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We Now Know The One Time Batman Was Supposed To Die

Still pining for the Zack Snyder Justice League trilogy that never was? We might have the cure for that — or, we may leave you wanting it even more.

It all depends upon how dark you like your superhero fare, because Snyder has confirmed that Batman would have died in Justice League 3. His killer? None other than Darkseid. (via ComicBook.com)

Yes, it was essentially Snyder's plan for Bruce Wayne to make a heroic, Iron Man-like sacrifice to save the Earth from the ravages of Darkseid's armies in the concluding chapter of the trilogy. This tidbit apparently comes from an exchange the filmmaker had with a fan on his Vero account, in which he asserted that "we always had that plan we would see [Batman's death] in [the] final chapter."

In case you're unaware, Snyder's plans for the trilogy were indeed detailed. In the past, he has confirmed that in this trilogy, Darkseid would have been revealed as the one controlling events at the conclusion of Justice League, with Steppenwolf simply being one of his minions. In the second film of the trilogy, the Justice League would have actually taken the fight to Darkseid's home planet of Apokolips, a battle which would have seen members of the Jack Kirby-created New Gods enter the fray, not to mention the Green Lantern Corps.

At the end of that film, we would have been left with the obligatory Dark Cliffhanger; Darkseid would have emerged victorious, throttling the Justice League and murdering Lois Lane, which would have led to Superman just going full-on dark (as hinted at in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice). The third film would have continued to make good on the teases of that movie, with Darkseid invading Earth and conquering it, since there's no Justice League to protect it — resulting in the so-called "Knightmare" tease of Bruce Wayne's Dawn of Justice vision coming to pass.

Then, time travel would have entered the picture (and if you're thinking that this all seems like a rather condensed version of Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga, well, we're not going to argue). Batman would have found himself traveling through a series of time loops, presumably with an assist from the Flash (whose cryptic Dawn of Justice communique to Batman would also have come into play) in an attempt to bring Supes back over to the side of right, so that he could help defeat Darkseid once and for all.

Now, Snyder has confirmed that Bats would have sacrificed himself in making that effort. So, let's see: an intergalactic warlord behind the scenes of an incursion into Earth, which was repelled by a team of superheroes? Another team taking the fight to said warlord's home planet? Time travel as a means of fixing some terrible occurrence which needs to be undone in order for our heroes to prevail? A billionaire hero who doesn't actually have any superpowers making the ultimate sacrifice to ensure victory? Nope, none of this is ringing any bells.

Does the Snyder Cut of Justice League really exist?

We can say with absolute certainty that this trilogy will never come to pass, and all things considered, we think that's for the best. But there has recently been, as you may be aware, one heck of a huge brouhaha over whether Warner Bros. will ever see fit to release Snyder's cut of Justice League, which by all accounts is very different from the one we actually got.

You'll recall that Avengers director Joss Whedon had to step in to finish the film when Snyder experienced a family tragedy, and it's been reported that he may have re-shot well over an hour of scenes; we know that he nixed the involvement of Darkseid completely, and it's safe to say that there were a number of other narrative threads (ones that likely would have tied in to this planned trilogy) that were left on the cutting room floor as well.

With all of the debate raging around the "Snyder Cut" — which has even seen several of the film's stars, including Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa clamoring for it to see the light of day — perhaps the biggest question has been: is there actually a cut to release? Sure, Warner Bros. spent an ungodly amount of money producing and marketing the film; with Whedon's reshoots factored in, it certainly ended up setting the studio back well north of the reported production cost of $300 million dollars, and it only managed $658 million dollars at the global box office. But if there's another cut just sitting around that legions of fans want to see, wouldn't it make sense to recoup a bit of that dough by, you know, letting them see it?

The general consensus among industry insiders (including Danny Elfman, who stepped in to score the film in place of Junkie XL when Whedon took over) is that Snyder never finished assembling a cut. Our inclination is to defer to such knowledgeable parties — but then, a few days ago, Snyder took to his Vero account to post this:

Well, now we just don't know what to think. We do know one thing, though: any cut of Snyder's couldn't be any worse than Whedon's. Take heart, fans: remember that original director Richard Donner was booted off of 1980's Superman II, and was replaced by Richard Lester, resulting in a movie that was very different from Donner's vision. Warner Bros. eventually released Donner's cut of the movie... in 2006. If this precedent stands, you only have another 24 years to wait.