The following post contains SPOILERS for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

According to Zack Snyder, his cut of Justice League almost had a different ending that would have featured a DC superhero who never appears anywhere else in the movie — Green Lantern John Stewart. Fans had long been speculating the character’s involvement in Zack Snyder's Justice League, but according to the director, there was a very specific reason he had to leave him out.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Snyder discussed the creative battle between himself and the studio regarding Green Lantern’s cameo at the end of the movie. “We shot a version of this scene with Green Lantern, but the studio really fought me and said ‘We really don’t want you to do Green Lantern,’” Snyder explained. Instead, Snyder made a deal with Warner Bros. and reworked the scene to become General Swanwick’s reveal as Martian Manhunter.

You see, it wasn’t Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) that Snyder wanted to include in his cut. Rather, Snyder wanted to introduce a different incarnation of the character, John Stewart. In the 1970s, the character took over the Green Lantern mantle and became DC’s first Black superhero. But Warner Bros. didn’t want John Stewart’s first on-screen appearance to be at the end of Justice League. “They were like, ‘We have plans for John Stewart and we want to do our own announcement,’” said Snyder. “So I said all right, I’ll give you that. So [Martian Manhunter] was the compromise."

If Snyder had gotten his Green Lantern cameo, he shared that Swanwick’s big transformation would still have occurred eventually. "The whole thing is that Swanwick, the whole time, has been Martian Manhunter,” Snyder said. But since Zack Snyder’s Justice League looks to be the director's last contribution to the DCEU, it makes sense that we get to see it now.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available now on HBO Max.

Gallery — Justice League Issues the Snyder Cut Still Didn’t Fix:

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