It is getting close to being a full week after “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” finally premiered for streaming on HBO Max. Originally billed as the filmmaker’s original cut of the DC Extended Universe superhero team film (before he stepped down and Joss Whedon finished the cinematic cut that was released in 2017), it expanded to have a distinct life of its own, with added characters and scenes. One such sequence involved a “knight-mare” of Batman (Ben Affleck) meeting his nemesis the Joker (Jared Leto), with the latter uttering the “We live in a society” meme attributed to him. That scene appeared only in the trailer, not in the movie itself.
As it turns out, Zack Snyder might have changed his mind on how the Joker scene went in his “Justice League” film. Comic Book Resources tells us that the director admits to having two takes of that encounter between Batman and Joker. The one that appeared on “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” as currently streaming on HBO Max saw the Joker depicted as a more passive, haunted figure, not the madman who would say “We live in a society where honor is a distant memory” and mean it in his own twisted manner. That was in an alternate cut Snyder made.
Why bother sending up the Joker meme only to switch to the one on HBO Max now? As Snyder says in his guesting on the “Wonder Meg” YouTube channel, he simply liked the line enough to do a scene for it. And that scene remains, even if viewers got the “broken” Joker in the actual product, which Snyder says he liked just as much. Is the “society” line ever going to be part of yet another actual “Justice League” recut?
There is a possibility. Last month Zack Snyder dropped hints that he was also producing a cut of his “Justice League” movie that is all black and white. He calls it the “Justice is Gray” edition, paralleling the atmosphere from “Man of Steel” and “Dawn of Justice.” Screen Rant reports that the B&W version of “Justice League” has been confirmed by Snyder on Twitter this past weekend. It could be a sure bet that Joker will say “We live in a society” in this version. It too will be joining its color counterpart on HBO Max, although the date has not been set quite yet.