In the wake of the critical and financial disappointment of Justice Leauge, the DC Extended Universe is headed in a different direction, including dropping the original plans for Justice League 2. After two divisive installments with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Warner Bros. executives were getting nervous about Zack Snyder doing another DC movie. He started work on Justice League shortly after the release of Batman v Superman, completing principal photography, but an early screening made WB executives jumpy, leading to pressure on Snyder to make a lighter, more optimistic movie, eventually resulting in him being fired from the project.
Justice League 2 hasn't been officially canceled, but after all that's transpired, it's safe to assume that any sequel to the theatrical version of Justice League will not be directed by Zack Snyder and will likely not continue his vision for the story and characters. Even so, a good amount of work was done on the team-up sequel. The movie may not have ever seen its own dedicated pre-production schedule, but Batman v Superman, Justice League, and Justice League 2 were conceived as a mostly continuous story, meaning much of the story and design work for the previous movies would also be used for Justice League 2, putting it into fairly similar territory to George Miller's canned Justice League Mortal. Here's everything we know about the what Justice League 2 would have been
This Page: What Was the Plan for Justice League 2?
Production Would Have Started Immediately After Justice League
Justice League 2 was originally scheduled to come out in of June 2019, meaning production was set to start almost immediately after Justice League, which itself started production almost immediately after Batman v Superman. The production schedule and release date proximity is exceptionally tighter than most franchises, leaving little room to adapt but it's not unheard of. Lord of the Rings was all shot at once, and then each movie was released only a year apart. The difference is that Batman v Superman was not widely accepted, making the immediate jump into the next movie problematic.
In December 2016, the release date was pushed back indefinitely, supposedly to be replaced by The Batman, with Snyder supposedly planning to direct The Last Photograph before Justice League 2, but based on the timing of the decision, it appears that this was likely actually one of the first signs of trouble before Snyder was removed from the project and replaced by Joss Whedon. If Snyder and WB were clashing enough for him to be removed by February, it's likely the studio was ready to make the decision to take Justice League 2 away already, but that's not a very PR friendly move, so it makes sense that it would be done to make room for The Batman (which doesn't appear to be in any rush) because that would be seen as exciting by some fans. Interestingly enough, it was after this change that Affleck became non-commital when it came to The Batman, before stepping down himself, leaving even the future of his role as Batman in question.
Justice League Was Announced as "Part One" and "Part Two"
When it was originally announced, long before anyone knew what to expect of the DCEU, Justice League was listed as "Part One" and "Part Two" leading many to believe it was a single story split between two movies, like Mockingjay or Breaking Dawn. It wasn't until the Justice League set visit that the Snyders clarified that while they'd love to do the next one and Justice League definitely set up Justice League 2, Justice League was still a stand-alone story.
Considering the plan before Batman v Superman was to do each one after another, it's hard to believe that Justice League 2 wasn't supposed to be heavily connected and immediately following Justice League, especially when Snyder's main response to whether or not it's happening is simply "we have a release date," despite having previously named as the director and the fact that the release date was so soon.
Plans Changed After Batman v Superman
It should be fairly clear by now that significant changes were implemented in the wake of Batman v Superman. The back to back to back production was ditched, the release date was changed, producers started talking about accelerating the "hope and optimism" the franchise was already headed toward. Justice League saw many changes, but it was most likely Justice League 2 that saw the biggest change, as most of the changes to Justice League were not in service of setting up a sequel, to the point where the sequel potential might have been squashed as Justice League's changes wrote Justice League out of existence.
It Had a Story, but Probably Not a Script
It's clear with the events of Batman v Superman and Justice League that things were headed toward a very specific destination with Justice League 2, and the lack of downtime between the two films means the story was already fairly well developed, but it didn't necessarily have a completed script. First, of all, there was never an official announcement attaching a scribe to the project. Second, Justice League's writer, Chris Terrio, said shortly before Batman v Superman that he wouldn't "necessarily" write Justice League Part Two.
Teases of connections in Batman v Superman, sequel set-up in Justice League, and even more cut material that would have set up Justice League 2 in Justice League shows that the plan was firmly in place, and the script, whoever was writing it, would have probably been completed during Justice League's production, had WB stuck to the initial release windows.
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