Spoilers for Zack Snyder's Justice League follow.
Zack Snyder originally planned to make two more movies after his version of Justice League – including one where Bruce Wayne is killed off, and the son of Superman and Lois Lane takes on the role of the Caped Crusader.
With Zack Snyder's Justice League now out in the wild, the director has been opening up about his plans for a two more sequels. Justice League was considered part three of a five-part saga. Snyder even went to the trouble of planning a lot of the ensuing story out with DC Comics' superstar artist Jim Lee.
The fourth movie – or Justice League 2 – would've shown us the circumstances that led to the Knightmare sequence in Batman v Superman, and the epilogue to Zack Snyder's Justice League cut that's set in the same timeframe. Snyder's plan was to have Darkseid come to Earth. In the midst of that, Batman would be entrusted with keeping Lois Lane safe, after Lex Luthor tells Darkseid that murdering her would exploit Superman's weakness.
Batman would fail to protect Lois (Snyder alludes to a messy romantic plot between the two of them that distracts Bruce), and Superman, mourning her death and vulnerable, would become mind-controlled by Darkseid, who would use the Anti-Life Equation to make the Man of Steel his puppet.
What we see in the Knightmare sequence is the world after Lois's death, as Superman relentlessly hunts Batman across the Earth to get revenge. This would be covered by a second Justice League movie.
But that's not all Snyder had planned, according to a new interview on Vanity Fair.
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Justice League 3 would've been even wilder
Part of the plot of a third Justice League movie has already been seen in Batman v Superman, in a sequence where Ezra Miller's Flash travels through time to warn Bruce Wayne that Lois Lane is the "key".
The Flash's time travel ability helps to undo the post-apocalyptic timeline, basically.
"What happens in the post-apocalyptic world is, Cyborg works on an equation to use a Mother Box to jump Flash back in time to warn Bruce about this moment, where he didn’t have the courage to sacrifice himself to save Lois," Snyder says.
Batman, then, does sacrifice himself to save Lois in this new timeline when Darkseid attacks – which stops Superman from being mind-controlled by the villain. With Superman still on the side of good, Aquaman's forces, Wonder Woman's army and humanity team up with the rest of the Justice League to beat Darkseid's forces.
That all sounds pretty cool – and completely wild in scale. But there's one more mind-bending element to all of this.
In Zack Snyder's Justice League, we see Lois Lane is pregnant. This child would've become the new Batman. The third Justice League would've flashed forward 20 years, as Clark and Lois take their son to the Batcave and encourage him to take up the mantle as the Dark Knight.
"It was going to be Lois and Superman’s son," Snyder says. "He doesn't have any powers, and then he was going to end up being the new Batman."
It looks like we'll never see this come to pass on the big screen, but hey: it's nice that the director is being honest about what he would've done.