Zack Snyder’s Justice League has finally arrived. As you might expect, a movie of this length is packed with Easter eggs and hidden details, and we’ve rounded up 21 of the biggest right here. For those unaware, the theatrical version of Justice League released back in 2017 was massively different from what Snyder intended. He stepped away from the film after a family tragedy, and Joss Whedon was brought in to oversee reshoots which drastically changed the movie. The version of Justice League streaming on HBO Max now is the once-fabled Snyder Cut, which fans made happen with a passionate campaign.
You might be wondering what you missed in the new Justice League, and we’ve combed through the movie looking for Easter eggs — and bring you information on everything from the Knightmare timeline to hidden superheroes like Ryan Choi. It goes without saying, but the following contains huge spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League, so don’t check it out until you’ve finished the movie!
Zack Snyder’s cameo
It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment, but Zack Snyder himself appears in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. About 15 minutes or so into the movie, when Lois Lane grabs her coffee, you can spy the director sitting in the window. Snyder revealed his cameo before on Vero, but it didn’t make it into the theatrical cut.
The Joker card
In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman sports a Joker card on his weapon in the Knightmare timeline — the dystopian, worst-case-scenario future where Darkseid has won. It was never explained why in that movie, but in the Snyder Cut, we learn at the end of the movie that it’s a marker of a truce between Batman and Joker. As long as Batman has the card, the ceasefire holds.
Joker also has a new look in the movie — though the Jesus imagery teased in a picture does not appear in the Snyder Cut, and neither does the already infamous line, “We live in a society.” The police badges pinned to Joker’s new outfit have an explanation – Snyder told Vanity Fair: “He has tons of badges. Those are his trophies.”
Joker also calls Batman by his real name. Whatever’s happened in the Knightmare timeline, there’s clearly been a paradigm shift in this iconic hero vs villain relationship — one that would have been explored in a sequel.
A surprising amount of DC heroes are revealed to be dead in the Knightmare timeline — that terrifying future where Darkseid has succeeded in conquering Earth, and Superman has succumbed to his mind-control via the Anti-Life Equation. The heroes are aiming to stop this ever coming to pass by sending Flash back in time to the exact right moment (hence the “am I too soon?” scene in Batman v. Superman).
In the Snyder Cut, it’s revealed that Aquaman and Wonder Woman are both dead in this horrendous future. Cyborg gets a vision as he’s resurrecting Superman which shows Aquaman’s death at Darkseid’s hands, and Wonder Woman’s funeral — though we don’t see how she died.
Surprisingly, another key DC character is confirmed to be dead in this timeline: Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey. Batman taunts Joker with Harley’s dying words after the clown brings up the death of Robin, whom he killed before the events of Batman v. Superman. Robin’s death is referenced in that movie, with his burned and graffitied suit on display in the Batcave. It’s all connected!
Mera and the Flash Knightmare looks
Mera and the Flash also look significantly different in the Knightmare scene. Mera is lugging around a canister, presumably of water so she can still use her aqua-powers on the dehydrated surface (the Aquaman movie showed she doesn’t need water to live on dry land).
The Flash is sporting a very armored suit, which looks much the same as the one he wore in Batman v. Superman when he time-traveled back to warn Batman of the coming danger. These scenes, along with the other appearances in the Knightmare sequence, were all part of the reshoots. Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash, was on the set of Fantastic Beasts 3 filming his part, with Snyder directing over Zoom.
Deathstroke’s mohawk and sword
Deathstroke’s new haircut in the Knightmare scene isn’t just a cool style choice — it actually has a significant meaning behind it. Joe Manganiello explained that the mohawk was his idea, and came from his canceled solo movie.
“The greatest warriors are the ones who walk into battle already dead or assuming that they’re going to die … so there was a climatic moment in my stand-alone story where I wanted Slade to shave his head into this war-like Mohawk knowing that he was going off to his own death,” he told Yahoo! Entertainment. “I said to Zack, ‘I always envisioned him with a big white Mohawk,’ and he was totally down for it.”
As for the sword, actor Geoff Reeves noticed a particular symbol on its hilt in the #SnyderCut Exhibit in the US. A red circular motif can be seen on the mercenary’s weapon, a symbol which belongs to Ra’s Al Ghul, head of the League of Assassins and previously featured in the non-DCEU Batman movie Batman Begins. While this villain isn’t in the Snyder Cut, it’s still a cool indication of what Deathstroke might have been up to in his past — or what he does when he’s not going after Batman.
History lesson heroes
Snyder’s History Lesson sequence is longer than the theatrical cut’s, though broadly the same. There are some key changes in the Snyder Cut, though — Darkseid appears in the new version, whereas the character is completely absent from the Whedon Cut. We also see more of the assembled heroes.
David Thewlis’ Ares, the villain of Wonder Woman, can more clearly be seen in the Snyder Cut, and we also catch a glimpse of Robin Wright’s Antiope and Connie Nielsen’s Hippolyta. There’s also more action from the Greek gods Zeus and Artemis (the latter’s arrow is later used to light the ancient warning fire).
Wonder Woman named for first time
You probably didn’t miss Ezra Miller’s Flash calling Gal Gadot’s Diana Wonder Woman — but did you know this is the first time in the DCEU the hero has ever actually been called Wonder Woman? How Flash knows her superhero moniker is a mystery, though.
Lois’ pregnancy test
When Lois grabs her press pass from her bedside table drawer, a pregnancy test can be seen inside, and she gives it a lingering look. “Lois is pregnant at the end of the movie,” Snyder explained to Vanity Fair, who point out that the brand name Force Majeure translates to “unforeseeable circumstances” in French.
Snyder also revealed that (spoiler alert) it would be Lois’ death, which Batman fails to prevent, that leads to Superman succumbing to the Anti-Life Equation in the unmade sequels. After this is eventually undone via time travel shenanigans, Superman and Lois’ son would go on to become the new Batman — after Bruce Wayne sacrifices himself to prevent Lois’ death, preventing the Knightmare future from coming to pass.
Deathstroke setting up a Batman solo movie
In the Whedon cut, the Deathstroke scene was a post-credits sting, which saw the mercenary arrive to Lex Luthor’s yacht. Luthor called for “a league of our own,” teasing an Injustice League-focused sequel. In the Snyder Cut, however, it’s all about Batman — which Joe Manganiello has confirmed is the original version of this scene.
The now-canceled Ben Affleck Batman solo movie would have been a fight between the Caped Crusader and Deathstroke, with Slade Wilson setting out to destroy Bruce Wayne’s life entirely. After Affleck stepped away from the role, the film never materialized — though Manganiello has teased he may be back as Deathstroke after all.
Ryan Choi, the new Director of Nanotechnology at the Kryptonian ship site in Metropolis, isn’t all that he appears. In the DC comics, he’s actually the superhero Atom Smasher, and eventually becomes a member of the Justice League. His main power is the ability to change the size of himself and objects, and he can even go sub-atomic. Can we expect to see Atom Smasher powered up in a potential future DC project, then? His appearance was unfortunately cut from the theatrical version, but has been brought back by Snyder.
There are a few references to Flashpoint in the Snyder Cut, which is a comic story that saw the Flash go back in time to prevent his mother’s murder — and accidentally destroy the entire timeline. The Flash solo movie will probably incorporate aspects of this story, considering the multiverse element to the plot.
In the Snyder Cut Flash enters the speedforce, which is what allows him to time travel. This time it all goes to plan, though.
Then there’s Wonder Woman’s mention of a past war between the Amazons and Atlanteans: in Flashpoint, the two peoples are at war again, and Wonder Woman ends up beheading Mera.
Jimmy Olsen didn’t make it out of Batman v. Superman alive, but he’s kind of in the Snyder Cut. Marc McClure, who played the character in the Christopher Reeve Superman films, cameos as the police officer Cyborg saves from a flying car. This scene was cut from the theatrical release, but McClure still had a cameo — this time as a prison guard in the scene with Flash visiting his father.
There are a fair few Batman related Easter eggs in the Snyder Cut. The scoreboard at Cyborg’s football game was donated by Wayne Enterprises, Bruce’s company.
Arkham Asylum is also shown to have been built in 1974, which is the same year the institution debuted in the comics.
Then, the officer talking to Jim Gordon in the GCPD is Crispus Allen, who in the comics was killed and became the host for the Spectre, a massively powerful spirit.
Snyder has talked about ideas to include Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in the Snyder Cut, as well as planning on using John Stewart instead of Martian Manhunter in the final scene. A Green Lantern does appear in the Snyder Cut, killed in the History Lesson sequence. But there’s actually another Lantern in a blink–and–you’ll–miss–it moment. During Cyborg’s vision of a nightmarish future, where Darkseid kills most of the heroes, a dead Lantern can be seen by the broken remains of the Hall of Justice.
Fans have spotted a potential Spider-Man reference in the Snyder Cut. When Superman throws Flash against a memorial in Heroes Park, you can briefly see the name “Ben Parker” behind him. This is of course the same name as Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben. This could just be a coincidence, but it’s a cool detail either way.
In Cyborg’s terrifying vision of the future, which sees the death of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, at one point we see what’s probably the moment Superman succumbs to the mind control of the Anti-Life Equation. What’s not so obvious on your first viewing is that this scene takes place in the Batcave — in the top right of the screen, you can glimpse the burned suit belonging to Robin amidst the destruction.
It’s Lois’ death that causes Superman to fall, so this means her death takes place in the Batcave. Since, in the plot of Snyder’s Justice League 2, Batman needs to head back in time to sacrifice himself to save Lois, and by doing so save the world, this makes a lot of sense.
Eagle-eyed fans on Twitter have spotted some significant Superman-related parallels in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. In the History Lesson, Ares nearly kills Darkseid with an ax to the shoulder/neck area — and later in the film, Steppenwolf’s ax hits this same area of Superman.
Then, in Batman v. Superman, Lex Luthor ordered Superman to bring him Batman’s head. In Cyborg’s vision of the future, Superman is holding up Batman’s cowl — also mirroring the moment he unmasked Bruce in that first Knightmare sequence.
During the car crash that kills Elinore Stone, Cyborg throws his arm out to save her. It’s this same arm that he stretches out to his father to try and prevent him from sacrificing himself, and is also the arm that Victor lost entirely after the crash.
The Dark Knight Returns
It’s no secret that Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns had a huge influence on Batman v. Superman, but it appears to factor into the Snyder Cut, too. Not only is Batman shown to have his War Machine Bat-tank, which looks a lot like the comic’s Batmobile, but the thugs tied up on the ground might be another reference to this particular comic. They all seem to have very distinctive eyewear, which bears a resemblance to the Mutants gang.
Snyder has wanted to adapt Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead for some time, though he told The New York Times that the project “is on the back burner.” That didn’t stop him from including references in this movie, though – towards the beginning of the movie, The Daily Planet’s front page headline reads “Security Bank of Manhattan Seeks New Architect.” In The Fountainhead, the protagonist turns down the chance to work on the Manhattan Bank Building because his creative vision wouldn’t be followed.
Then there’s the scene where Aquaman rescues a sailor in trouble — his boat is called Cortlandt, which is the name of a housing project in The Fountainhead, Cortlandt Homes. The protagonist destroys the houses once he realizes his designs have not been followed.
When the League enter the grounded spaceship to resurrect Superman, Flash spots a dead Kryptonian. Years earlier, in Man of Steel, Clark Kent noticed the same grisly sight.
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