Every DCEU Cliffhanger That Never Got Resolved

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Lex Luthor, Superman, Batman, Lynda Carter Asteria

The DCEU is over! With the franchise now concluded after Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, there are 13 major loose threads still dangling.

From 2013's Man of Steel to 2023's Aquaman sequel, the DCEU was a decade-long controversial path paved with many ups and downs.

Having survived across multiple Warner Bros. and DC leadership regimes, the recent Aquaman 2 finally closed out the DCEU as James Gunn and Peter Safran prepare to launch a new reboot in 2024 with Creature Commandos on Max.

But as this universe wasn't exactly planned to conclude when last year's four flop movies were in production, the DCEU left behind plenty of unanswered questions and cliffhangers, most of which are doomed to never be resolved:

Lex Luthor Forms a Team (Justice League)

Justice League Lex Luthor

After plenty of fan casting, Joe Manganiello debuted as Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, in the post-credits scene of Justice League. The infamous assassin was seen meeting Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor on a yacht to prepare some of their nefarious schemes following the first assembly of the league.

Having recently escaped from prison, Luthor proposed the two form "a league of [their] own," laying the groundwork for the Injustice League or Legion of Doom. This team presumably would have included the two present in the scene and characters such as Joker, Black Manta, and Cheetah.

As the DCU restarts the universe with a new Lex Luthor, played by Nicholas Hoult, this cliffhanger probably won't be explored again. After all, over six years have passed since this scene with no continuation or further appearances from either villain, except for Zack Snyder's Justice League in 2021.

Deathstroke vs Batman (Zack Snyder's Justice League)

Zack Snyder Justice League Deathstroke

Curiously, the Snyder Cut featured a different (but similar) post-credits scene with Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor and Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke. 

The exciting stinger still saw a recently escaped Luthor meeting with the assassin on a yacht. But this time, Luthor was hiring Deathstroke to "destroy the bat" instead of setting his sights on the whole Justice League.

The scene makes it clear this mission was personal for Slade Wilson - implying Batman was the one to take out one of his eyes - before Luthor revealed the identity of the Dark Knight as Bruce Wayne.

As the post-credits scene was placed to tease the assassin as the villain for Ben Affleck's abandoned Batman movie, this tease will go unresolved. The two cuts of Justice League remain Manganiello's only appearance as Deathstroke. 

Darkseid Is Coming for Earth (Zack Snyder's Justice League)

Zack Snyder Justice League Darkseid

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Zack Snyder's Justice League compared to Joss Whedon's 2017 cut was how it left Darkseid coming for Earth and its heroes in search of the Anti-Life Equation after the defeat of Steppenwolf. 

Darkseid ordered his legions, "Ready the armada, we will use the old ways," as he prepared to begin his conquest of Earth. This was meant to set the stage for a massive battle in Justice League 2 and 3 that was quickly abandoned after Zack Snyder departed the project before release.

Martian Manhunter Debuts (Zack Snyder's Justice League)

Zack Snyder Justice League Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter made his only DCEU appearance in the ending of Zack Snyder's Justice League as he met with Bruce Wayne. The movie confirmed Harry Lennix's General Swanwick, who also appeared in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, was the Martian superhero in disguise.

The Justice League icon clarified to the Dark Knight that the fight is not done and Darkseid will be coming for Earth. Martian Manhunter seemed placed to join the superhero team in the future with a major role in the canceled DC sequel.

Looking to the future, fans will hopefully see Martian Manhunter in live-action again soon, perhaps finally along with his solo project. But it almost certainly won't be this version of the character, and Lennix will presumably also be recast as such.

The Knightmare Timeline (Zack Snyder's Justice League)

Zack Snyder Justice League Knightmare

Across his DC movies, Zack Snyder laid the groundwork for the Knightmare timeline as a possible future where Superman becomes the tyrannical ruler of Earth and Batman's insurgency resists his reign following the death of Lois Lane.

The future heroes sent Barry Allen back in time using the cosmic treadmill to warn present-day Batman of the danger to come and the importance of Lois Lane.

The Knightmare timeline was expected to be the focus of Justice League 2 under Snyder, but as that will not come to pass, this future will never be explored.

The Original Wonder Woman Lives (Wonder Woman 1984)

Wonder Woman 1984 Lynda Carter

Wonder Woman 1984 referred to an ancient Amazon warrior called Asteria who had supposedly sacrificed herself to save her people. The original owner of Diana Prince's golden armor was revealed to be alive in the post-credits scene and played by former Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter.

While some may speculate the scene was purely intended as a fan service cameo, Gal Gadot confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter in November 2021 that Lynda Carter would appear in Wonder Woman 3:

“First of all, Lynda has mentored me from the very first moment that I got cast as Wonder Woman. She was always there, talking to me, giving me tips and everything. She’s a true champion of what Patty and I have been doing, and it was so great that we managed to find the right opportunity to bring her to the last movie and now to the third one. It’s even better this time. I love her very much. I love her dearly.”

Of course, any hope of seeing this union of the two Wonder Woman actresses has now been dashed following the cancelation of the threequel and the likely recasting of Gadot as the Amazonian Justice League hero.

Weasel Survived the Waters* (The Suicide Squad)

The Suicide Squad Weasel Post Credits

The opening of The Suicide Squad, as two teams of villains landed on the beaches of Corto Maltese, proved to be a bloodbath. Weasel was among those to die, drowning in the sea before the team even made it to land.

But the post-credits scene revealed an uplifting twist for the child-killing mammal as Weasel awakened from his apparent death, scarpering off along the beaches of Corto Maltese, setting up more future appearances. 

As now-DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn directed the movie, this will be one of the DCEU's few cliffhangers to be resolved. Weasel will return later this year in Max's animated Creature Commandos series that will launch the new DCU where the role will still be played by the director's brother, Sean Gunn.

Waller Exposed to the World* (Peacemaker)

Peacemaker Ending Waller

It was Amanda Waller's daughter Adebayo who exposed her to the world following the events of Peacemaker. In a press conference, Adebayo cleared Peacemaker's name and outed Project Butterfly and Taskforce X to the world, exposing the U.S. Government and Waller for their actions.

Viola Davis' Amanda Waller is one of the few DCEU characters confirmed to return in the reboot, meaning this cliffhanger is likely to be explored further in the coming years. Between Peacemaker Season 2 and Waller, the ARGUS leader's public outing may prove important across multiple DCU projects.

This ought to be particularly important in Waller, which will take the ARGUS chief into a solo Max series where she will presumably be unable to hide in the shadows as she has before due to Adebayo's actions.

Black Adam vs Superman (Black Adam)

Black Adam Henry Cavill Superman

In what will go down as one of the most infamous DCEU cliffhangers, Black Adam's post-credits scene set the stage for Henry Cavill to return as Superman five years after his last appearance with Justice League. This was all meant to head toward a clash between the two mega-powered heroes years later. 

But alas, DC Studios ended that plan as Cavill was replaced with a new, younger Superman and Dwayne Johnson announced he was done with DC movies, ending Black Adam's story just as it was getting started.

Shazam Joins the Justice Society (Shazam! Fury of the Gods)

Shazam Fury of the Gods Justice Society

Having been a hero for several years and saved the day multiple times, the post-credits scene for Shazam! Fury of the Gods saw ARGUS agents Emilia Harcourt and John Economos recruit Billy Batson to the Justice Society.

But fans never saw Shazam take the ARGUS duo up on their offer to join the likes of Hawkman, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher on the roster, so it was never made clear whether he ended up joining the Justice Society.

In terms of the future, this is where things get a little confusing as Economos and Harcourt will be sticking around in the DCU thanks to Peacemaker Season 2. But that doesn't necessarily mean Levi will, as Shazam's future remains uncertain.

Doctor Sivana & Mister Mind (Shazam! Fury of the Gods)

Doctor Sivana Mister Mind Shazam 2 Post Credits

Fury of the Gods' second post-credits scene was rather similar to one from the 2019 first movie. Mark Strong's Dr. Sivana once again found himself face-to-face with the talking caterpillar Mister Mind (played by Shazam! franchise director David Sandberg) for a tease of a future team-up between the pair.

Arguably one of Shazam's biggest villains, most assumed Mister Mind would be the sequel's villain after he appeared in the 2019 movie, but that honor went to the Daughters of Atlas. And once again, this post-credits scene left most assuming Sandberg was planning to revisit Mister Mind for Shazam 3

As of now, despite Zachary Levi's close relationship with DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran, most are expecting the hero won't return for the reboot. As such, Shazam 3 appears unlikely, meaning these two villains probably won't return soon.

George Clooney Is Batman (The Flash)

The Flash George Clooney Batman

After an adventure filled with Michael Keaton and a cameo from Ben Affleck, the ending of The Flash saw Ezra Miller's Barry Allen arrive in a new world where Batman was instead played by Batman & Robin's George Clooney.

While this may have felt like a set-up for Clooney to appear as Batman in The Flash 2 or another DC project, that was seemingly never the plan.

The updated ending was filmed after Gunn and Safran set out plans for a reboot, and the former was clear Clooney is not the DCU's new Batman

So far, the heroes confirmed to exist in that world include Miller's Flash, Clooney's Batman, and Jason Momoa's Aquaman. They will seemingly continue living there while DC focuses on a new universe with recast actors.

Ted Kord Is Alive* (Blue Beetle)

Blue Beetle Ted Kord

The original Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, disappeared long before the events of Jaime Reyes' first adventure and was presumed dead. But the post-credits scene shut that notion down as a distorted video message to his empty superhero lair saw Kord send out a message to his daughter, Jenny, revealing he is alive.

As James Gunn has described Blue Beetle as "the first DCU character," indicating Xolo Maridueña will reprise his superhero in the reboot, there may still be hope for Ted Kord's return. After all, the scene might lay the groundwork for one of the upcoming DCU Max series, Booster Gold.

Will Any DCEU Cliffhangers Get Resolved?

Unfortunately, over the years, the DCEU has struggled to maintain interest from fans in any form of a larger storyline, especially since Zack Snyder departed the franchise after Justice League and any sense of cohesion vanished.

This drop in interest has only become more apparent when turning attention to last year's four DCEU movies which flopped back-to-back at the box office. Granted, this may be in part due to the news of an upcoming reboot and this being nothing more than the disappointing finishing line for these characters.

As such, almost none of these cliffhangers will likely be resolved, except for those created by James Gunn, given he holds the keys to the future of DC. Additionally, likely due to him being a freshly-introduced character with no links to past failures, Blue Beetle appears placed to stick around and continue his adventures.

The cliffhangers from Zack Snyder's Justice League will undoubtedly continue to be a hot topic due to his vocal fan base that is still campaigning to resume his DC saga to this day. But alas, that seems unlikely to ever happen, with the DCU moving forward under Gunn and Snyder focused on projects at Netflix.

The DCU will launch with the seven-episode animated series Creature Commandos, which is set to stream on Max later this year.

- In This Article: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Release Date
March 17, 2023
Asher Angel
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.