Justice League had quite the road to fruition.
Zack Snyder moved onto the big DC team-up film right after completing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which received quite the mixed reception and resulted in JL having to be tweaked accordingly. Production went for quite a while, and then came the news that Snyder was stepping down from post-production and reshoots due to a family tragedy. Joss Whedon (Avengers) was brought on to finish the film. Cast and crew have maintained that it still remains a Snyder film and producer Charles Roven has stated that “80, 85 percent of the movie is what was originally shot”.
So yeah, it’s fair to say that there’s another cut of the film – or more likely multiple other versions – that will never see the light of day, unless WB decides to release some special editions down the line of course. Among the footage left on the cutting room floor: more Aquaman.
Some of the criticisms directed at JL relate to the lack of meat given to the characterisation of our heroes, particularly newcomers The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. Well, according to Jason Momoa, who spoke to EW about some of what didn’t make it into Justice League, the lack of his character’s backstory in the film isn’t too big of a deal – there’s still an Aquaman movie on the horizon after all.
“The challenging part is [the Justice League story] is only about a weekend in Arthur Curry’s life. [Fans] might be like, ‘Why is he that grumpy? Why’s he hiding up there?’” We had it all planned out. A lot of things got cut,” Momoa said.
“But it’s not my movie. It’s a huge movie introducing three new characters, and for myself and The Flash and Cyborg, there was a lot that was there we just couldn’t get in. It could have been two movies. […] There was no need for it because you’re going to see it in Aquaman. It’s not an Aquaman movie, it’s a Justice League movie.”
As for some of what was taken out…
“We had some stuff with William Dafoe. The whole Atlantean part, about me being this reluctant king.”
JL holds a scene with Aquaman and Mera (Amber Heard), although whether that provides a decent slice of “backstory” per se is certainly up for debate.
The fact that “there was a lot that was there we just couldn’t get in” could have something to do with Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara’s “mandate” that the film come in under two hours in length. BvS‘ theatrical release came in at 151 minutes and the subsequent “Ultimate Edition” had a cut that hit the three-hour mark.
For Arthur Curry fans, all eyes are now on December 2018, when James Wan‘s highly anticipated Aquaman starts hitting cinemas around the world.