Yesterday, Vanity Fair published an in-depth piece about the making of Zack Snyder’s Justice League which suggested that the four-hour project’s reshot ending will contain “a hero cameo that will blow hard-core fans’ minds”. Naturally, fans immediately went into overdrive speculating about what that cameo might be. With Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan – AKA Green Lantern from WB’s 2011 live-action movie – gaining traction as a possible contender. Reynolds went on Twitter and denied that he was in the project, but the fan community has been burned by denials before, so I imagine a few stubborn people are still wondering if that response was just a smoke screen to conceal a surprise Reynolds cameo before the credits roll.
Now the cameo has been revealed. If you’d like to go in fresh, turn back now – there will be spoilers ahead.
When I first saw that Vanity Fair quote making the rounds. A small part of me wondered if the cameo might be J’onn J’onzz. The shapeshifting alien known as The Martian Manhunter, as played by actor Harry Lennix. The reason my mind immediately went there was because within the last week. Lennix openly spoke about being contacted by Snyder and being asked to return for reshoots.
According to a report from io9, it turns out that, yes. The Martian Manhunter is the new Zack Snyder’s Justice League cameo that was being touted by Vanity Fair.
This boils down to a classic a case of semantics: the phrasing of the VF article seemed to imply that the cameo was a secret. But never explicitly said it was. Also, I’d wager a guess that “hard-core fans” are the types of people who are constantly scouring the Internet for details about the Snyder Cut and would therefore already be aware of Lennix’s role in this movie. Oh, well. Apologies to fans who were hoping for something more world-shaking.
In October of 2019, Snyder revealed on social media that in his ideal cut. A scene between Martha Kent (Diane Lane) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) would have ended with Martha walking away and shape-shifting into Martian Manhunter before eventually turning into the form of Harry Lennix’s General Swanwick, a character who appeared in Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel. And just five days ago, Lennix was interviewed by Variety and spoke about appearing in this new cut of Justice League. “The next call that I had from Zack was, ‘Hey, when can you come in and shoot?’” Lennix said. “So that was great. I found out that it was a possibility, or at least that Martian Manhunter was going to be in it. When he revealed through the storyboard that Martha Kent is coming by visiting Lois. And then after she leaves, she reveals herself to be, in fact, Calvin Swanwick, or the Martian Manhunter. That’s how I knew about it.”
I was wondering if this was a version of the scene that made it into the theatrical cut in which Martha comes by the Daily Planet to visit Lois. But since this Martian Manhunter reveal is supposedly part of the ending of the movie. It’s probably an entirely different creation.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League debuts on March 18, 2021 on HBO Max.