Over the weekend, Zack Snyder revealed new details about his original vision for Justice League before he left the project. It’s a shocking twist, revealing that General Calvin Swanwick was secretly Martian Manhunter the whole time. This has major implications as the character previously appeared in both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Another reason this reveal is interesting is that it confirms previous rumors that Warner Bros. was looking into adapting Martian Manhunter in some capacity, contrary to the words of David S. Goyer. It also means that Snyder was planning on connecting all films under his direction within the DCEU in unexpected ways throughout his anticipated two-part epic.
According to previous story reports and Zack Snyder himself, this reveal would have taken place during the latter half of Part 1, during the scene that became Martha Kent and Lois Lane talking in the theatrical cut. In the theatrical cut of the movie, Martha and Lois have coffee at the Daily Planet discussing Clark among other ongoing events. In Snyder’s original vision, the storyboards don’t appear to be the Daily Planet but we again receive Martha and Lois having coffee. It’s presumed to be the Kent Farm since Martha is the person escorting her out after their conversation. When they finish coffee and Lois leaves, Martha turns to the camera and shape-shifts to Martian Manhunter before then changing to General Swanwick.
More evidence to back up this scene taking place during Part 1 is the absence of Martian Manhunter in storyboards or leaks regarding the fight against Steppenwolf. While Steppenwolf was always planned to appear in Justice League, he was only going to be in Part 1 while Darkseid was the antagonist for Part 2. This explains why certain Steppenwolf scenes feel disjointed in the theatrical cut. They’re scenes originally filmed and reserved for Part 2 with Darkseid but were re-edited to instead include Steppenwolf.
While some people may doubt Martian Manhunter would have appeared in the Snydercut, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. In Snyder’s own words, “I shoot what I draw.” It’s unfortunate to see such major creative directions between Snyder’s vision and the theatrical cut of the film. This potentially makes Martian Manhunter the mysterious seventh member of the Justice League teased by the “Unite the Seven” promotional materials as Superman was considered still dead. At the same time, it’s possible Snyder’s take on Ryan Choi aka The Atom would have been that seventh member assuming Martian Manhunter remained secretive until Darkseid’s arrival.