The DC Extended Universe is changing. After a number of divisive movies directed by Zack Snyder, Warner Bros. had gotten tired of controversial reviews and fired Zack Snyder during the production of Justice League. The movie was finished by Joss Whedon in a style that hardly resembled Zack Snyder, pumping up the lighting and saturation in most scenes, adding in a bunch of one-liners, cutting the runtime down to two hours, and completely reshooting Superman's character. This also meant the scrapping of Snyder's plans for Justice League 2.
Originally conceived as a 2 part story, Justice League and Justice League 2 were the presumed endgame of the story Snyder started in Man of Steel. After Batman v Superman's rough reviews, the plan was changed to alter Justice League, with Snyder still hoping for Justice League 2, but after he was fired last year, the rest of his plan was wiped from the table.
One of the biggest criticisms against the DCEU under Snyder's guidance was that it was moving too fast without a proper roadmap, simply rushing to catch up with Marvel. However, as things slowly come out about his original plans for his part of theDCEU, it appears things might have been planned far more intricately than anyone realized, and Batman v Superman was already setting up for Justice League 2, a movie which we'll never see now - at least not as originally planned.
This Page: Batman v Superman's 3 Cross Foreshadowing
Batman v Superman's 3 Cross Foreshadowing
The setup for Justice League 2 in Batman v Superman is one of the newer revelations made by Snyder after a fan inquired about the 3 crosses visible during Superman's death. Snyder commented simply saying they were referencing Justice League 2 "#untilitwasnt." He didn't specify what the crosses were actually referencing, but based on a few context clues, we can establish a good idea of what it meant for Justice League 2, including who was going to die.
Any time a cross is used in a movie, especially a movie by Zack Snyder, knowing the Biblical allegory at play is imperative to understanding the symbolism at play. In this case, the use of 3 crosses is very specific. When Jesus was crucified in the Bible, he was hung on a cross, flanked by 2 other crosses bearing two criminals. One of the criminals began to mock him, suggesting there was no way he could possibly be the son of God because if he was, he would save himself. The other criminal replied to him, saying he had no business mocking Jesus because they were up there for crimes they were rightfully convicted of committing, whereas Jesus was being executed when he had committed no crime, asking "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" In response, Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." This story is an illustration of how nobody is beyond redemption, even in the moment of their death, even a convicted criminal.
Throughout Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, the use of Christ imagery with Superman makes it clear that the middle cross would be the Man of Tomorrow, but who are the other two? It couldn't be the Trinity because that doesn't satisfy the symbolism of the criminals. At least Wonder Woman doesn't. Batman, however, satisfies the parallel of the penitent criminal. He was a fallen hero, driven to kill Supeman in BvS, but was after seeing Superman's sacrifice, he was redeemed and decided to return to a more noble heroism, as shown through his "men are still good" voiceover. We already know Darkseid was going to be the villain in Justice League 2, and it involved the Anti-Life Equation, meaning it was likely inspired by 'Final Crisis' in which Batman sacrifices himself to kill Darkseid, making him a likely candidate for the second cross.
Besides, it was always doubtful Ben Affleck signed on with the intent of having more than a handful of appearances as Batman, and with the Caped Crusader introduced in his 40s, the idea of a shorter arc for Bruce Wayne than the other heroes makes a lot of sense. That gives them the opportunity to have Dick Grayson take the mantle (possibly after a 'Battle For The Cowl' style movie), or gives an excuse to recast with a different actor, possibly like current rumors suggest they will do with Flashpoint. The deviation from this plan could also be an explanation for why Affleck suddenly ran out of speed with the franchise, abandoning the writer and director chair for his Batman solo movie, phoning it in for Justice League reshoots, and is likely going to leave the role.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020