The Snyder Cut of the Justice League is a very, very different movie than the one originally released.
No matter where you stand on the great Justice League debate, one thing can be said for certain: the theatrical cut and the Snyder Cut are two very, very different movies. With double the run time, Zack Snyder’s Justice League has both added new and extended scenes to the mix and subtracted some of the less congruous moments of the original, making for a vastly different tone and viewing experience than the first time around.
Trying to recount every single difference would be an exercise in futility–the cuts really are that unique from one another–so in lieu of comparing apples to oranges, we’ve rounded up the biggest departures the Snyder Cut has to offer over its theatrical cousin. These include added scenes, new storylines, and totally removed or recontextualized moments that change the movie.
No more creepy moustache-less Clark intro
Pour one out for Henry Cavil’s infamously bad CGI upper-lip. The intro with Clark being videoed by his young fans is no longer in the movie.
In the theatrical cut of Justice League, the slow invasion by Parademons tips off several of the characters that Steppenwolf is coming. These scenes are largely absent from the Snyder Cut, including the early scene in which Batman frightens a criminal to lure a Parademon to him. Other scenes, like the one in which Aquaman rescues a fisherman who was attacked by a Parademon, are altered so that they no longer include the references to Steppenwolf’s forces.
Perhaps one of the biggest character changes in the Snyder Cut is a heaping helping of more Cyborg. Vic Stone gets his powers more thoroughly explored, which helps define both his skill set and his struggle to remain human with all the world’s technology at his fingertips. We also get several scenes set before his transformation, including a slow motion football game and a car ride with his mom that leads to the crash that almost kills him (and does kill her).
Arthur Curry also got the extended scene treatment with more interactions with his fellow Atlanteans like Vulko and Mera. Several of his scenes are very different in tone as well–although the character himself is largely the same, his musical cues are less butt rock and more somber, such as the folk singing that accompanies his departure into the water early in the film.
The overall tone of the musical cues throughout the movie is much different. Instead of using The White Stripes like the theatrical cut did, the Snyder Cut uses a somber tune by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The sappy song that plays while The Flash rescues Iris from the car crash is another good example of this shift in tone.
Steppenwolf’s design got a major makeover for this cut, and his story got a complete overhaul. We learn that he’s actually a disgraced general looking to get back in the good graces of his boss, Darkseid, which is why it’s so important for him to take over Earth in the first place. He’s working on a quota of worlds to offer up for Darkseid before he’s allowed back into the fold.
Darkseid, DeSaad, and Apokolips
And speaking of Darkseid, the DC villain himself–and several of his cronies–actually show up in this version of the movie. We learn that he came to Earth once in the past and failed, which resulted in the three mother boxes being left behind.
Another major update to the villains and their motivations is Steppenwolf’s discovery of the Anti-Life Equation, which fans of DC Comics will recognize as a core element to Darkseid’s power and conquest. He discovers the equation on Earth, naturally, which prompts Darkseid himself to put the planet in his crosshairs.
No more lasso joke
Remember the gag where Aquaman started off on an emotional tangent about being scared of the upcoming fight but it turned out he was sitting on the Lasso of Truth? That moment has been removed.
Iris is never actually named and has no dialogue, but Kiersey Clemmons is in the Snyder Cut and she does get rescued from a potentially fatal car accident by Barry during his introductory scene.
Compared to Cyborg and Aquaman, the Amazons don’t get much extra content in this cut, but there’s certainly some to help establish their background with Darkseid and the mother boxes.
Diana As Lara Croft
The saga involving the Amazon signal beacon is much longer and more involved in the Snyder Cut, from the ceremony to fire the arrow that lights it, to Diana’s solo expedition into the bowels of the beacon’s ancient structure, where she learns a great deal about Steppenwolf, Darkseid, and the Mother Boxes. How else is she going to deliver so much exposition later?
In the theatrical cut, during the gang’s first fight with Steppenwolf, The Flash trips and falls onto Wonder Woman’s chest. This uncomfortable gag is missing from the Snyder Cut, which is unsurprising, given that Joss Whedon had to film the scene using a stunt double because Gal Gadot refused.
Superman’s black suit
In the theatrical cut, Superman’s suit is the traditional one we’re all used to. In the Snyder Cut, it’s black and silver. No reason is given in the film for why, so we have to assume that Superman is simply feeling emo after his death and resurrection.
The extra scenes featuring Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg have gotten a lot of attention, but the Snyder Cut also expands the presence of one of the movie’s side characters: Alfred. Batman’s butler has more scenes in the Snyder Cut, including one in which he explains Batman’s energy-absorbing gauntlet to Diana, and one in which he chats with Superman.
No more helpless civilians
The subplot involving the helpless family of civilians who get attacked and trapped at Steppenwolf’s lair is completely absent from the Snyder Cut; in this version, the town Steppenwolf takes over is abandoned due to a nuclear accident. Honestly, it’s one of the better cuts in Snyder’s version.
In the Snyder Cut, Martha Kent visits Lois Lane in Metropolis, but it’s quickly revealed that Martha is actually Martian Manhunter, played by Harry Lennix. Why he impersonates Superman’s mom and encourages Lois to return to work is never explained. Later, Martian Manhunter appears at Batman’s lake house to tell Bruce his name.
The Joker and the Nightmare Sequence
The Snyder Cut adds one entirely new scene to the end of the movie: a new “nightmare sequence” set inside Batman’s potentially prophetic vision of the future. In this version, Batman, The Flash, Mera, Slade, Cyborg and The Joker stop to chat on a Mad Max-looking highway. Notably, Joker does not actually say his highly memed line in this scene or in this movie at all.
In the theatrical cut, Silas lives, and is seen toward the end of the movie with Cyborg at STAR Labs. In the Snyder Cut, Silas sacrifices himself so he can shoot a laser at the Mother Box, allowing Batman’s satellites to track it across the globe (because the town-sized magical glowing dome covering Steppenwolf’s lair was too subtle for the world’s greatest detective to spot).
Silas Stone works with a familiar DC Comics face who steps in as the head of STAR Labs after Silas’s death. Ryan Choi, who in the comics becomes The Atom, doesn’t get to take up that mantle this time around, but he’s certainly a presence in this cut of the movie.
No more catchphrases
Cyborg never gets to have his Teen Titans catchphrase, “booyah,” in this version of the movie. Similarly, Aquaman’s “my man,” made semi-infamous in the promotional material for the theatrical cut, was also deleted.
Run, Barry, run
In this version, Barry has to break one of his own rules about using his speed–he has to go fast enough to rewind time and give himself a second chance at helping Cyborg disrupt The Unity after he’s shot by a Parademon–though we’re not entirely sure how he gets shot in the first place. Maybe he and Quicksilver should have a support group for speedsters who get inexplicably taken out by random henchmen’s guns.
No more race
The post credits scene featuring a playful race between Flash and Superman has been removed–the two no longer share their little rivalry from the theatrical cut.
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