We never got Justice League 2, but here’s what Zack Snyder had plans for in the time travel department.
I really liked how Batman v Superman had the guts to have a seemingly-nonsensical time-travel scene happen. It popped up following the infamous Knightmare sequence and it was never brought up again. It felt more like part of a hyper-serialized TV series than a film, where most things are expected to wrap up within the runtime. At the time, it felt like a far cry from what we were getting from Marvel Studios, so I appreciated how invested director Zack Snyder was in serialization. But, of course, that never paid off.
Warner Bros. pretty much gave up on the whole idea, opting for more standalone movies going forward. Yes, some movies will likely be tied together, but they’ll be standalones, first and foremost. So, that scene where the Flash came back and warned Bruce about a potentially-homicidal Superman? Yeah, that never came back and likely never will come back.
But what was Zack Snyder’s original plan with the time travel stuff in Justice League 2? Well, Snyder discussed his original vision at length during a live Batman v Superman commentary, and in it, he explained some of how that would be resolved. For starters, their overall goal is to prevent the death of Lois Lane, which leads to the killmonger version of Superman — and apparently, time travel is somehow the only way to prevent it. As it turns out, Lois’ death left Clark open to being infected by Darkseid’s Anti-Life equation. So no, this darker Superman is not just a dick version of himself.
Anyway, Snyder had some insight to share.
“I had this idea that in the future when [the Justice League] are talking about sending Flash back to warn [Bruce Wayne], that Cyborg would be doing the calculations to send him back and would say ‘I have two possibilities of where to send Flash back in time,” Snyder said.
“The numbers point to two moments to warn you [Bruce]. ‘Like, if it’s right near the moment when this event might happen – where Lois might get killed, or Bruce isn’t able to stop it, however that’s happening – it would be important if Flash came closer to that moment so that Bruce could understand the reality of it,” the director continued.
“And so in the future Bruce says to Cyborg ‘Well, what times would you send me back to…What time right now would you send me back?’ And Cyborg says ‘I’m leaning toward this.’ And Bruce says ‘Do the other one, because you already sent him back here and it was too early – so send me to the other one.’ So that’s how he’s able to get [the Flash] back again.”
If you’ll recall, in Batman v Superman, we saw the Flash appear to Bruce and warn him about Superman. Unfortunately, he realized he was “too soon” and disappeared. So, Bruce’s logic seems to be that that future version of Flash was sent back based on Cyborg’s hunch. In this new timeline, however, Bruce is there to influence the when.
Does the logic hold up? Meh, it’s comic book logic. Personally, I’d think that Bruce’s interference could have happened in the original timeline too, so for all he knew, he’d be sending Flash back to the same point in time. But, whatever. Either way, This all has me incredibly interested in how the original story could have played out.
If only, somehow, they could just give Snyder access to an artist so his vision could be realized in comic book form, I think we’d all be able to put all this “what could have been” nonsense behind us. What do you think of the time travel aspect of the spectral Justice League 2? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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