Fans of the Justice League with a Netflix subscription will be happy, as May sees the beloved animated series on the streaming platform. But could this herald the Snyderverse Justice League in the future?
Both the 2-season Justice League animated series and its follow-up Justice League Unlimited that aired on Cartoon Network have begun streaming on Netflix. This comes as a part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s new strategy of licensing out their animated properties to other platforms. However, fans of the Zack Snyder live action version of the Justice League are hopeful this may hint to the continuation of the films on the streaming giant.
The 52-episode Justice League animated cartoon and its 39-episode sequel began streaming on Netflix on May 8, 2023.
Justice League originally launched in 2001 on the Cartoon Network. It followed the birth of the world’s greatest team of heroes with Superman and Batman joining up with Green Lantern (John Stewart), The Flash (Wally West), Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, and the Martian Manhunter.
It followed the same visual style and was set in the same universe as the previous Bruce Timm and Paul Dini Batman and Superman animated series. Many of the previous voice actors, including Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) returned to reprise their roles. George Newbern took over for Clark Kent/Superman after Tim Daly. The rest of the main cast were Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman), Michael Rosenbaum (The Flash), Maria Canal-Barrera (Hawkgirl), Carl Lumbly (Martian Manhunter), and Phil LaMarr (Green Lantern) under the direction of the legendary Andrea Romano.
After the success of the first 2 seasons, a follow-up titled Justice League Unlimited was developed and aired on the Cartoon Network in 2004. Shifting to a more rotating cast of characters, Justice League Unlimited expanded the team’s roster to over 50 superheroes. This allowed for more variety in the stories the creative team could tell. It also gave a chance to spotlight lesser known characters from the DC Comics pantheon such as Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and more who have since become household names with their own live action TV shows and films.
Many fans of the DC mythos consider these two animated series to depict the definitive version of the team. And it produced some of the most well-loved storylines, including a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore’s Superman tale "For the Man Who Has Everything" and the denouement of Batman Beyond in "Epilogue". DC Co-CEO James Gunn himself has stated the animated Justice League will be a significant inspiration to the rebooted DC Universe.
Snyderverse fans even set up watch-along parties organized via social media to celebrate the Justice League cartoons arriving on Netflix. Plus, it was also to promote the possibility of one of the biggest streaming platforms purchasing the rights to continue the saga with the hashtags #SellZSJLtoNetflix #SellSnyderVerseToNetflix.
📺 🥣🥛💙🙏Cartoon's & Cereal Justice League Animated Series Watch Party Engagement Event 5/20 9AM est
🤩Watch along on @Netflix
Livechat & Panel on @SkiiwalkerTweet YouTube & PLZ Support @afspnational
🎉#SellZSJLtoNetflix #SellSnyderVerseToNetflix pic.twitter.com/2hTL6Lz58U
— Josh Herrera (@Josh62488) May 19, 2023
Supporters of Zack Snyder and his vision for the DC Extended Universe are some of the most hardcore fandoms. It was through their persistence that the Snyder Cut was made possible and made into a major release for the fledgling HBO Max streaming service. But with the ascension of DC Studios and Co-CEO James Gunn announcing the reboot of the live action films, hopes for the continuation of the planned trilogy of Justice League movies were quashed.
However, Snyder fans are nothing if not persevering. The success of Zack Snyder’s projects such as Army of the Dead and Army of Thieves exclusively for Netflix, as well as the upcoming sci-fi feature film Rebel Moon, prompted Snyderverse fans to push for Warner Bros. Discovery to collaborate with Netflix in order to finish the Justice League trilogy.
While it is a distinct possibility, the likelihood of Netflix acquiring the license to produce a big budget continuation of the aborted Justice League DCEU films is slim. Still, most industry experts stated the Justice League Snyder Cut would never happen, but it eventually did. If ever, it would certainly depend on whether director Zack Snyder is willing to push for it and how profitable it would be for both Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery.
Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are currently available for streaming on the U.S. Netflix and MAX platforms.