DC's super-powered A-team has not had the best of luck when it comes to the big screen, with only one film to their name, in 2017's Justice League.
The Justice League was also the focus of 2021's four-hour epic, Zack Snyder's Justice League; however, that was not a sequel, but merely a reimagining of the first film under original director Zack Snyder.
But did Warner Bros. cancel plans for a full-on Justice League follow-up? And, what did those plans look like?
Zack Snyder's Justice League 2
As it turns out, at one point, Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder had plans to make a Justice League 2.
Snyder himself has been vocal about his ideas for the sequel, further building out his super-powered universe, after what would have been the events of Zack Snyder's Justice League.
This follow-up would have seen Darkseid (DC's answer to Thanos) come back to Earth, in an attempt to get his hands on the Anti-Life Equation.
The original Justice League 2 would have been the first half of an Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame-like story, with Darkseid defeating DC's most iconic team. Snyder told The New York Times that the movie would have seen "the fall of Earth, when Superman succumbs to Anti-Life," resulting in the Knightmare sequences seen in The Snyder Cut.
From there, all the armies of Earth, including the Amazons of Themyscira and the forces of Atlantis, would have banded together to take down Darkseid for good.
Synder also previously mentioned the future Justice League movie would have very much been "a Superman [story]," after the character was sidelined for a great deal of the first film, and could have included the deaths of characters like Harley Quinn, Lois Lane, and Aquaman:
"Yeah, well I had just assumed that the final movie was going to be very much a Superman movie. Like the final chapter was going to be a large percentage of Superman to just bookend the whole thing."
The director also revealed that he had big plans for Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor in a Justice League sequel, pointing to "a whole Lex Luthor concept [he] had that would unfold over a longer narrative trajectory."
However, all that planning on the part of the director was for naught, as the studio moved from Snyder prior to Justice League's release.
What Did Warner Bros. Have Planned?
While never officially announced, Warner Bros. seemingly had its own ideas when it came to a Justice League 2.
Most of these plans were after the Zack Snyder departure, according to reports. At one point, Warner Bros. Pictures leadership Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy had a desire for another Justice League film featuring the Snyder-era heroes.
This would have likely taken the form of an adaptation of the beloved DC Comics storyline Crisis on Infinite Earths.
This Crisis film would have been teased in The Flash and seen Snyder-era heroes, including those who were ready to depart or had already departed the franchise (like Ben Affleck as Batman), return for the Multiversal epic.
Word is that this Crisis on Infinite Earths plan came from former DC Films president Walter Hamada. The executive who was brought in after Snyder's vision for the universe fell apart meant to build to Crisis as a culmination of this era of DC storytelling and one last go-round for the Snyder movie heroes like Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Ben Affleck as Batman.
However, given Hamada's departure from Warner Bros. and the James Gunn/Peter Safran duo coming in to run DC Studios, plans for the Crisis on Infinite Earths movies were seemingly abandoned, with the studio opting for a pseudo-reboot of the universe.
Justice League and the rest of the DCEU catalog can be streamed now on Max.