JUSTICE LEAGUE: Harry Lennix On How Much Screentime Martian Manhunter Has And Learning Of Zack Snyder's Plans

JUSTICE LEAGUE: Harry Lennix On How Much Screentime Martian Manhunter Has And Learning Of Zack Snyder's Plans

Man of Steel star Harry Lennix has opened up on playing Martian Manhunter in Zack Snyder's Justice League, revealing when he learned of the filmmaker's plans and the extent of his role in the movie...

Zack Snyder's Justice League is fast approaching, and for many fans, the big screen debut of Martian Manhunter promises to be a highlight. Not much is known about this take on the character, but he's likely to have a small, yet crucial role in the proceedings based on Snyder's Vero reveals. 

Recently, Variety caught up with Harry Lennix, and asked when he first learned about General Swanwick's secret, alien background. It's not something Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice really hinted at, and it turns out the actor found out about his Martian Manhunter transformation the same time as we did.

"I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I found out," Lennix said of Snyder's October 2019 post on Vero. "I don’t think there was any sort of advanced word. There are a lot of people who intuited it somehow, like fans bouncing that idea around. So I don’t know if somebody knew about it outside of Zack before that. But I did not know until I saw that storyboard."

The actor went on to say that the next time he heard from Snyder was when he asked him to shoot some scenes as the character, but admitted that he's uncertain exactly how much we'll see of Martian Manhunter in the "Snyder Cut" of Justice League.

"I don’t know what’s going to be left on the floor, if any, but I didn’t shoot an inordinate amount. My work is not central, as it were, to the movie. It may be to a plot point. But I don’t think you’ll start talking about that character more than, say, Superman."

Recently, Lennix talked about wanting to play the hero in his own solo outing, but admits that Warner Bros. has not been in touch. 

That's not a surprise, but it would be a shame not to see more of Martian Manhunter on screen beyond Zack Snyder's Justice League and Supergirl as it enters its final season on The CW. 


Click on the "Next" button below to check out some
details about Darren Aronofsky's Batman: Year One!

10. A Massively Different Take On Catwoman

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cBatman's had many a love interest over the years, but Selina Kyle remains the most iconic. That dynamic will be explored by Matt Reeves in The Batman, and Aronofsky had similar plans.

Well, kinda. 

In Year One, Selina was to be depicted as a prostitute and dominatrix who works under the name Mistress Selina. Depicted as an African-American woman, she was to be one of the first people Batman saved. However, the script depicts her knocking the hero out, and leaving him next to the dead body of the corrupt cop who'd been beating her before the vigilante intervened.

Inspired by Batman, Selina later dons her own costume, and soon grows close to the man who once saved her. 
 

9. Homeless Bruce Wayne

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In the comics, Bruce Wayne's parents are gunned down in front of him, leaving the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, to raise the boy. 

There was no Alfred in Aronofsky's plans, however, and poor Bruce would have been left penniless and homeless in the wake of Thomas and Martha Wayne's brutal murder. With no fortune at his disposal, Bruce's dynamic was massively different in this film, as was his transformation into Batman. 

Everyone knows the Dark Knight's origin story, so Aronofsky deserves some kudos for trying to shake things up. 

Bruce wouldn't stay on the streets for long, however, as he'd find a new mentor in car repair shop owner, Little Al...
 

8. "Little Al," Batman's New Mentor

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Before being inspired to fight crime by his encounter with Mistress Selina, Bruce would have crossed paths with Little Al. 

The owner of a car repair shop, he'd have taken the orphan under his wing, and was set to be portrayed by an African-American actor. Bruce becomes well-versed in mechanics, and it's with Al's help that he manages to build the Batmobile. 

A Lincoln Continental, this "Batmobile" had an exposed school bus engine, and doesn't sound that different from the vehicle we'll see in The Batman next year. 

Al was obviously meant to be a surrogate for Alfred, and while he didn't have any fighting experience, he clearly helped this Bruce come up with his weaponry and vehicle. 
 

7. Learning To Fight

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With no fortune to lean back on, Bruce Wayne obviously could travel the world to hone his skills. 

He's an orphan taken under the wing of a working class mechanic, so heading overseas to be trained by the likes of Ra's al Ghul was understandably not part of this screenplay for Year One

Instead, Bruce read books about combat, learning from those, and practising for hours afterwards. We're not entirely sure that's the best way to become an expert fighter, but Aronofsky was clearly determined to ground this story in reality, and make Batman a self-made vigilante. 

By now, we know why Bruce becomes Batman, but the how is another story altogether. 
 

6. The Birth Of The Bat-Man

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The brothel Mistress Selina worked in was not only within Bruce's eyeline from his home with Little Al, but also based in the now dilapidated theater he visited with his parents before their murder.

Inspired to now protect his home, Bruce finally opens the one thing his father left him: a silver signet ring in an envelope with the initials "T.W." on it.

Beating up a criminal, that ring leaves a mark which looks a little like a bat on the crook's face, earning the vigilant the "Bat-Man" moniker. Like his comic book counterpart, he dons a costume in an effort to strike fear into those who target the innocents in Gotham City. 

As weird as this film sometimes gets, this sounds like a pretty decent origin story!
 

5. Extreme Violence

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If what we've told you about Year One reminds you of anything, it should be 2019's Joker. 

Tonally, it sounds extremely similar, while the extremely grounded, realistic take on Batman's creation sounds a lot like something you'd expect to see in the world Todd Phillips created.

The script was definitely R-Rated, and not even "Bat-Man" himself emerges unscathed. In one early fight, his teeth are knocked out, forcing the wannabe vigilante to wear dentures for the rest of the film. 

The main source of Batman's frustrations is GCPD Commissioner Gillian Loeb, a corrupt cop who secretly rules over Gotham City's criminals...and stole Bruce's fortune.
 

4. The Film's Villain

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Loeb is a character from the Batman: Year One comic, but uses his influence here to take everything that belongs to the Wayne family (hence why poor Bruce ends up on the streets). 

There are no colorful costumed villains in this screenplay, and no sign of Carmine Falcone either. 

Instead, everything revolves around Loeb, a crooked Commissioner who definitely gets what's coming to him. Learning he was responsible for the murder of his parents, Batman throws a knife through his eye, and carves a "Z" (for Zorro) in his cheek. 

This comes after Loeb taunts Batman about his code, and while it does initially look like he's killed his tormentor, it's later revealed that the criminal survived. At the same time, Batman manages to restore Bruce Wayne's fortune, and he and Little Al later move into Wayne Manor together. 
 

3. The Dark Knight's Weaponry

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Had a sequel happened, it's likely Aranofsky might have leaned a little heavier into the comics, depicting a Batman who now had the money to spend on advanced weaponry and tech. 

In this film, however, the Batcave was based in an abandoned subway tunnel, while the Dark Knight's weaponry was very much grounded in reality.

On the Batsuit, he had razor blades on his gauntlets (an idea Catwoman borrowed for her costume), and made use of chemical weapons. That's not too different to how Batman was portrayed in his earliest appearances, though we don't remember that Batman using white phosphorous to burn his foes!

This Batman was a beast, though, and forced one drug deal to eat the product he was selling. 
 

2. A Suicidal Jim Gordon

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Detective Jim Gordon was a big part of Year One's screenplay, but some fans might not have been happy with the way he was sometimes depicted on screen. 

A broken man after spending four years working in Gotham City, he's keen to leave town for the sake of his pregnant wife. 

Jim reluctantly helps The Bat-Man and Catwoman take Loeb down and is, of course, the only honest cop in Gotham. He at one point believes Harvey Dent might be the vigilante, but later reels off his "I’m practically blind without my glasses" line from the comics when Batman is unmasked in front of him.

At one point, however, he sits on the toilet and puts a gun in his mouth, contemplating suicide.
 

1. Why The Film Didn't Happen

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Batman: Year One is a film that wouldn't have appealed to everyone, but it certainly managed to do something new with the character, while putting a fresh spin on his origin story.

So, why was it never made?

This project came at a time when Warner Bros. was still attempting to figure out what to do with the iconic DC superhero, and understandably balked at a take which was heavily R-Rated and a significant departure from how Batman is portrayed in the comics. 

Aronofsky and the studio had vastly different ideas for who should play Bruce (Joaquin Phoenix vs. Freddie Prinze Jr.), and the filmmaker was far from a safe bet at the time. As a result, the decision was made to head in a different direction, and that ended up being Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins.
 

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