The Big Differences Between The 'Snyder Cut' and the Original 'Justice League'

Zack Snyder's Justice League (aka the 'Snyder Cut') is streaming now on HBO Max and on streaming services across the world. The new version of the movie adds about two hours of material to the 2017 version and cuts out a lot of the film shot by Joss Whedon after Snyder had to drop out due to a family tragedy.

Among the changes that the new four-hour version features are the reintroduction of Jared Leto's Joker into the film, a new arc (and suit) for Superman (played by Henry Cavill) and a redesign of the main villain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds).

Major spoilers ahead.

The big differences between the 'Snyder Cut' and the original Justice League

Superman lives (with no CGI top lip)

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Superman with his new black suit in 'Zack Snyder's Justice League.' HBO Max

All of the reshoots that feature Cavill with an uncanny top lip after the mustache he was growing had to be CGI-ed out are gone.

This includes his classic red and blue suit. Instead, he decides on a new black suit after a post-resurrection walk through the Metropolis Kryptonian ship, and he wears this suit as he battles against Steppenwolf in Russia.

Among the people who get more scenes in Zack Snyder's Justice League are Lois Lane (Amy Adams), who we see dealing with the grief of the death of Superman in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Just as she feels ready to go back to work, however, he is resurrected.

Cyborg

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Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Warner Bros

After Cyborg actor Ray Fisher issued a number of allegations against Whedon over how he was treated on set, the character has a much bigger presence in the 'Snyder Cut,' which places his story at the heart of things.

In the new version, we get to see inside Cyborg's mindspace as he grapples with his technology-augmented existence and communicates with networks around the world, in what Snyder has called a "pretty psychedelic" scene.

A number of key scenes are also added back in. There is more about his complicated relationship with his father Dr. Silas Stone (Joe Morton), and more scenes that show Cyborg learning all the super things his new body can do. We also get to see the accident that led to him becoming Cyborg, rather than just getting it in dialogue.

Silas also gets a heroic moment of his own, as he tries to stop Steppenwolf from taking the last of the powerful Mother Boxes.

The Flash movie set-up

The Flash's solo movie is coming in November 2022, and the Snyder Cut sets up its world in a scene in which Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) saves Iris West's (Kiersey Clemons) life after she ends up in a car accident.

Gone from the movie, meanwhile, is the Russian family who The Flash saved in the middle of the main battle. Instead, we get scenes that establish that he can travel back in time, which he does to save his mother's life.

Steppenwolf

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Steppenwolf's new look in 'Zack Snyder's Justice League.' HBO Max

As seen in the Snyder Cut trailers, Steppenwolf has been completely redesigned, with new armor that can shift and move to better ward off attacks, as seen in a battle with the Amazons. He also has actual horns rather than just a horned helmet.

Darkseid

Also featured in the new version is Darkseid (Ray Porter), the lord of the hellscape Apokolips who Steppenwolf is trying to impress. Both he and his servant DeSaad (Peter Guinness) can be seen in Zack Snyder's Justice League checking up on Steppenwolf's progress.

We also see him come face to face with the League through a portal, where he sets up a sequel by saying he is ready to come to earth to destroy it and to find the Anti-Life Equation.

The Martian Manhunter

One of the many messy things about the original Justice League was that its promo campaign used the phrase "unite the seven," but we only got to see six of the original members of the League: Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg.

In the new version, however, we also get a glimpse of the Martian Manhunter, who has assumed the identity of Lieutenant General Calvin Swanwick (Harry Lennix) from Man of Steel. We also learn that he took on the appearance of Martha Kent (Diane Lane) in order to help Lois grieve Superman.

At the end of the movie, the Martian Manhunter comes to Bruce Wayne to let him know that he will be ready to help in the coming battle against Darkseid—another sequel set-up for a film unlikely to ever happen.

The Knightmare rages on

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Ben Affleck in the Knightmare sequence of 'Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice'. HBO Max

In scenes shown specifically for this HBO Max version of the film, we see more of the so-called Knightmare timeline briefly glimpsed in Batman vs.Superman, a Mad Max-like future in which the Earth has been decimated.

The most important scene comes between Batman and the Joker, in which they have a conversation about the destruction they have caused. Here it is revealed that Robin has died, as has Harley Quinn, who made Bruce promise he would murder The Joker slowly and painfully. In this scene, we also see Bruce drop an f-bomb, saying, "When I held Harley Quinn and she was bleeding and dying, she begged me, with her last breath, that when I killed you—and make no mistake, I will f***ing kill you—that I'd do it slow."

The Knightmare sequence, as revealed in an accidental leak of the movie, also ends with a potential harbinger of what is to come, as Cyborg, The Flash, Mera (Amber Heard), Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) and The Joker get ready to battle with an evil red-eyed Superman. No sooner has this happened, however, than Bruce wakes up and we realize it was a dream. Or was it a harbinger of things to come?

Rating

Apart from the language, the film's R rating compared to the original PG-13 allows the battles to be gorier. The main beneficiary of this is Steppenwolf, seen decapitating Amazons and Atlanteans with his axe. Among the other decapitatees is the Yalan Gur Green Lantern, whose power ring then floats off—setting up a new Green Lantern.

Other changes

Aside from the plot differences, there are a few technical changes in the new movie. Rather than widescreen, Zack Snyder's Justice League appears in the boxier 1.33:1 ratio used in IMAX cinemas, with the director clearly hoping for a big-screen debut for the movie when cinemas reopen. Also new is the music, with Junkie XL back from Batman vs. Superman, replacing the Danny Elfman music from the original Justice League.

Zack Snyder's Justice League is streaming now on HBO Max.