Zack Snyder's Justice League green lantern

One of the most significant additions to Zack Snyder’s Justice League is another “Knightmare” sequence, set in Batman’s vision of a dystopian future in which Darkseid has conquered the Earth. Joker cameos and foreshadowing abound in this sequence, but the biggest whopper is what comes after it: a moment in which Snyder teased a “mind-blowing” cameo. But that epilogue might have featured another character, had Snyder gotten his way.

Spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League follow.

Towards the end of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) has a chilling vision of the future in which Darkseid has conquered the Earth, and Superman has come under his control via the Anti-Life Equation. Jared Leto’s Joker shows up too. But what comes after is what we’ll be talking about. When Bruce wakes up and goes outside, he’s greeted by Martian Manhunter, played by Harry Lennix, who offers his help. It turns out Lennix’s General Swanwick, who had appeared in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was the shape-shifting Martian Manhunter all along.

As originally written by Snyder, this final scene would have played out very similarly, with one key difference – it would have been John Stewart, one of several characters to carry the Green Lantern mantle, and not Martian Manhunter confronting Batman. But Warner Bros. has different plans for the character, which nearly led to Snyder’s latest fallout with the studio, the filmmaker revealed in an interview with Esquire:

“So here’s the situation. In that whole sequence, the new is the Batman Joker scene. If this is my last DC movie, I felt it was going to be rude for me to have never gotten Batman and Joker together in a scene. And so I kind of came up with that scene. The last scene with Martian Manhunter, originally, I had shot it in England. And the dialogue was very similar, but it was supposed to be one of the Lanterns.

And then the studio had told me I wasn’t allowed to shoot anything. That there would be no film made of any kind. During production, that was a thing they insisted on. And I shot stuff anyway, of course, in my yard. And one of the things I shot was the Green Lantern scene. And then they asked me, when they saw the movie and saw that I put it in there, they’d take it out. And I said that I would quit if they tried to take it out. And I felt bad. The truth is I didn’t want the fans to not have a movie, just based on that one stand that I was going to take.

And the Green Lantern was John Stewart. And that was part of it too. I was like, I don’t want to take a person of color out of this movie. I’m not going to do it. And, but then, but I felt like having Harry Lennix’s Martian Manhunter at the end was, that was okay.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League still features a Green Lantern appearance in a different manner, though Snyder recently confirmed he had an idea to include even more, including Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan. But Warner Bros. clearly has plans for their Green Lantern Corps series coming to HBO Max, and Lennix’s cameo appears to have done the trick.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is streaming now on HBO Max.

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