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Why The Sinking Ship In The Snyder Cut Means More Than You Think

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For many fans and critics, Zack Snyder's Justice League was more than worth the wait. In addition to providing the long-awaited resolution to years of frustration over the original theatrical version of the film, it's given fans plenty of surprises. Throughout its four-hour runtime, the film offers plenty of Easter eggs: everything from hints to what future Snyder-esque Justice League films could look like to DC Comics references — and even a wink and a nod to a popular Joker meme. In other words, there's plenty to bring fans back for a second (or third, or fourth...) look at the newly released film, which is currently streaming on HBO Max

Beyond the more obvious Easter eggs, though, was one reference that may have slipped past even the most eagle-eyed fans. That's because it had nothing to do with the comic book universe, but rather another literary world that Zack Snyder has had one foot in for years. It involves the sinking ship that Aquaman rescues in both versions of Justice League. Let's take a look at why that moment actually has a deeper meaning, and why Zack Snyder may have decided to include it in the film.

Zack Snyder made a big literary allusion with the sinking ship

In both the theatrical cut and the Snyder cut of Justice League, we see Aquaman dive to rescue a fishing boat called the Cortlandt. At first glance, it may not seem that significant — but especially when viewing Zack Snyder's Justice League, there is likely a deeper meaning behind the boat's name.

To understand it, we have to go way back to 1943 and Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. It tells the story of Howard Roark, an innovative and strong-willed architect tasked with helping to design a housing project called the Cortlandt. Anyone who's a fan of Zack Snyder likely knows that he's a big admirer of Rand (via The Playlist). For at least the last five years, he's wanted to bring a big-screen adaptation of The Fountainhead to life. So it's safe to say that he probably did not make the reference to the Cortlandt unintentionally. Of course, we may not want to read too much into why he named the ship after the project. In the novel, Roark ultimately blows the Cortlandt up, while in Justice League, Aquaman saves the ship, so the two incarnations seemingly couldn't be more different.

Since it appears The Fountainhead may actually be Zack Snyder's next project, there's a chance fans of the director, the author, or both will get a chance to see his vision of the Cortlandt for real. In the meantime, fans can catch the Randian allusion in Justice League, currently streaming on HBO Max.