Who Did The 3rd Cross Represent?
The identity of the third cross is the least obvious, but with Batman fitting the role of the penitent criminal, the final cross has to be Lex Luthor. Batman v Superman sets Bruce and Lex up as foils, where both are orphaned billionaires obsessed with taking down Superman. Both were powerful men before Superman arrived, but his appearance was not only accompanied by large-scale destruction in Metropolis, but his arrival also triggered a rage in both of them described by Alfred "that feeling of powerlessnesses that turns good men cruel." Their arcs are incredibly similar, even some of their dialogue matches up, but where Bruce is ultimately inspired by Superman and comes to see him a savior, Lex still hates Superman. The scene on the rooftop in Batman v Superman has Lex trying to show the world the "holes in the holy," attempting to prove that Superman is not a god, a belief Batman echoes before he comes to see Superman is a hero himself.
In 'Final Crisis', Lex Luthor initially sides with Darkseid before betraying him and teaming up with Superman to defeat the Anti-Life equation, which doesn't match the role of the unrepentant criminal, so this would be a deviation from the presumed 'Final Crisis' inspiration, but Lex Luthor could just as easily be the subject of Darkseid's wrath if he resisted the Lord of Apokalips. The end credits scene for Justice League (a scene shot by Zack Snyder) has Luthor presumably forming the Injustice League (or Legion of Doom), which could have ultimately given him some muscle to form his own resistance against Darkseid when he arrived. Besides, Jesse Eisenberg is another actor, like Affleck, who's hard to imagine would sign on for any long-term franchise attachment.
While this is just a theory, and one that's unlikely to ever be verified on-screen, it does line up with the character arcs of all the characters involved, match the symbolism of the three crosses, play into the ongoing metaphor of Superman as a Christ figure, and free up the schedule of two actors who don't want to be tied down.
Under this new plan, it's still not clear how each character's arc will play out. There is no Justice League 2 on Warner Bros. schedule, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are the only Justice League members whose solo films have release dates, and there are rumors that Jake Gyllenhaal could become Batman - possibly using Flashpoint as some kind of time-travel plot device to make the switch from Affleck to Gyllenhaal make sense.
Regardless of what happens in the DCEU or any Justice League 2 that may develop, it will likely deviate from this plan significantly and is all but guaranteed to not continue the 3 cross metaphor from Batman v Superman. While many of the aspects fans have learned were removed from Justice League could still hypothetically be seen if the Snyder Cut is ever finished and released, but with Justice League 2 never even entering pre-production, any plans Snyder had for that movie left the DCEU with him.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020