Justice League de Zack Snyder ends with a good 30 minutes dedicated to the future of a franchise that won’t happen. The 2017 release post-credits scene – in which Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) recruits Deathstroke (played by Joe Manganiello) for his Legion of Doom – is now part of the runtime. Then viewers get a new Knightmare sequence starring Jared Leto’s Joker (as a nod to David Ayer Suicide Squad). Then Martian Manhunter shows up to say “They call me Martian Manhunter” before he takes off. It’s a lot!
Sadly, Snyder’s tease is unlikely to pay off: As WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff told Variety on Monday, there are no plans to sequence the four-hour film. “With [the release of Justice League on HBO Max] comes the completion of his trilogy. We’re very happy we did this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all of the multidimensional DC characters that are in development. “
But at least one person saw potential in the now infamous Luthor-Deathstroke post-credits scene: Stephen Colbert. Hoping to get some more life out of the Justice League 2, the late-night TV host released his own ‘Colbert cut’ from the scene, allowing him to play how it all could are gone if there had only been more time. More time in a four hour cut of the film. Four hours.
What starts off as a question mark over the whole Deathstroke deal explodes into a history lesson in the superhero IP acquisition reshuffle over the years. Stupid? Yes. Entertaining? Yes. Bound to shake a subsection of Snyder Cut fans? Almost certainly. But to quote a line the Joker makes do not say in Justice League: We live in a society.