While fans are still calling for Warner Bros. to release the Snyder Cut of their live-action Justice League movie, they got to experience the next best thing recently when Synder hosted a live streaming of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where he added his personal comments on various aspects of the movie and his plans for the DCEU. At one point, the filmmaker commented on actor Harry Lennix’s character of General Swanwick.
“Harry Lennix is pretending to be a human being but does a great job, but has this relationship with Lois that started in Man of Steel if you kind of track their relationship. Harry understands there’s a relationship between Lois and Clark, who he knows, of course, is Superman.”
Last year, Zack Snyder had confirmed a fan theory that had been making the internet rounds for some time. That General Swanwick was actually the Martian Manhunter in disguise, a fact that would have been revealed in Justice League.
In the comics, the Martian Manhunter is an alien superhero who makes Superman look underpowered by comparison. Aside from superstrength, super speed, and flight, the Manhunter can also change his shape at will, emit martian vision attacks from his eyes, and read minds. This last power is of particular use to the character in finding out the identity of other heroes and villains.
General Swanwick was first introduced in Man of Steel, as one of the military men who confront Superman and aid him in his fight against the rogue Kryptonians. The movie ends with Superman and Swanwick meeting one last time, when the two appear to have come to an uneasy truce.
Batman V Superman shows Swanwick working alongside Lois Lane, and since Swanwick was the Martian Manhunter in disguise, it would have been an easy matter for him to read Lois’s mind and find out everything about her boyfriend Clark Kent.
If Snyder’s plans for the DCEU had been followed, Swanwick would have revealed his true identity to the world in Justice League and joined the team’s ranks. As it is, those plans got scuppered after Snyder left the project midway, and was replaced by Joss Whedon. The finished movie found no mention of either Swanwick or the Martian Manhunter, leaving fans with a dangling plot thread and dreams of what could have been.
There is something to be said for Whedon’s decision to exclude the Martian Manhunter from the Justice League. The team already had one ridiculously overpowered character in Superman. Add the Manhunter to the mix, and there would have been nothing left for the rest of the heroes to do except stand on the sidelines and cheer on the two aliens.
As it is, any future plans to add the Martian Manhunter to the DCEU have been negated by the studio’s decision to reboot the franchise and focus on standalone features. But fans of the character can still see his live-action portrayal on the CW show Supergirl, by actor David Harewood. This news comes from Heroic Hollywood.