To say Justice League had a tumultuous production history is an understatement. Originally announced in 2014, the film was ultimately released in November 2017, following a slew of DC Extended Universe films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman. Director Zack Snyder left the production following a family tragedy, leaving Joss Whedon to put the final touches on a film widely seen to have botched Snyder’s ambitious vision. Justice League 2 was ultimately scrapped, but the director recently offered fans some enticing clues about his trippy, trans-dimensional plans for the sequel.
Over the weekend, Snyder hosted a three-hour live-stream on Vero, commenting on the extended version of Batman v Superman. During the event, the director spoke honestly about that befuddling Knightmare scene involving The Flash. In the film, the scarlet speedster shows up in a sequence meant to warn Batman about future events.
One thing is clear from Snyder's commentary: Batman v Superman’s version of The Flash exists in an alternate timeline where Batman and Superman never duked it out. Therefore, whatever future Barry Allen was from no longer exists.
To more fully understand the potential plot of Justice League 2, let's look back at the original DCEU timeline. The Flash film was originally set for a March 2018 release date. When news broke that the solo film would be an adaptation of the acclaimed Flashpoint storyline from the comics, fans wondered whether the DCEU was being rebooted. In the comics, Flashpoint follows the story of Barry Allen’s time traveling to change the point of his mother’s death, altering the course of the future — a future that included Thomas Wayne's Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman waging war against each other. It was a mess.
With Snyder’s explanation of the Knightmare/Flash sequence, the Flashpoint movie may have taken place in this alternate reality. Long story short, Barry would have realized something wasn’t right about this new timeline, and Justice League 2 would have involved the superheroes’ attempts to right the wrongs of Batman’s choices in Batman v Superman.
What’s more, Snyder basically confirmed Bruce was working with The Flash and Cyborg in the future to prevent himself from killing Lois Lane and stop Superman from falling prey to Darkseid, a villainous interdimensional demon king whose goal was to conquer the universe.
If the timeline was changed, the effects of such a potential alteration may not have factored into Justice League. At least not right away. In retrospect, the sequel’s potential plot goes a long way to explain why the superheroes fought Steppenwolf instead of Darkseid.
In a roundabout way, Snyder — who enjoys offering fans unreleased images and information that never made it into Justice League — unintentionally provided a possible blueprint for the sequel’s plot. The entire idea sounds incredibly complicated, but it makes sense, especially considering how The Flash wonders if he showed up “too soon” during the Knightmare sequence. We may never truly know for sure.