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Kevin Smith Offers Details On Scrapped Justice League Trilogy

Oh, Zack Snyder's Justice League, we hardly knew ye. 

Filmmaker, comics writer, and superfan Kevin Smith recently revealed on his Fatman Beyond podcast that Snyder's 2017 film was to be the first in a trilogy — and he offered up a plethora of juicy details on what might have been. 

According to Smith, his inside knowledge is a result of a visit he paid to the set of the upcoming, as-yet untitled Star Wars: Episode IX, during which he had a chance to chat with a number of unnamed crew members who worked on Justice League under both Snyder and Joss Whedon, who took over the directorial reins when Snyder was forced to depart the production due to a family tragedy. 

Smith asserts that — as many fans have long suspected — Snyder had firm plans for the sequel in mind, even going so far as to script a scene for Justice League — absent from the theatrical release — which would have seen the infamous DC villain Darkseid viewing the film's events through a Boom Tube, a sort of extra-dimensional tunnel which can be opened with the aid of a Mother Box (sentient computers in the DC Universe which are alluded to in the film). This would have led directly into the sequel, in which the Justice League would have become aware of the growing threat posed by Darkseid and taken the fight directly to the intergalactic despot's home planet of Apokolips.

The second film, then, would have seen the team go cosmic, introducing Apokolips' neighboring planet of New Genesis, the Green Lantern Corps, and one iteration or another of Green Lantern himself. Apparently, the scene from the second Justice League trailer which featured Alfred addressing an unknown party ("Let's hope you're not too late") was meant to feature the Dark Knight's butler interacting with Green Lantern; the scene was cut from the film when Whedon took over. 

This second flick would have ended on a dark note in the vein of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, with our heroes separated, stranded and otherwise defeated by Darkseid and his minions. In the wake of this defeat, Darkseid would have arrived on Earth, causing mass destruction and ending the film on a note of utter hopelessness (which, let's face it, would have led to "Infinity War did it first" memes across the entirety of cyberspace, but it still would've been cool). 

The third film would have finally shown us the reality of the grim, apocalyptic vision experienced by Bruce Wayne in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a movie that would have been the better part of a decade old by the time Justice League 3 made it to the screen (you've got to admire Snyder's commitment to to the long game here). The trilogy would have ultimately climaxed with the Justice League, reunited, returning to Earth to make their final stand against Darkseid and the armies of Apokolips, a battle royale which any DC fan worth their salt would literally give their left pinky to see brought to life on the big screen.

Snyder's contributions to the DC Extended Universe — which has undergone a significant and, dare we say, appropriate revamping since the director's departure — were much maligned by by a wide swath of DC fandom, but if Smith's testimony is accurate, it's tough to fault him for his ambition. Sure, it's undeniably true that Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman, and Justice League suffered from problems with characterization, pacing, dialogue, and — well, let's just stop there and say that they were imperfectly executed. But if correct, Smith's report suggests that the director had a strong vision for the Justice League trilogy, one which was very close to coming to fruition. Apparently, more than one of the crew members Smith spoke with claimed to have seen storyboards for all three films which were created by legendary Marvel and DC artist Jim Lee, meaning that the trilogy's production had gone a bit beyond being merely a twinkle in Snyder's eye.

If not for Smith, we may never have known what plans Snyder had in store for DC fans before his unfortunate exit. Whatever his flaws as a filmmaker, it can never be said that he didn't have a burning passion for the material, and even though the DCEU is moving in a more filmmaker-driven direction less centered on universe-building in his absence, it's kind of a bummer that he didn't get the chance to at least try to bring his vision to the screen.