We’ve seen Zack’s controversial and realistic take on superheroes. We’ve seen him coring his movies with heart and philosophy. But what is the one element that separates his universe from the others?
Is it the Superman that has human emotions or the one with the black suit?
Is it the Batman that kills or is it the batman that swears?
Is it The Wonder Woman that shows no mercy in a war or is it the Wonder Woman who gave up everything humanity?
The answer to this has been in front of us since the beginning of his saga. Snyder uses dreams to tell his narratives of the story. He “dreams” of a complexly stronger story with ominous tales of a possible future. He uses foreshadowing to provoke heroic actions. In “Man of Steel,” we saw Superman having a nightmare of a world where Zod terraforms Earth into Krypton.
This is the first indication of where Zack wants to head with his characters. He loves the idea of real consequences and dreams play out the most crucial role in his stories. As in “Man of Steel,” this nightmare shows Kal-El what could happen if he shakes hands with Zod. Hence, he fought him. He killed him because he knew Zod would not stop. He couldn’t let him wipe out the human race. But we do see consequences. We do see him worried about the nightmare and we also see people’s view of how they see Superman saving the world.
For Superman, it was important to stop Zod. Stop. Not kill. Hence why we see the Black Zero Fight. He could’ve killed Zod way before the rogue Kryptonian combatant realised how powerful he can become.
The consequences are seen in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” where we see how divided the world’s view is regarding the Man of Steel. Some love him, others despise him. Some fear him, while others worship him. In reality, he simply is trying to live a normal life and these opinions do worry Clark –– a lot.
One specific portion of the movie this can be seen in is the ‘Day of the Dead’ scene where we see Superman’s worried face after he saves a girl. Now, there could be multiple interpretations of this scene. The one I would like to go with is that he has seen himself standing over skulls in the “Man of Steel” nightmare mentioned earlier, and seeing people here face painted as skeletons for the ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration reminds him of that nightmare and how many died on his watch.
Another character that has nightmares is Batman. His existential crisis in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is told via nightmares. The movie itself starts with a nightmare where he dreams about his parents dying. He calls it a beautiful lie. The reason being explained by the director himself on Vero.
The idea, that in the dream the righteous man, the good man, seeks justice, but that quest lead him into darkness and his own moral code is in question or may only be a construct of his grief. So the lie of the light becomes justice=light. For batman it’s the opposite.Zack snyder to Alex Andress on Vero: true social
Second dream sequence is where he sees a Man-Bat at his parents’ grave. We see how badly his past is haunting him, affecting him. How much he’s been through. How it has changed his perspective of the world. Now Another character that has nightmares is batman. His existence in “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” is told via nightmares. We see his past in a nightmare scene where he sees Man-Bat. We see how badly his past is affecting him. How much he’s been through. How it has changed his perspective of the world.
Twenty Years in Gotham, we’ve seen what promises are worth. How many good guys have left? How many stayed that way?Bruce Wayne, Batman vs Superman
Another nightmare we saw is Batman’s vision of the future in a post-apocalyptic world where evil has won and earth has become a hellscape. That’s the most important dream sequence and acts as the catalyst to his final stand against what he once considerd evil –– Superman.
Yes. He has his own views on what Superman is. Seeing Kal-El as an evil entity in the dream sequence, and Barry Allen telling him “You were right about him,” tickles his paranoia, causing him to cement his belief for Superman’s true intentions. He becomes firm on his decision to kill Superman until the end of the story, where he realizes that he was wrong and redeems himself.
Men are still good. We Fight, we kill, we betray one another. But we can rebuild. We will. We have to.Bruce Wayne, Batman vs Superman
Now, coming back to the (k)nightmare. That one scene sets up the future of Zack’s DC Cinematic Universe, aka “The Snyderverse.”
That’s the scene that motivates Bruce to unite the League and prepare for the arrival of Darkseid. That’s the route Zack was headed to since the beginning. What if they failed to stop evil? What if their worst fears came true? What if evil takes over? And that’s what happens. Whatever they do, they lose. And Darkseid releases the anti life equation onto earth.
Zack’s five-part arc eventually was set to reach that point. We can say that the first three movies, being “Man of Steel,” “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” in the arc are simply the road to the knightmare. They set up the stage for what and who’s to come.
If we pay attention to the “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” marketing, we would notice that a good significant part of it is focused towards the “Knightmare” elements. In the first trailer for the Snyder Cut, we saw another shot at the knightmare world where Wonder Woman’s shield and Aquaman’s trident, along with a few other references, tell us who died and who’s alive.
We also saw three Apokoliptians in the trailer. One was Steppenwolf, since he’s the primary villain of the story, the others were UXAS (Darkseid) and his personal slave servant DeSaad. The very first teaser for the Snyder Cut is a shot of Diana looking at a painting of Darkseid, being terrified while understanding how great the danger is. Even a warrior who literally smiles at the face of death (Doomsday) is fearful.
The new trailer that dropped on Valentine’s Day (2/14) also focused a significant amount of time on the Apokoliptians and the “knightmare.” We saw Apokolips along with Darkseid, DeSaad and Granny Goodness. We even have a Joker tease towards the end. All hinting to what was supposed to come in Justice League III.
We have also been seeing the brand new posters for the movie. All of which show us some kind of ruins. That is a big hint to the post apocalyptic world.
There have been Multiple T-shirt merchandise releases also. A najority of which devoted to the Apokoliptian God Darkseid. There have been three designs for DC’s Darkseid merchandise so far and an AFSP Darkseid design.
Zack has been sharing a lot of pictures from the post apocalyptic world. So far we’ve seen a Batfleck shot, three Jared Leto Joker shots and one Joe Manganiello Deathstroke shot, all of which belong to the knightmare timeline.
Now, why would they market scenes from a story that is taking place in the future? Because that’s where he wants the focus to be. Yes, he’s marketing Ray as Cyborg, Ben as Batman and everyone else for his four-hour-long story, but this is the specific part of the arc that he focuses the most. The biggest hint is that Snyder is telling us to invest in the dreams. To invest in the vision.
That’s what is going to make this possible. If we simply are satisfied with what we got in 2017, then that’s the end of the SnyderVerse for us. We need to prove the studios that we’re in for the entirety of his saga. This is why we need to focus on scenes from the future in order to keep the chances of future chapters alive. The movie needs the audience and it needs to generate the talk.
Especially for the “knightmare” sequence. The goal here is to make the knightmare scenes, and Snyder’s cut, the most talked about movie in history. Then we shall surely restore the Snyder verse. We are proving to the higher ups that there is a massive audience who wants to see what’s next. Whatever happens, do not give up. This is not a ‘cul-de-sac’ but a ‘Cut-de-Zack’. Trust and invest in his vision.
“When the fight comes, we will need you”Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder’s Justice League releases on March 18th 2021 on HBO Max in the US and other streaming services depending upon the region. Make sure to stream it as much as possible and keep the SnyderVerse alive. The fate of his universe lies in your hands!