Significant Changes to the Final Battle
The film’s third act was so aggressively changed that it’s hard to detail every minor variation, but both story and visuals were impacted. The Russian family was entirely added by Whedon. When Snyder was asked about them on Vero, his reaction was “what Russian family?”
He also confirmed that the Apokaliptian root-like things that shoot out of the ground weren't his, simply responding to a fan “yeah, I don’t know what that root stuff is.”
The roots may have been just a small part of a larger visual divergence. Almost all concept art depicts a darker final act with a strong H.G. Geiger influence, and early trailer shots from the scene have a blue/night time appearance, while the final version is very red with extra CGI roots. It hasn’t been confirmed by Snyder whether or not the recolorization was something he was going to do as well, but it’s definitely not what the movie liked like in his first trailer.
Superman was also significantly toned down for the third act. Frequent Zack Snyder collaborator and Justice League storyboard artist Jay Oliva said the original version of the third act would have seen a more “unhinged” version of the character.
The defeat of Steppenwolf was also different. As was already mentioned, the original ending would have been more of a cliffhanger with the League seeing Darkseid.
Batman Took Over a Giant Parademon Gun in the Final Battle
Batman’s role in the Justice League is always a little funny because he’s naturally nowhere near as powerful was the rest of the League. It’s easy to write him as a tactician, strategist, and leader, but it’s difficult in both movies and comics to find a way to make him relevant in big battles. In Batman v Superman’s end battle against Doomsday, for example, he mostly keeps to the shadows, only delivering occasional support, such as a precisely timed kryptonite gas grenade to Doomsday before Superman’s killing blow.
The same struggle is present in Justice League. In the final act of the theatrical cut, Batman takes down the shield and distracts the parademons in the Batmobile, but once the vehicle is destroyed, he fades from relevance until after Steppenwolf is defeated. He gets ahold of a parademon rifle and can be seen using that to give support to the rest of the team.
In Zack Snyder’s original version, Batman gets ahold of a much bigger gun. After ejecting from the Batmobile and assaulting the nuclear silo, there’s a brief shot where an Apokaliptan gun emplacement can be seen in the corner of the screen. Thanks to some concept art and confirmation from Zack Snyder himself, we know Batman was supposed to man that gun, surely making him a much bigger threat throughout the battle.
Silas Stone Gave the Closing Monologue, Not Lois
The ending montage also saw a few notable changes. Since the original movie focused so much more on Cyborg, the ending montage was actually supposed to come from Silas Stone, not Lois Lane, after Cyborg discovers a video message left for him by his father.
Because Silas was supposed to be dead, that also means the moment of Cyborg forming his iconic chest piece was either absent entirely or played out differently.
Aquaman's Ending Introduced Vulko and Set Up His Solo Film
Aquaman's story in Justice League mostly faded away with the closing montage, but Jason Momoa revealed that the original ending actually saw Vulko and Mera approaching him to warn him about the trouble in Atlantis. According to Momoa, Aquaman says he needs to go talk to his dad and hitches a ride in the back of a truck to return home.
After this reveal was made by Momoa, Zack Snyder dropped an image from this particular scene, showing a wide shot of Aquaman with Vulko and Mera.
Post Credits Scene
Lex Luthor’s role in the movie was limited to a post-credits scene, but even that moment saw alterations by Joss Whedon. While most of it played out as Snyder shot, green screen footage of Jesse Eisenberg recording alternate dialogue can be seen in a behind the scenes video from Whedon’s cinematographer, meaning the Legion of Doom tease at the end was not in the Snyder Cut.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020