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9 Key Differences in Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Ian Monk

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Justice League Snyder Cut image
Warner Bros.

Well, it’s finally here. Zack Snyder’s Justice League has been dropped on HBO Max. So now we have two versions of the same movie but they are poles apart. Practically, they are completely different films with only their title being in common. So one is two hours long and the other comes in at a whopping four hours. But there is much more to what sets them apart. What separates them from being a ridiculed rehash and a dark immersive epic. Let’s take a look at nine of those key differences.

***SPOILERS BELOW***

1. Tone

Before we get into the plot details and character changes, let’s begin with what hits you immediately. The tone of the Snyder Cut is a quantum shift from the Joss Whedon version. The 2017 release was aiming for that lightweight adventure that is more akin to the MCU. Ensuring guaranteed “family fun” with 2-dimensional characterisation and “PG” rated action. Sparing the popcorn audience from any ‘unnecessary’ exposition. Anyone who knows Snyder’s work, especially his superhero films, know this is not how he does it.

Zack’s exploration of the DCEU has always been with a more darker and serious tone. This began with ‘Watchmen’ (which had another 3 and a half hour ‘Ultimate Cut’) which is probably the most sardonic and cynical superhero story ever. This would be followed by his venture into the DC icons – Superman and Batman. Both ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ would take the source material very seriously. Very little leeway for humorous banter here. So we can’t be surprised at how the Snyder Cut has turned out. If Ingmar Bergman had every delved into the comic universe then it wouldn’t have been much different. But this does mean it’s an acquired taste and certainly not for everyone.

Whedon vs. Snyder

Whedon had reshot 80% for his version and none of this has been used here. All the glib humour and clunky dialogue has gone and replaced with what was originally shot. The language is more grown-up now with even F-bombs being thrown about. All the main characters have a clearer story arc and a deeper sense of purpose within the film. While some show their damaged personalities and relationships.

A good example of these changes is when we see Wonder Woman rescuing the school children from the gunmen. This is a longer and more violent scene. Her removal of the bomb plays out to a better finish and there is a positive and empowering moment with the children.

Another strong example of the more serious tone is the attack on the Amazons by Steppenwolf. This is much more emotionally gruelling as many Amazonians fall in trying to protect the Mother Box. The stone temple, where it is kept, is destroyed and falls into the sea along with many warriors.

2. Soundtrack

Another important factor that strengthens this tone is the change to the soundtrack. Danny Elfman had scored the 2017 edition which highlighted the vision they had for the direction of the first film. Elfman perfectly exemplifies the “goofy” comic origins of the medium. His work with Tim Burton on his ‘Batman’ films and his wonderful theme for ‘Men In Black’. They epitomize what he can do with these projects when they are played tongue in cheek. This has now been replaced by a more darker and operatic score written by Junkie XL (Thomas Holkenborg). This instantly changes the dynamic of the movie and creates some memorable scenes. It’s as if Richard Wagner has spun an operatic finale to his career.

Bruce’s initial meeting with Aquaman now becomes more meaningful to both characters. The White Stripes punchy rock song has been lifted and replaced with something more sombre from Nick Cave. Snyder would personally pick specific songs for the movie as their lyrics struck a note with the scene.

3. Cyborg

Victor Stone becomes a centre stage to the plot of the movie. Unlike the 2017 version, where almost all backstory had been removed, we now get to see his troubled past. We see his origin story of how he loses his mother and almost his life. We see more of his father, Silas Stone, who is able to save him by turning him into a cyborg. Though the method will have far-reaching consequences for them all. In the end, his father will try to reconcile with Victor but it will be too late for both of them.

Zack had stated that, for his Snyder Cut, Cyborg/Victor Stone would be central to his story. This has certainly provided a stronger foundation to the plot of the film and puts a lot of depth to Ray Fisher’s character.

4. Steppenwolf

The main villain from the original release has had a major reworking. His look and armour have been remodelled and more to what was originally designed. He is no longer the “Head Honcho” and instigating the attack on Earth by himself. Now he has a more complex personality and subservient to someone else. He is serving his penance for a “betrayal” committed and must conquer 50,000 worlds to appease his Master. The Mother-boxes do not belong to him and he uses his parademons to smell them out or people who have come into contact with them.

His demise is different too. Instead of being attacked by his own parademons he is gruesomely defeated by the Justice League. Stabbed by Aquaman, punched by Superman before being decapitated by Wonder Woman! This is not PG material.

5. Darkseid

Following closely with the source material from the DCEU, the major villain makes an appearance. We now see who Steppenwolf is obeying and trying to appease. We get a better backstory for his prior attack on the Earth as he fought the Gods before and lost. So, now understand his overriding desire to conquer the Earth – this is personal!

This early battle is of epic proportions as Gods from all epochs are fighting together. Even Zeus plays his part in fighting them off!

Unlike the 2017 version, where the defeat of Steppenwolf brings the threat to an end. We now see that Darkseid has not finished with us yet and plans a full invasion. Here we see other new characters who are his minions, including DeSaad.

6. Black suit

The way the Justice league make the decision to revive Superman is different too. It is now undertaken as a group discussion and decision and fraught with apprehension if they get it wrong. How they gain entry into the Kryptonian ship is better explained. Cyborg uses his access into STAR Lab’s computers leads to an evacuation. Silas Stone discovers their presence and does all he can to assist them in their cause.

Superman’s late return to the story saw a subtle change in colour. Rather than the bright red/blue uniform, he is wearing a suit of all black. This was a major sticking point to the studio before. They were uncomfortable with this dark look and insisted the Man of Steel should look as he normally does. But Snyder, wanting to pay homage to a critical 90’s comic book, “The Death of Superman”, made sure this was restored.

7. No more Russians

Not surprisingly, the end of the movie is drastically different too. This is now played out as a cataclysmic struggle between titans. Which means there is no appearance of any stray Russian families. This would be one of the most bizarre story arcs in the Joss Whedon version. Putting an unknown family into the most irradiated place on Earth with no other purpose other than for Superman and The Flash to rescue them. A complete distraction to the main action, this has now been removed. We now have a better-structured finale that ends with a better resolution.

8. Nightmare

There is now an extended epilogue to the movie. If it’s good enough for “The Return of the King” it’s good enough for the “Justice League”!. Here was get a frightening look into events that are yet to happen. In a desolate world, we find a heavily armoured Batman accompanied by an equally ravaged band of heroes. These include Cyborg, Mera (The Amazonian), The Flash (even more armoured than Batman!) and Deathstroke. But the biggest shock is seeing that a part of Batman’s allies is The Joker. Jared Leto would once again don the makeup and still be a thorn in Batman’s side. We find out that many superheroes have fallen as Darkseid and his armadas have destroyed the world. But things get worse for them as Superman makes a sudden appearance and he is not part of their clique!

Luckily Bruce Wayne wakes up just at this point so this might just be a bad dream for him….or is it a premonition of things to come.

9. Martian Manhunter

After Bruce wakes up, we get another major difference to the 2017 rendition. One of the Green Lanterns, Martian Manhunter, appears to Bruce and warns him that they face a bigger danger and he wants to help him fight it. Earlier in the film, we discover that he had visited Lois Lane disguised as Clark’s mother. He implores her to get back to the Daily Planet and start reporting again.

The story has been carefully crafted to set up an exciting sequel but this may never happen now. If the Snyder Cut is a roaring success then, just maybe, we might have a conclusion to the epic tale.


Thank you for reading about nine key differences in Zack Snyder’s Justice League compared to the original cut. Do you agree with our thoughts? What did you make of the movie? Let us know in the comments below.


Love DC? Check out our thoughts on who’s been the best Joker HERE.

Check out IMDB information on Zack Snyder’s Justice League HERE.

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Movie News

The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley

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Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.


The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.


The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.


The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.


So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.


Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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