Zack Snyder confirms why his version of Justice League ends with a cliffhanger. While working on post-production on the original film, Snyder departed as director in 2017 following a family tragedy. Warner Bros. selected Joss Whedon to conduct major reshoots in his stead, leading to a finished product that was harshly criticized by both critics and fans.
When the DCEU was first conceived by Warner Bros. as an interconnected cinematic universe to compete with Disney’s MCU, Zack Snyder was brought on to oversee the creative direction of the franchise. Snyder directed Man of Steel, which kicked off the DCEU, to generally positive, if not stellar reviews. His second directorial turn in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was received much less favorably, and the poor performance of the Justice League theatrical cut in 2017 led to a change in direction from Warner. Snyder’s plans for future Justice League films were tossed out, and the DCEU adopted a less centralized model of solo hero films.
Since Snyder’s original Justice League vision was meant to set up sequels, it makes sense that it would have ended in a cliffhanger. According to early reactions, that seems to be the case with the Snyder Cut as well. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Snyder was asked directly why he chose to include the open ending when a follow-up is highly unlikely to be made. His answer was simple – “The ask was for my version of the movie.”
Minor reshoots for Zack Snyder’s Justice League were conducted after the project was officially picked up, but while those reshoots added some notable new elements like an appearance from Jared Leto’s Joker, they won’t contribute that many extra minutes to the film. Most of the new content consists of scenes shot during the theatrical production that were later cut after Snyder left the project. Through that lens, of course it makes sense that the film would end on a bit of a cliffhanger for the sequel that was never produced.
Is it possible that a proper sequel to Zack Snyder’s Justice League could come about in the future? The odds are long, but early positive reactions from journalists and critics have already raised the chances. Warner Bros. has made no plans for major crossover films in its DC universe since Justice League released in 2017, and most of the film’s stars are still performing in the franchise. Still, a Justice League 2 looks incredibly unlikely. But with Zack Snyder’s Justice League actually premiering on HBO Max on March 18, anything seems possible.