With the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, there has been a lot of speculation and theorizing about what everything in the four-hour epic means.
For the uninitiated, the theatrical version of Justice League, which was released in 2017, was a far cry from director Zack Snyder’s original vision for the project, as he had walked away from the project halfway through production due to a family tragedy. Joss Whedon took his place and supervised extensive reshoots. The version now available on HBO Max is the fabled Snyder Cut, which was saved from obscurity by a loyal fan campaign.
The film is chock-full of secret details and Easter eggs, as one might expect from a four-hour film. You might be wondering what the hell happened in the final Knightmare scene, or who Ryan Choi is, and we’ve got you covered. To ensure you don’t miss anything in the Snyder Cut, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the greatest Easter eggs.
It should go without saying, but there are a lot of spoilers in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. If you haven’t seen the film yet, do so via HBO Max (or a VOD service in your country) and then return!
Zack Snyder’s Cameo
Zack Snyder appears in Zack Snyder’s Justice League in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene. When Lois Lane goes to get her coffee about 15 minutes into the movie, you can see the director sitting in the window. Snyder previously announced his cameo on Vero, but it was cut from the theatrical version.
The Nightmare Deaths
In the Nightmare timeline – that horrifying future where Darkseid has conquered Earth and Superman has succumbed to his mind-control through the Anti-Life Equation – a startling number of DC heroes are found to be dead. The heroes plan to prevent this from ever happening by sending Flashback in time to the exact moment it happens (hence the “am I too soon?” scene in Batman v Superman).
Aquaman and Wonder Woman are both dead in this horrible future, according to the Snyder Cut. While resurrecting Superman, Cyborg has a vision of Aquaman’s death at the hands of Darkseid, as well as Wonder Woman’s burial – however, we don’t really see how she died.
The Joke Card
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman wears a Joker card on his rifle in the Nightmare timeline, a dystopian future in which Darkseid has triumphed. In the original film, it was never explained why, but in the Snyder Cut, we learn at the end of the film that it’s a sign of a truce between Batman and the Joker. The truce is in effect as long as Batman has the card.
The Joker has a new look in the film, though the Jesus imagery teased in a photo does not appear in the Snyder Cut, nor does the now-famous line “We live in a culture.” Snyder told Vanity Fair that the police badges pinned to Joker’s new outfit have a reason: “He’s covered in badges. Those are his awards.”
Joker also refers to Batman as “Batman.” Whatever happened in the Nightmare timeline, there was obviously a paradigm shift in the iconic hero-vs-villain relationship, which would have been investigated in a sequel.
Surprisingly, another pivotal DC character, Harley Quinn, who was played by Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey, is reported to be dead in this timeline. After the clown brings up the death of Robin, whom he killed before the events of Batman v Superman, Batman mocks him with Harley’s dying words. In that film, Robin’s death is alluded to, with his burnt and graffitied suit on display in the Batcave. It’s all intertwined!
Deathstroke’s Mohawk and sword
Deathstroke’s new haircut in the Nightmare scene is more than just a fashion statement; it has a deeper meaning. The mohawk was Joe Manganiello’s idea, he said, and it came from his canceled solo film.
“The best fighters are the ones who go into battle already dead or assuming they’re going to die,” he explained to Yahoo! Entertainment. “So there was a climactic moment in my solo story where I wanted Slade to shave his head into this war-like Mohawk knowing that he was going off to his own death.” “I always envisioned him with a big white Mohawk,” I told Zack, and he was all for it.”
In the #SnyderCut Exhibit in the United States, actor Geoff Reeves noted a particular symbol on the hilt of the sword. On the mercenary’s weapon is a red circular motif, a symbol that belongs to Ra’s Al Ghul, the head of the League of Assassins, and was earlier seen in the non-DCEU Batman film Batman Begins. While this villain isn’t in the Snyder Cut, it’s still an interesting glimpse into Deathstroke’s past – or what he does when he’s not hunting down Batman.
Mera and the flash nightmare look
In the Nightmare scene, Mera and the Flash appear to be quite distinct. Mera is carrying a canister of water, presumably, so she can use her aqua-powers on the dehydrated surface (the Aquaman movie demonstrated she can live on dry land without water).
The Flash is dressed in a heavily armored suit, similar to the one he wore in Batman v Superman when he time-traveled back to warn Batman of impending danger. The reshoots included these scenes, as well as the other appearances in the Knightmare sequence. Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash in Fantastic Beasts 3, was on set filming his part, with director Zack Snyder starring over Zoom.
History lesson heroes
Snyder’s History Lesson sequence is a little longer than the theatrical version, but it’s mostly the same. However, there are some significant differences in the Snyder Cut: Darkseid appears in the new edition, while he is entirely absent in the Whedon Cut. We also get a better look at the gathered heroes.
In the Snyder Cut, we get a better look at David Thewlis’ Ares, Wonder Woman’s villain, as well as Robin Wright’s Antiope and Connie Nielsen’s Hippolyta. The Greek gods Zeus and Artemis also get in on the action (the latter’s arrow is later used to light the ancient warning fire).
Deathstroke creating a new Batman solo movie
The Deathstroke scene in the Whedon cut was a post-credits sting in which the mercenary arrived at Lex Luthor’s yacht. Luthor called for “our own league,” hinting at an Injustice League sequel. But it’s all about Batman in the Snyder Cut, which Joe Manganiello has confirmed is the original version of this scene.
For now, Ben Affleck Batman solo film would have pitted the Caped Crusader against Deathstroke, with Slade Wilson aiming to end Bruce Wayne’s life completely. The film was never made after Affleck left the role, though Manganiello has hinted that he might return as Deathstroke after all.
Wonder Woman named for the first time
You certainly didn’t notice Ezra Miller’s Flash referring to Gal Gadot’s Diana as Wonder Woman, but did you know this is the first time the hero has ever been referred to as Wonder Woman in the DCEU? But it’s unclear how Flash came up with her superhero name.
Lois’ pregnancy test
When Lois pulls her press pass from her bedside table drawer, she notices a pregnancy test inside, which she examines carefully. “At the end of the movie, Lois is pregnant,” Snyder told Vanity Fair, noting that the brand name Force Majeure means “unforeseeable conditions” in French.
Snyder also revealed that in the unmade sequels, it will be Lois’ death, which Batman fails to avert, that causes Superman to succumb to the Anti-Life Equation. After this is undone through time travel shenanigans, Superman and Lois’ son will become the new Batman – after Bruce Wayne sacrifices himself to prevent Lois’ death, stopping the Nightmare future from happening.
The Snyder Cut contains a few references to Flashpoint, a comic story in which the Flash goes back in time to avoid his mother’s murder – and inadvertently destroys the entire timeline. Given the multiverse aspect of the plot, the Flash solo film will most likely include elements of this story.
Flash reaches the speed force in the Snyder Cut, which allows him to travel through time. But this time everything goes according to plan.
Then there’s Wonder Woman’s mention of an earlier conflict between Amazons and Atlanteans: in Flashpoint, the two peoples are at odds once more, and Wonder Woman beheads Mera.
Ryan Choi, the new Director of Nanotechnology at Metropolis’ Kryptonian shipyard, isn’t whom he seems. In the DC universe, he is the superhero Atom Smasher, and he later joins the Justice League. His principal skill is to alter the size of himself and objects, and he has the ability to go subatomic. So, can we expect to see Atom Smasher resurrected in a future DC project? However, his cameo was removed from the theatrical version, but Snyder has restored it.
Snyder has discussed the possibility of casting Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in the Snyder Cut, as well as the possibility of replacing Martian Manhunter with John Stewart in the final scene. In the Snyder Cut, a Green Lantern appears and is slain in the History Lesson sequence.
But, in a blink–and–you’ll–miss–it time, another Lantern appears. A dead Lantern can be seen by the fractured remains of the Hall of Justice during Cyborg’s vision of a nightmare future in which Darkseid kills most of the heroes.
Jimmy Olsen didn’t actually make it out of Batman v Superman alive, but he’s in the Snyder Cut in some ways. Marc McClure, who played Cyborg in the Christopher Reeve Superman films, makes a cameo appearance as a police officer who is saved from a flying car by Cyborg.
Although this scene was removed from the theatrical release, McClure still made an appearance in the scene with Flash visiting his father, this time as a jail guard.
Details About Batman
The Snyder Cut contains a number of Easter eggs associated with Batman. Bruce’s corporation, Wayne Enterprises, donated the scoreboard for Cyborg’s football game.
Arkham Asylum is also shown to have been constructed in 1974, the same year the institution first appeared in comic books.
The officer in the GCPD talking to Jim Gordon is Crispus Allen, who was killed in the comics and became the host for the Spectre, a vastly powerful spirit.