Despite being over four hours long, Zack Snyder’s Justice League remains a mystery within a mystery — a proverbial Inception of interconnected stories, if you will. Given the almost Homeric scale of in-universe lore and the breadth of subplots Zack Snyder wanted to tell, the movie will always feel just a little incomplete. Even with its extended runtime, there’s always more deleted footage around the corner.
Zack Snyder shared the most recent subplot that ended up on the cutting room floor during an online Q&A hosted by Cinemark Playa Vista, mainly the Green Lantern Corps. Wayne T. Carr was hired to play John Stewart in Justice League’s Snyderverse reshoots, but his part was inevitably removed at Warner Bros.’s request so he could feature as the main character in a future DC Extended Universe film.
The Green Lantern spot was taken by Harry Lennix’s Martian Manhunter, who appeared before Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne after Steppenwolf was finally defeated. Zack Snyder shared a picture of Carr on his phone. The image is about as blurry as you’d expect from a photo within a photo, but the actor was bathed in green and in full battle gear, his right hand flexing his trusty power ring. The look is undoubtedly impressive; there’s no question the character is a comics-accurate iteration of the John Stewart fans knew and loved from animated shows like Justice League Unlimited. Twitter user Ishaan Sangha took a snapshot of this part of the stream for everyone to see.
Wayne T. Carr responded to fanart of himself as John Stewart with a mixture of sadness and appreciation. “The thing that kind of just warmed my heart was once all of the concept art and stuff started to drop,” he tells LightCast in an exclusive interview. “It’s been nothing but love from the fans, man. Like, I wasn’t even in the movie, and I’m just getting positive feedback from people and support. It’s super crazy. It’s absolutely crazy, but I love it.”
The rationale behind it makes sense, but to Carr, it felt like losing the opportunity of a lifetime. Will he even be John Stewart in that future DC movie? Or will the part be recast, like almost everything in the DCEU these days with or without Zack Snyder? “This is kind of crazy because we shot it in what I’m going to call ‘Driveway Studios.’ He called me after he showed it to everyone,” Carr narrates. “I think it was the second time because they had watched it in parts. He was like, ‘They’re not letting me do this thing.’ When I saw the full vision, I went through the journey like everybody went through the journey. Towards the end I realized, ‘Ugh. I’m not a part of this. Darn.’”
Carr still remembers the day Zack Snyder came forward with the news that the former’s John Stewart wasn’t going to cameo in the film. He relates: “[Snyder] said, ‘We’re going to shoot it, we’ll see what the studio says.’” Warner Bros. had been increasingly lenient with Snyder over the bodacious scope of his cut and yet to everyone’s surprise, executives decided to pass on Green Lantern.
Warner Bros. has been keeping Zack Snyder on a very tight leash following the fragmented response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We’re sure Snyder would have shared actual footage on Vero (or similar) if he could, but he’s probably legally barred from doing so, hence the miniature sneak peek fans were treated to on his phone. Snyder hasn’t been happy with the studio either, recently calling out producers for being “aggressively anti-Snyder,” to the point of blocking out his future within the franchise.
Zack Snyder spoke to Jake’s Takes about the possibility of the Snyderverse being restored and only has bad news to share. “What can I say?” he shrugs. “Clearly, they’re not interested in my take. But I would also say that they certainly weren’t interested in — I would have said originally — in my take on Justice League. They certainly made decisions about that.” But is the Snyderverse really as finished as WarnerMedia’s Ann Sarnoff claims?
Fans of the director campaigned tirelessly for the release of the Zack Snyder cut and eventually succeeded, so wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume they’d be victorious this time, too? “I don’t know what could be done as you go forward other than I think the fan movement is so strong, and the fan community, [their] intention is so pure, and I really have this huge respect for it,” he elaborates. “I would hope that cooler heads would prevail with [the studio] and they would see that there’s this massive fandom that wants more of that. But who knows what they’ll do?”
Given Zack Snyder has diminished influence over the DCEU, it’s unlikely for a future Green Lantern movie to involve the franchise’s former visionary in any way — which may not bode well with Wayne T. Carr’s prospects of playing John Stewart again. An upcoming Green Lantern TV series is already in development over at HBO Max and John Stewart could certainly feature, except Warner Bros. offers Carr no such promises.
DC’s television properties normally exist on an entirely different Earth from their film counterparts, so it’s more likely Carr will be recast. Finn Wittrock (Ratched) recently made headlines for snagging the role of Guy Gardner, one of several human Green Lanterns to appear on the show. Alan Scott, Jessica Cruz, and Simon Baz were also confirmed to star, with The CW’s Greg Berlanti producing and novelist Seth Grahame-Smith tapped as showrunner. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is currently streaming on HBO Max in both colored and black & white formats.