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Everything We Know About Zack Snyder's Original Justice League 2 Plans


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In the wake of the critical and financial disappointment of 2017's Justice League, the DC Extended Universe 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.

Years of campaigning to #ReleasetheSnyderCut eventually led Warner Bros. to bring Snyder back to finish the movie he originally set out to make. With the recent release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, new information has come to light regarding Justice League 2, though studio execs are not too keen on the idea of a sequel, choosing to look ahead to the slate of DC films currently in development. That said, Justice League 2 may not have ever seen its own dedicated pre-production schedule, but Batman v Superman, Justice League, and it's unconfirmed sequel were conceived to be 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 story details of Justice League 2.

Production Would Have Started Immediately After Justice League

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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 more difficult.

n 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 Matt Reeves' The Batman because that would be seen as exciting by some fans. Interestingly enough, it was after this change that Affleck became non-committal when it came to The Batman, before stepping down himself, leaving the door open for Robert Pattinson to take his place.

Justice League Was Announced As "Part One" And "Part Two"

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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 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay or The Twilight Saga: 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 be 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 was happening back then was simply "we have a release date," despite having previously named as the director. Obviously, plans were scrapped and, even though Snyder returned to finish Justice League, the sequel seems even less likely to happen now after all this time.

Plans Changed After Batman V Superman

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It should be fairly clear by now that significant changes were implemented in the wake of Batman v Superman. The 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 2017's Justice League's changes wrote Snyder's Justice League out of existence.

It Had A Premise, But Not A Script

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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 meant the story was already fairly well developed, but it didn't necessarily have a completed script. To start, 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. In a few interviews, Snyder has revealed the basic premise of what would have happened in Justice League 2 if it had moved forward. Now that Snyder's Justice League has been released, it's obvious the long epilogue was setting up the now-scrapped sequel.

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