Zack Snyder has gone through the ins and outs of his original vision for the movie and, to be honest, I don’t really know what surprises he still would be able to pull out of his utility belt for this one. After being a myth for God knows how long, the infamous and elusive Snyder Cut was finally confirmed to be a tangible entity, with it setting a 2021 release on the newly released streaming platform, HBOMax.
The man who single-handedly made Vero a thing has constantly paraded his version of the movie on the social media platform. From storyboards, photos, scripts, etc. Snyder has been getting online support to see his cut, as the little nuggets of information have shown that the final theatrical release was very different from what he had originally intended for the film. There was Supes black suit, several members of the Green Lantern Corps, and overall, much more plot than what actually transpired. To quote the dude, we’ve only seen “one-fourth” of the movie.
So, as we know there had been several characters that were set to appear in the 2017 film but were nowhere to be seen in the finished product. However, the announcement of the Justice League Snyder Cut presents these characters with a new life, one that would see them make their big-screen debuts and possibly end up playing bigger roles in the shared universe. Let’s take a look at some of them!
Ryan Choi is a character that was introduced in 2006 as the young protégé of Ray Palmer, who was also known as the Atom in DC’s comics. When the original Atom had gone missing, Choi assumed his mentor’s role in Ivy University. He soon discovered a “bio-belt” which had apparently been used by his mentor in his hero work. With Palmer’s clues and apparent blessing, Choi soon found a way to don the equipment and take on the heroic, thus becoming the third individual to bear the name of the Atom.
Only recently did the character make his official live-action debut as the Arrowverse introduced the character played by Osric Chau. Of course, in that particular multiverse, Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer had already been up and running as the Atom on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. However, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, Ryan Choi came face to face with Palmer as a fusion of intellectual atoms resulted in an explosion of geekery.
Nevertheless, did you know that Choi had initially been planned to make his live-action debut on the big screen? In the original theatrical cut for Justice League, Ryan Choi appears on a list of names of S.T.A.R. Labs employees during footage of Victor Stone’s agony inducing transformation into Cyborg. However, the scientist himself was nowhere to be seen in the movie. As such, it was surmised that the name was one of those blink-and-you-miss-it Easter eggs. Nothing more.
However, a photo posted by Zack Snyder on Vero back in 2018 featured a scientist of Asian descent, standing alongside Dr Silas Stone. Fans quickly hopped aboard the theory train, posting their infinite speculations on Reddit, but it wasn’t until a Vero user going by ‘Michael van Huang’ posted the very same photo that Snyder gave a concrete answer. Ryan Choi was in the film and an actor in the form of The Great Wall’s Kai Zheng had already been cast.
Later on, Snyder posted another monochrome photo featuring the character, front and centre. The caption read: “Ryan Choi, Director of nanotechnology Star labs”. The photo seemed to imply that this role was more than just a simple cameo and that Choi actually had more to him than initially deduced. In a more recent update, Zack Snyder posted another picture, this time in colour, teasing the ensuing fun that would complement Choi’s introduction to the DCEU.
While Choi’s involvement in the plot is indeed a little more substantial than initially perceived, it is unlikely that he will don the Atom costume as he did in the comics. There could be foreshadowing to his future subatomic adventures, and we might even get a glimpse at shrinking tech, but it should remain just that.
Kiersey Clemons was set to appear in the 2017 film as Barry Allen’s love interest, Iris West. Nevertheless, she was notably absent throughout the runtime of the movie, with the Flash only interacting with his incarcerated dad, Henry, and the rest of the Justice League. The character did notably make an appearance in a deleted scene that was released online, presumably her first encounter with the speedster.
In the scene, The Flash is tapping into the Speed Force as he shatters a glass panel with the tip of his finger in order to get to several citizens in peril on the outside. There is a fair amount of ground shifting going on when Barry comes to a halt. He looks up at Iris West, who has seemingly been tossed from a flipping bright red car. Barry pulls her and sets her down gently on the ground as the car explodes in the background. And the scene fades to black.
You can check out the scene for yourself here:
Zack Snyder himself has had nothing but praise for the actress, citing her performance as “awesome”. Like Ryan Choi, he’s also posted a couple of black and white looks at the character; one focusing on Clemons, and the other displaying Iris’s friendship with Barry.
We’re gonna get a little Apokalyptic here to lead up to the big one on this list (you know he’s coming).
Created by Jack Kirby in 1971, DeSaad was initially regarded as an ally to Drax (no, not THAT invisible goofball from Guardians of the Galaxy), who was the brother of Prince Uxas and heir to the throne of Apokalips. He was seemingly aiding Drax to master the Omega Force. However, his true intentions were revealed when he aided Prince Uxas to kill his brother, subsequently granting Uxas the Omega Force. Uxas took on a godly name in his new form, becoming the terrifying villain known as Darkseid, with DeSaad serving under him as his Master Torturer.
DeSaad’s role in the film was confirmed by Zack Snyder when a fan by the name of Jibin Matthew posted a Vero exchange of him with the director. Matthew had asked whether a particular line in the trailers had been spoken by Darkseid, to which the director responded, saying that Steppenwolf had delivered the line. Alright, no biggie… Nevertheless, the second part of Snyder’s reply came more as a shocker as he revealed that the line was being spoken to the sadistic New God himself.
DeSaad would probably not be a big presence in the 2021 film, but this piece of news is particularly interesting as it seems that certain members of Darkseid’s homeworld will factor into the plot of the film. Certain sources have also noted that Chernobyl’s Peter Guinness had been cast in the role as the Master Torturer before being cut out from the theatrical release along with VFX having already been completed for the character. If all goes well, we’ll probably see Darkseid’s loyal servant wreak havoc next year.
In one of the more universe-shaking revelations, the director dropped the bombshell that a certain character which had appeared in both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice had been posing as a superhero this whole time. Ever since General Swanwick appeared in Superman’s solo outing, fans had been theorising the mysterious identity of the military man.
Some latched onto the theory that Harry Lennix’s character was not of this world when he was surprisingly unnerved as Kal El broke his shackles during the interrogation scene in Man of Steel. He also casually mentioned Superman’s homeworld by name despite the humans having no prior knowledge of such. That, along with another scene with Superman at the very end of the same film, fuelled initial discussions as to whether Swanwick was actually the Green Martian in disguise.
By the time the events of Batman V Superman had unfolded, Swanwick had already been promoted to the position of the US Secretary of Defense. However, he was not to be seen again in Justice League, with Lennix’s scenes having been cut out of the final product.
The Martian Manhunter reveal was made when Snyder posted a picture of a storyboard he had for a scene in which Martha Kent and Lois Lane are both in the Daily Planet for some coffee. The conclusion of the scene had Lois leaving the room that Martha and she had been in. However, when the camera closes up on Martha, her form changes into that of the Manhunter before shifting into Swanwick’s frame.
While this reveal wouldn’t have meant that the Martian Manhunter was ready to factor into the Justice League, it is nice to know that there is another hero lurking around, ready to help whenever there is a need to. It is indeed a shame that whatever unfolded on the screen turned out to be a cringy discussion on the state of the media followed by an extremely out of place “thirsty” joke that wasn’t remotely comedic. No Manhunter. Just Martha.
And here we go…
Ciaran Hinds’ Steppenwolf may have been the major big bad in Justice League, but much more was originally planned for dastardly villainy in the form of Darkseid. We all witnessed the words uttered by Steppenwolf as he united the three Mother Boxes that he had collected in the film, musing of his quest for approval among the council of the New Gods.
“I will take my place among the New Gods. Find the last one! Its power will cleanse this world. For the Unity! For Darkseid!”
We already know that Darkseid was the one who was pulling the strings behind the many epic intergalactic battles that had taken place, but we never got to witness the horror and anguish that accompanied his presence. He’s the DC villain you crap your pants to. When he shows up, it means s*** is about to go down as he’s been able to outmatch the superhero team on many occasions in the comics, even offing some of them.
So, when Snyder revealed his original plans for the movie, without a doubt, it meant a whole lot of soiled trousers considering that Darkseid did indeed show up in his cut to crush the head of a decapitated Steppenwolf. The villain’s presence was also key to set up Snyder’s planned Justice League trilogy in which he revealed that the Lord of Apokalips would be returning in the sequels, notably pulverising the team in the second outing the same way Thanos did in Infinity War. The Third movie would then have been the last stand of the league against the forces of Apokalips and would have involved the Knightmare reality that had been experienced by Bruce Wayne in Dawn of Justice.
It has also been noted that an Injustice reality had also been considered for the DCEU as it was initially planned for Darkseid to kill Lois Lane, thus setting up an evil Superman conquering the planet, and the rest of the League scrambling to find a solution by turning to the past. Therefore, that whole “Lois is the key” shenanigan would end up being more meaningful as opposed to her anticlimactic random appearance when Clark was first resurrected.
All in all, Darkseid spells giant trouble for our heroes. Ray Porter has already been announced as the performer who had portrayed the character in the film, hence proving his existence. If Snyder’s cut does tease an epic showdown with lasting devastating consequences, why not rain down the Apokalips on us all?
The introduction of new characters does not equate to being a better film. I believe that there still has to be a certain amount of wariness that has to be instilled by both fans and the filmmakers themselves. However, if these personalities were actually being established confidently for the long run in a sensible manner, it would be great for the DCEU to tap into that.
Are you excited for these popular DC characters to show up in Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Leave your thoughts in the comments.