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ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE (2021) vs JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) – My rating: 8.5/10

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (often referred to as the “Snyder Cut”) is Snyder’s 2021 recut of Justice League (2017), directed by Joss Whedon. It presents Justice League—the fifth film of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) as director Zack Snyder intended it before he left the production. This is sort of the answer to the question, why should I spend over 4 huh n hours of my time watching the same Justice League (2017) I’ve already seen?

THE STORYLINE:

**** SERIOUS SPOILERS BELOW ****

Five thousand years ago, Darkseid and his Parademons attempted to conquer Earth using the Mother Boxes that were created on Steppenwolf’s home planet. (The Boxes are instruments that can convert energy to create or reform matter). If you put the three Mother Boxes together, they become an unstoppable force (the Unity), which Steppenwolf uses to conquer planets. The attempt was foiled by a unified alliance of Old Gods, Amazons, Atlanteans, humanity, and a Green Lantern. After the battle, the Boxes were hidden in different locations, guarded by the same unified alliance that fought to save planets. In the present, Superman’s death triggers the Boxes’ reactivation, attracting Steppenwolf, Darkseid’s disgraced lieutenant, to Earth. Steppenwolf aims to regain Darkseid’s favor by gathering the boxes to form “the Unity,” which would terraform Earth in the likeness of their world, Apokolips.

Steppenwolf retrieves a Mother Box from Themyscira, prompting Queen Hippolyta to warn her daughter Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Diana receives the message and learns of the events related to Darkseid and Steppenwolf. She informs Bruce Wayne/Batman. Bruce and Diana seek to form a team of metahumans to protect Earth. Bruce locates Arthur Curry/Aquaman and Barry Allen/Flash, while Diana locates Victor Stone/Cyborg.

HERE’S WHAT’S DIFFERENT:

EXTENDED FIGHT SCENES:
Final Fight and Time Travel: Much of the final battle between the Original Justice League “OJL” and Steppenwolf’s forces have changed or been restored. The orange-red sky is now a simple night sky while moments of Batman breaking through the Zone’s barrier are extended. Cyborg trying to connect with the Mother Boxes as Diana and Aquaman fend off Steppenwolf while Flash is racing around the area to achieve maximum charge are also extended in Snyder’s cut. The ending is switched up with a rule-breaking time-reversal finish that undoes the Unity and blocks Darkseid and his demons from crossing over. Steppenwolf’s demise is very different — Arthur stabs him, Superman sends him soaring, Diana chops his head off, and for the finale, Darkseid crushes Steppenwolf’s chopped-off head with the stomp of his foot.

Many of the action scenes that were in the “OJL” (2017), were shaved down. However, in Snyder Cut, they’ve been restored using more CGI blood added to the mix. Wonder Woman stopping the terrorists is longer (with way more bracelet bullet-blocking). Steppenwolf and his Parademons have a much bigger fight with the Amazons (and the Mother Box temple even crumbles into the ocean). Superman vs. the Justice League has some added small scenes, and the battle below Stryker’s Island Penitentiary is beefed up as well. Additionally, Batman doesn’t tell flash to “save one person”.

There is a lot more Cyborg and Silas Stone added to this cut (see Added Scenes)
THE ASPECT RATIO IS DIFFERENT:

The OJL was released in 2017 with a 1.78:1 widescreen ratio. And though early reports claimed Zack Snyder’s Justice League would utilize a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, we now know that Snyder shot the film specifically for a full-frame look in 1.33:1. This aspect ratio is similar to that of IMAX screens, which the director fell for after shooting some IMAX footage for Batman vs Superman. There’s also a black & white version of the film that Snyder is calling the “Justice is Grey” cut but there’s no word yet on when or if that might be released.

NEW CHARACTER DESIGNS, OUTFITS, AND DIFFERENT DIALOGUE:

Deathstroke Differences: Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke was first glimpsed at the end of the theatrical cut of Justice League where he was recruited by Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. He was originally supposed to be a villain in the solo Batman film starring Ben Affleck, but obviously, that movie never happened. Now Manganiello returns as Deathstroke in the Snyder Cut, albeit in a different capacity than in the theatrical film. Not only does the Lex Luthor scene have a different dialogue exchange, with Lex revealing Batman’s identity as Bruce Wayne, but Deathstroke additionally appears in the “Knightmare” future segment, rocking a mohawk and acting as an ally of Batman in the effort to stop Darkseid.
Knightmare Cliffhanger: The “Knightmare” part of Justice League’s epilogue gives us a lot to chew on as it, once again, shows Darkseid’s forces succeeded in conquering Earth. This particular Knightmare dreamscape was totally absent from Joss Whedon’s Justice League, which sort of left the Knightmare scenario from Batman vs. Superman in the lurch. It makes more sense now to have a follow-up to the Dawn of Justice dream since fans would have complete context for it with the reveal of Darkseid in this cut. So what does the Snyder Cut Knightmare segment contain? In the wake of Lois Lane’s death (which Batman failed to prevent), Superman’s somehow been corrupted by Darkseid and now serves him as an undefeatable annihilator. Most everyone has died in the wake of this attack, including Aquaman and Harley Quinn. Batman and a ragtag team of surviving heroes and villains scour the wasteland, trying to win the day while also avoiding Superman’s wrath. Bruce wakes up from this vision right as evil Supes spots them all. All of this, plus Bruce actually mentioning his time travel moment with Flash from Batman vs. Superman to the others earlier in the movie, works in service of the “New Gods” trilogy Snyder had planned.
Darkseid: Uber-baddie Darkseid, played by Ray Porter, is a big part of Snyder’s Justice League. Always intended as the evil lurking behind the scenes, Darkseid is now a much more prominent fixture, motivating Steppenwolf’s assault on Earth. After Diana saw him depicted in an ancient mural toward the beginning of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a flashback showed us Darkseid leading the Parademons against the Greek gods, humans, Atlanteans, and Amazons as his pre-Darkseid version, Uxas. In the theatrical cut of Justice League, a version of this sequence featured Steppenwolf instead of Darkseid, with Diana Prince telling Bruce Wayne it was Steppenwolf who had originally come to conquer Earth. Instead, Steppenwolf’s story now revolves around his plan to get back into Darkseid’s good graces, revealing to his former master that Earth contains the Anti-Life Equation. When Steppenwolf fails and is defeated by the Justice League — complete with Wonder Woman decapitating him — at the end of the film, Darkseid orders an all-out attack on Earth (and squishes Steppenwolf’s rolling head). We last see Darkseid as part of “Knightmare,” approaching a grief-stricken Superman (who’s mourning over, presumably, Lois’ skeletal corpse). It’s the moment he turns Superman (with the Anti-Life Equation, possibly?). In the theatrical version, Steppenwolf is incapacitated by the Justice League but not killed by them and is sent off Earth via a Boom Tube while being swarmed by his own Parademons.
New Steppenwolf Design and Story: Steppenwolf not only has a new look (and slightly altered voice from the theatrical version), but also a new motivation. In the theatrical release, Steppenwolf creating the “Unity” on Earth using the Mother Boxes was part of his own design. He was the villain and it stopped with him. If Darkseid was meant to be someone pulling the strings from somewhere else in the universe, it was never stated at all. With Darkseid reinstated into Snyder’s version, Steppenwolf is now trying to scorch all of Earth in order to pay off a debt to Darkseid, who banished him after an unnamed “betrayal.” Steppenwolf owes his former master 50,000 more worlds before he can be let back into the fold. This creates an emotional vulnerability for Steppenwolf that wasn’t present before, as well as a better understanding of why Earth is a prized possession (since it is the only planet that ever sent Darkseid packing).
Superman Reshoots/Black Suit: Most of Henry Cavill’s scenes for Justice League were reshot by Whedon, with his Mission: Impossible – Fallout mustache digitally removed, as Supes’ entire storyline was reconstructed for a lighter, less-intense film. The theatrical cut nixed Superman’s black suit and changed everything from Superman’s first battle with the Justice League upon being resurrected by the Mother Box to his role in the final battle against Steppenwolf to many other scenes throughout the film (including Superman meeting Alfred). As part of the added Super scenes in the Snyder Cut, we see Superman walking back through the Kryptonian ship, and the computer saying “The future has taken root in the present” (which, by the way, is also a line from one of Snyder’s favorite films, Excalibur). Does this mean that the Superman who was brought back is destined to become the “Knightmare” version?
Lois Lane Lost: In the Joss Whedon version of Justice League, Lois Lane mourns the death of Clark, but doesn’t leave her job at the Daily Planet like she does in the Snyder Cut. She tells Martha that she only does small puff pieces because that’s all she could handle. In Zack Snyder’s version though, Lois doesn’t work at all, and visits the Superman memorial almost every day, bringing coffee to the officer on duty there (played by Donner-verse Jimmy Olsen, Marc McClure – (who is still actually in the Joss Justice League as this cop, just in a different scene).
Martha Gets Martian’d: The scene between Lois Lane and Martha Kent happens way earlier in the theatrical version (and differently too since they meet at Lois’ Daily Planet office). But that’s not the only difference. In the Snyder Cut, Martha is revealed to be Martian Manhunter – aka Harry Lennix’s General Swanwick. On top of this, the entire movie now ends with Martian Manhunter introducing himself to Bruce Wayne and then flying off.
ADDED DELETED SCENES ARE BACK IN:
The Flash/Iris West Scene is Restored: A big Barry Allen scene cut from the theatrical version, featuring Kiersey Clemons’s Iris West, is now back. In it we see Barry, scatterbrained and spread too thin, applying for a job at a dog groomers when an accident outside the store makes him race out and save Iris West from a runaway truck (which in itself pays tribute to Flash creator Gardner Fox). This sets Iris up for future appearances in the DCEU while also giving us a good introduction to Barry before we meet his wrongfully convicted dad in prison. It also makes more sense to see this before his dad later chastises him for working too many jobs and wasting his life.
Arthur and Vulko Scene Restored: Prior to his role in 2018’s Aquaman, Willem Dafoe appeared as Vulko in Snyder’s Justice League. His scene with Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry just never made it into the theatrical version. Yep, there are now a few more Atlantis-centric scenes in Snyder’s movie and the biggest is an exchange between Arthur and Vulko about Arthur’s non-allegiance to Atlantis and how Arthur should be the one to chase after the ocean’s enemies because it would have been his mother’s duty as Queen. And as a tease for the Aquaman movie that would follow, there are also a few lines about how Arthur’s half-brother, Orm, is lying to his people about who’s behind the kidnapping of Atlanteans, trying to start up a war with the humans on the surface. Also, the accent of Mera (Amber Heard) has changed between the two cuts.
There’s Waaaayyy More Cyborg and Silas Stone: Overall, it’s not just Cybrog’s origin story that was missing from the theatrical cut but also his integral role in the breaking of The Unity and the full scope of the abilities he’s been blessed/cursed with by the Mother Box and his father, Silas. “Cyborg is the heart of the movie,” Snyder shared at DC FanDome. “Cyborg is the thing in the end that holds the team together in a lot of ways.” Victor Stone’s genius intellect, football prowess, strained father/son relationship, death, and resurrection are back in the Snyder Cut – along with Silas trying (a bit too late) to be a father to a boy who he’s now gifted with God-like powers (to either launch nukes or give a struggling, working mom a hundred grand). We also see Victor interact within his own internal operating system like it’s a form of virtual reality, where he’s able to walk around in his old Varsity jacket-wearing body. All of Victor’s arc was shaved down to the bare minimum in Whedon’s version. Silas Stone also faces a different fate in Snyder’s version of the film as he intermittently, with Ryan Choi, develops a laser that can super-heat the Mother Box. The reason? So Silas could sacrifice himself to mark the artifact in case it ever got taken. Silas dies helping his son locate Steppenwolf’s base of operations.
S.T.A.R. Labs Infiltration: Cut either for time or because it didn’t contextually work anymore, the scene where Cyborg uses his powers to evacuate S.T.A.R. Labs wasn’t in the 2017 version. In the Snyder Cut, the entire Superman resurrection sequence is longer since the team has to first get inside the Kryptonian ship. Cyborg activates the lab alarm and Silas, after first attempting to call it off, realizes that his son hacked into the system. Silas then allows Cyborg and the others to enter. Knowing they’re doing something important. Silas and Cyborg share a nice nod, which will be the first and last time they amiably connect as father and son in the film.
Ryan Choi: Cut from the theatrical version, but added back into the Snyder Cut, is the S.T.A.R. Labs epilogue scene that names Silas’ co-worker, a fellow scientist, as Ryan Choi – aka The Atom.
Desaad: Since there was no Darkseid in the 2017 Justice League, there were also no Darkseid minions. So his devious right-hand-man DeSaad wasn’t a thing. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, DeSaad is Steppenwolf’s liaison to Darkseid – a middleman who makes sure his master doesn’t have to endure Steppenwolf’s pleading (or possible failure). Peter Guinness voices DeSaad in the Justice League Snyder Cut and is featured in a few scenes where Steppenwolf attempts to report on his Earthly findings. He, along with Granny Goodness, are seen with Darkseid in the third act as they attempt to come to Earth during the Unity.

THE FILM IS MUCH LONGER:

Time and Substance: Weighing in at 4 hours and 2 minutes, the Snyder Cut of Justice League is a substantially longer and more thorough film – one that aptly reflects director Zack Snyder’s tonal template that began with Man of Steel and continued with Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Snyder version has been divided into six plus parts: 1. Don’t Count on It, Batman; 2. The Age of Heroes; 3. Beloved Mother, Beloved Son; 4. Change Machine; 5. All the King’s Horses; 6. Something Darker; and an Epilogue: A Father Twice Over The original Justice League is 2 hours.

THE RUSSIAN FAMILY IS OUT:

No More Russian Family: To add collateral damage stakes to the theatrical version, Joss Whedon created a Russian family that, for whatever reason, lived in a nuclear zone so toxic that Steppenwolf deemed it perfect for his vile headquarters. At first, it seemed like they were the only ones who lived there, but in the end, Flash and Superman are both put on rescue duty and save the family, and a building of other people, from the carnage. Anyway, all these innocent people living in the irradiated death zone don’t exist in the Snyder Cut. Instead, the stakes are that the Justice League actually fails and Flash has to hit the rewind button to save the world.

THE OPENING HAS BEEN CHANGED:

The Entire Opening has Changed: The podcast kids filming Superman, Superman’s funeral, and the world mourning his loss are gone as the opening. These scenes represented a massive reshaping of the story for the theatrical cut. The theatrical version wanted to hammer home, at the start, that Superman was gone and the world was vulnerable. Batman kicks off the movie already knowing there’s an alien invasion, using a burglar’s fear to draw out a Parademon. A burglar, played by Mindhunter’s Holt McCallany, who does a ton of heavy lifting on the exposition front. None of this is a part of the Snyder Cut and we now start with Superman’s scream, upon his death, reverberating around the world and waking up the Mother Boxes (and giving Lex Luthor a glimpse of Steppenwolf). It then shifts to Bruce traversing the Icelandic tundra in search of Aquaman, only knowing that he needs allies and not that there are actual aliens attacking the world.

THE JOKER HAS BEEN ADDED/RETURNED:

Jared Leto Returns as The Joker: While Jared Leto’s Suicide Squad version of The Joker was thought to be a thing of the past, particularly in the wake of Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar-winning turn as the character in a solo standalone film, the actor returns to the role for the Snyder Cut of Justice League. Joker was a non-presence in the theatrical cut of the film. The character wasn’t even someone Snyder had originally intended to include. Leto’s Joker was added as part of the additional footage that Warner Bros. funded for the HBO Max streaming presentation. Joker now appears in a new dream/premonition sequence set on the ruined Earth after Darkseid has invaded the planet (as seen in Bruce Wayne’s “Knightmare” vision in BvS). He’s part of a team of survivors that includes Batman, Mera, Cyborg, Deathstroke, and The Flash. He taunts Batman about Robin’s murder and makes everyone question whether it was a good idea to bring him along. The “we live in a society…” line from the trailer and Joker-as-Jesus photo released by Vanity Fair are not included.

THE MUSIC IS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT:

Music: The score by Thomas Holkenborg (AKA Junkie XL), who was replaced by Danny Elfman for the 2017 theatrical release, is back. For the Snyder Cut, Sigrid’s opening credits cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” that opened the theatrical cut (which Joss Whedon chose) is gone, as well as Elfman’s music, which at times strongly echoed his score to Tim Burton’s Batman films (which, combined with a now-axed line about fighting penguins, curiously tied Justice League into that particular franchise timeline). New Snyder Cut songs include a few tracks by Nick Cage and the Bad Seeds along with a song by This Mortal Coil. The theatrical version’s use of The White Stripes’ “Icky Thump” is also gone, replaced by Icelandic crooning (and some sweater sniffing).

FEWER JOKES:

Banished Jokes: One of the major things Zack Snyder wanted to do with his version of Justice League was to have the film reflect the darker, more serious tone of his previous movies, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Warner Bros., with the Joss Whedon reshoots, tried to make the film echo the MCU’s product, which has more jokes and an overall less grim vibe. No, not all of the film’s jokes are gone — particularly, most of Barry’s silliness remains intact — but humorous moments with most other non-Flash characters have been excised. Bruce doesn’t ask Arthur if he can talk to fish or mention his past battles with penguins. Barry doesn’t question what brunch is, Cyborg doesn’t say “booyah,” and Arthur doesn’t have that “Lasso of Truth” speech.

BRUCE AND DIANA’S ARC HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT:

The Bruce/Diana Arc is Gone: Though they both interact in the movie, and have a flirty, awkward hand touch moment while researching possible recruits, Bruce and Diana’s relationship is lessened in the Snyder Cut. In the theatrical version, the two of them share more moments together, from discussing lost loved ones to arguing about bringing Superman back. Bruce calls Diana out for sitting on the sidelines for too long because she feels “leaders get people killed,” culminating in a moment in the final battle when she decides to “lead” the others. In the Snyder Cut, the conversations around bringing Superman back are done more as a group, with Bruce telling the rest of them about how he saw Barry appear to him from the future. They then have to decide if bringing Superman back will help them win or actually start the end of the world. Or both.

IT IS NOW RATED R AND BATMAN HAS A NEW SIDE TECH QUEST:

Rated R Language: If you’ve ever wanted to hear Batman tell Joker “I will fing kill you” or Cyborg says “F the world,” then you’re in luck. The Snyder Cut not only spruced up the violence and restored more on-screen fatalities, but it also contains a handful of F-bombs.
Batman Tech Side Quests: There are a couple of Batman side stories in the Snyder Cut that wasn’t in the Joss Whedon version. No, not Alfred getting fidgety over Diana making tea. Bruce, throughout the movie, is developing a new gauntlet that can absorb energy (he uses it to save himself from Superman’s heat vision) while also trying to fix a giant plane so it can fly (Cyborg gets it working). Neither mini-arc has a huge payoff, but they’re still included nonetheless.

POST-CREDIT SCENES ADDED TO THE MAIN FILM:

Post-Credits Scenes: Whedon’s cut of the film included two post-credits scenes. One was the Lex Luthor/Deathstroke meeting, which has now been altered and included in the main film itself. In the Whedon version, it seemed to be setting up an Injustice League/Legion of Doom type team, but now it plays as more of a prelude to the Ben Affleck Batman solo film that never happened. The other scene has been completely cut from the Snyder version. That was the segment where the Flash and Superman took off on a race to find out who was the Fastest Man Alive (with brunch as the prize). Looks like we’ll never find out who won that race now… or, if the Snyder Cut is successful enough, will we…?

ABOVE DIFFERENCES BY Matt Fowler

CAST DATA:

  • Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman:
    A wealthy socialite, and the owner of Wayne Enterprises. He dedicates himself to protecting Gotham City from its criminal underworld as a highly trained, masked vigilante equipped with various tools and weapons. Director Zack Snyder described Affleck’s Batman as on a path of redemption in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, feeling guilty due to his actions in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
  • Henry Cavill as Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman:
    A member of, and inspiration for, the Justice League. He is a Kryptonian survivor and a journalist for the Daily Planet based in Metropolis. In 2018, Cavill described Superman as he appears in Snyder’s Justice League as coming closer to completing his character arc that began with Man of Steel (2013) and becoming the “true” Superman as depicted in the comics. Snyder said while he loves the traditional portrayals of the character, he wanted Superman to have a realistic arc and develop as a character, and not be a “one-dimensional Boy Scout”.
  • Amy Adams as Lois Lane:
    A reporter with the Daily Planet and the love interest of Clark Kent.
  • Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman: An Immortal demigoddess and Amazon warrior.
  • Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg: A former college athlete who, after being cybernetically reconstructed after a nearly fatal car accident, is turned into a techno-organic being enhanced by reactive, adaptive biomimetic alien technology. His enhancements include the abilities of flight, variable weaponry, and technopathy. Much of Cyborg’s character development was removed in the theatrical release, and Snyder described Cyborg as he is depicted in Zack Snyder’s Justice League as “the heart of the movie”. Similarly, Fisher stated that Cyborg’s character arc is emotional and allegorical of “the journey that Black people have taken in [America]”. According to Fisher, the only scene of his directed by Snyder which remained in the theatrical cut was that of Cyborg meeting up with Batman and Commissioner Gordon at the Gotham City police rooftop.
  • Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman:
    An Atlantean half-blood with aquatic powers.
  • Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash:
    A Central City college student pursuing a degree in criminal justice in the hopes of exonerating his father for the murder of his wife, Barry’s mother.
  • Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko:
    An Atlantean who acts as Arthur’s mentor.
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor:
    Superman’s arch-nemesis and former head of LexCorp. Lex’s original appearance at the end of the film was originally filmed differently from the theatrical version, teasing Affleck’s The Batman project rather than a potential Justice League sequel.
  • Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth:
    Bruce Wayne’s butler who provides tactical support for Batman and the Justice League.
  • Diane Lane as Martha Kent:
    Clark Kent’s adoptive mother.

    Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta:
    Diana’s mother and Queen of the Amazons.
  • J. K. Simmons as James Gordon:
    The Police Commissioner of Gotham City and an ally of Batman.
  • Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf:
    A New God military officer from the planet Apokolips who leads an army of Parademons in search of the three Mother Boxes held on Earth. Hinds had previously described Steppenwolf as “old, tired, still trying to get out of his own enslavement to Darkseid”. Steppenwolf was redesigned for the new release, bringing his appearance closer to Snyder’s original vision prior to studio interference. Previously, Hinds expressed frustration with the theatrical cut which trimmed down Steppenwolf’s backstory and character.
  • Ryan Zheng as Ryan Choi:
    A scientist working at S.T.A.R. Labs, under the leadership of Silas Stone. By the end of the film, Choi is promoted to Director of Nanotechnology at the company. The character was intended to star in a spin-off, with Snyder having pitched a film to the studio. The filmmaker stated that the movie would have featured Choi taking up the mantle of The Atom, and taken place in China with a Chinese cast.
  • Amber Heard as Mera:
    An Atlantean who was raised by Arthur Curry’s mother, Queen Atlanna.
  • Joe Morton as Silas Stone:
    The father of Victor Stone and the head scientist at S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • Lisa Loven Kongsli as Menalippe: Hippolyta’s lieutenant and Diana’s aunt.
  • David Thewlis as Ares:
    The Olympian God of War, and Diana’s half-brother. Stuntman Nick McKinless portrays Ares physically on set, while Thewlis’s face replaces McKinless’s in the finished film using special effects.
  • Jared Leto as The Joker:
    A psychotic criminal and Batman’s archenemy, reprising his role from Suicide Squad (2016). The Joker was not planned to appear in the original film, but Snyder decided to use him sometime after his new version was greenlit, as it was always Snyder’s intention to bring the Joker into his Justice League films. The character was redesigned for the new release.
  • Karen Bryson as Elinore Stone:
    The late mother of Victor Stone.
  • Kiersey Clemons as Iris West:
    The love interest of Barry Allen.
  • Ray Porter as Uxas / Darkseid: A tyrannical New God from Apokolips and Steppenwolf’s nephew and master. Darkseid did not appear in the theatrical cut, meaning Zack Snyder’s Justice League marks the character’s first appearance in a live-action film. Porter played Darkseid through the use of motion capture and “went through a few different vocal gymnastics trying to figure out the voice”. Porter was unfamiliar with the Darkseid character upon being cast, but Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio helped guide him with their knowledge of the comic book lore.
  • Peter Guinness as DeSaad:
    Darkseid’s master enforcer.
  • Harry Lennix as Calvin Swanwick / Martian Manhunter: A shape-shifting alien from the planet Mars. Lennix reprises his role from previous DC Extended Universe films. Snyder has said Swanwick was always Martian Manhunter since Man of Steel and he has been guiding Clark, Lois, and mankind as a whole, pushing them to do good as he wants mankind to take action and try protecting Earth first before getting directly involved himself.

Other actors reprising their roles from previous DC Extended Universe films include:
Robin Wright as Antiope, Samantha Jo as Euboea, Carla Gugino as the voice of the Kryptonian ship A.I. and Russell Crowe (via archival voice recording) as Jor-El. Uncredited appearances include Billy Crudup as Henry Allen, Kevin Costner (via voice recording and still photograph) as Jonathan Kent, and Joe Manganiello as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke.

The Green Lanterns featured in the film including Yalan Gur and Kilowog, through the use of CGI special effects. The final scene centered around Bruce Wayne but was originally filmed with John Stewart / Green Lantern portrayed by Wayne T. Carr alongside Martian Manhunter, but the studio turned down the idea as they have other plans for the character. Snyder stated that his original plan was to have Ryan Reynolds (who previously portrayed Hal Jordan in the unrelated 2011 film), in a cameo so that the scene included an additional Green Lantern. Snyder compromised with the studio and altered/repurposed the scene. Wayne T. Carr was the actor Zack used for John Stewart.

 
After watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League, I was glad it was over. Not that it wasn’t a greatly directed version of the movie, it was just very, very long. The actual story was well done and many questions were answered. I again was happy to see Superman returned to the League. Thank goodness the movie was divided up into six parts. This made it easier to define where you left off if you didn’t binge-watch it in one day. I also liked the new Superman uniform. Overall, it was worth the watch. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is streaming on HBO/MAX for free if you subscribe to HBO. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 71% of 285 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director’s vision – and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.” Check It Out!