017 harassment of Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress Kelly Marie Tran. Brandon Katz of the Observer noted that the movement is composed of, "both toxic DC fans that hurl vitriolic harassment at any and all opposition, and supportive moviegoers that genuinely enjoy Snyder's style and are just hoping to see the conclusion of his trilogy that began with 2013's Man of Steel. As with any contingent, there are both extremists and level-headed individuals in its ranks." In September 2018, former DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson deleted her Twitter account as a result of excessive online harassment from some members of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement. Warner telephone operators inundated with regular calls about the "Snyder Cut" had been trained to treat these inquiries as prank calls. Bob Rehak, Swarthmore College Associate Professor and Chair of Film and Media Studies, said fandoms including #ReleaseTheSnyderCut revolt when someone makes a modification to something they love that doesn't align with their preference for what it should be. He said instances toxic fandom usually occur within a smaller subsection of a larger fandom who believe they are greater in number than they really are and whose voice often dominates the mainstream conversation, elaborating that, "When people learn these kinds of weaponized ways of discoursing at each other, and once those tactics get into play, it doesn't really matter how much of the community they speak for. It tends to kind of paint the whole community with a really broad brush."

In March 2019, Snyder confirmed after 16 months of speculation that his original cut did exist, and stated it was up to Warner Bros. to finish and release it.[1] In November, an insider in a Variety article claimed it was unlikely that Warner Bros. would ever release Snyder's version of the film in any form, calling it a "pipe dream." The following month however, Snyder posted a video on his Vero account, showing boxes with tapes labeled "Z.S. JL Director's cut", with the caption "Is it real? Does it exist? Of course it does."[2]

Discussions with Warner Bros. surrounding the potential release of Snyder's cut of Justice League began in late 2019, and lasted for a few months.[3] The studio first approached Snyder to release his cut unfinished, but Snyder objected to this and insisted on either finishing it or not completing it. According to Deborah Snyder, it took several months before the studio would recognize Snyder's intent to give the fans what they desired.[4] WarnerMedia decided to move forward with the Snyder Cut in February 2020, after chairman Toby Emmerich acknowledged the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement and reached out to Snyder.[5]

The Snyders invited executives from W.B., HBO Max and DC to their home to view the Snyder Cut. Snyder presented ideas such as potentially releasing the cut in an episodic format as well as a film. The executives were impressed, and decided to let the project proceed. In a group table setting, WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff, DC Films president Walter Hamada, WarnerMedia chairman Robert Greenblatt, HBO Max content chief Kevin Reilly, and HBO Max original programming head Sarah Aubrey all had a discussion with Snyder, before officially greenlighting Zack Snyder's Justice League into production.[6] Soon after, Snyder began to reassemble the film's original post-production team in order to finish the cut.[5] Snyder notified the original cast of Justice League of his plans to release the Snyder Cut between April and May 2020, and according to Snyder, Cyborg actor Ray Fisher initially thought he was joking.[5] In May 2020, following a virtual screening of Man of Steel and years of speculation, Snyder and Henry Cavill confirmed that the Snyder Cut would be released in 2021 on HBO Max, entitled Zack Snyder's Justice League.[7]

It was initially unclear what format Zack Snyder's Justice League would take for its release, whether it would be a four-episode miniseries or one four-hour long film. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Zack Snyder's Justice League would be expected to cost $20–30 million to complete, however Robert Greenblatt indicated to finish and release the film would be "wildly expensive" and cost more than the reported maximum of $30 million.[3] Sandra Dewey, president of productions and business operations for WarnerMedia, stated in an interview that they were aiming for an "early to mid-2021" release.[8]

Initial reports indicated there would be no new material filmed for Zack Snyder's Justice League, as Snyder hadn't been given permission by WarnerMedia to do so. However, on September 23, 2020, it was revealed Snyder was preparing to shoot additional footage in October. Affleck, Cavill, and Fisher reprised their roles for the shoot. With the cost of the additional footage shot, the budget was estimated to have increased to around $70 million. The additional shoots began by October 6. Later that month, Heard, Leto, and Manganiello joined the cast to reprise their roles as Mera, the Joker, and Deathstroke, respectively. Leto's return as Joker was noteworthy, as the character had not been seen since 2016's Suicide Squad and was not present in the original theatrical release of Justice League. Snyder also directed an additional scene with Flash actor Ezra Miller over Zoom, while he was in London for the shoot of the third Fantastic Beasts film set to release in 2022.[9] In January 2021, Snyder confirmed his work on the cut is now complete.[10]

On March 22, 2021, then-WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff said in an interview with Variety that while she appreciated Snyder's work and his contributions to DC, Zack Snyder's Justice League was the "completion of his trilogy" and emphasized DC's multiverse strategy.[6] On August 8, 2021, producer Charles Roven told The Hollywood Reporter he expected he and his company Atlas Entertainment to produce a Justice League sequel, though he said it was probably "a number of years away."[11]

On July 21, 2022 at San Diego Comic-Con, DC Comics President Jim Lee confirmed there are no sequels to Zack Snyder's Justice League planned, stating that Zack Snyder's vision was fully "realized".[12]


Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) composed for the film. He had previously completed an entire score for Justice League, but was replaced by Danny Elfman after Joss Whedon's arrival.

Song title Artist Location(s)
"Hallelujah" Leonard Cohen
  • Teaser trailer
"Time" Tom Waits
"Renzokuken" Ursine Vulpine
  • Final trailer
"Vísur Vatnsenda-Rósu" Salóme Gunnarsdóttir and others
  • Sung by the Icelandic villagers as Arthur Curry heads into the ocean.
"Distant Sky" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Lois goes about her morning routine as she mourns for Clark.
"There Is a Kingdom" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Arthur dives back into the ocean after saving a fisherman.
"Song to the Siren" (Tim Buckley cover) Rose Betts
  • Barry saves Iris from injury when her car crashes.
"Hallelujah" Allison Crowe (Leonard Cohen cover)
  • End credits





Behind the scenes


External Links

The DC Extended Universe Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Zack Snyder's Justice League.

Films in the DC Extended Universe
Man of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSuicide SquadWonder WomanJustice LeagueAquamanShazam!Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)Wonder Woman 1984Zack Snyder's Justice LeagueThe Suicide SquadBlack AdamShazam! Fury of the GodsThe FlashBlue BeetleAquaman and the Lost Kingdom