A string of bad news hit the wires this week for people looking forward to DC projects from James Wan and Ava DuVernay. As Warner Bros. laid out its plan for the next few years, the dropped the hammer on The Trench, a horror-themed spinoff from Wan’s Aquaman origin story. Additionally, DuVernay’s New Gods film, which she had written with celebrated DC Comics writer Tom King, learned that it no longer was part of the studio’s long-range plans. Fans immediately wondered why, and the answer sort of lies in the multiverse… maybe.
The report of the DC droppings came via The Hollywood Reporter, and in that story was an interesting nugget about how WB was going to treat the Multiverse moving forward. For those uninitiated, the multiverse is a concept that allows opposing versions of the same characters to exist at the same time in their own parallel universes. Robert Pattinson can play Batman for Matt Reeves while Ben Affleck plays Batman for Zack Snyder or Andy Muschietti, and plotlines don’t have to be affected by it.
In the trade report, though, it is stated:
Oh really? So everything that is being constructed on the theatrical side that doesn’t include Battinson in The Batman is the timeline canon that DC fans should accept? That would include a number of major DC heroes who were introduced in Zack Snyder’s movie. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller’s Flash and Ben Affleck’s Batman all have projects in the DC theatrical line. There have been rumors that Henry Cavill’s Superman could appear in either Shazam: Fury of the Gods, Black Adam or James Gunn’s Suicide Squad. This would all but complete Snyder’s universe (except for Ray Fisher and Snyder, himself).
Might that be enough? It’s not a total victory. But it’s a massive step toward restoring the versions of these characters that Zack Snyder started with Man of Steel. It doesn’t FULLY take advantage of the Multiverse. The Multiverse means that you can get very creative with how you play with characters. Sort of like bringing Michael Keaton over from the Tim Burton Batman movies (if that actually happens).
This sounds like bad news for people who wanted the SnyderVerse movies to play out on HBO Max, including Ben Affleck and Joe Manganiello’s Batman movie, and Snyder’s Justice League sequels. But based on how things might be laying out, this could be better than nothing.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.