There’s tumult at Warner Bros. lately, particularly under the banner of DC Films, as the historic movie studio makes bold moves to right the ship of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and better position its slate of Upcoming DC Movies so as to create a brighter future for the beloved characters in that world. There are reasons for optimism. The Rock will tell anyone who’ll listen that his upcoming Black Adam is going to “change the dynamic of power” in the DCEU. A screenwriter recently was hired to help expand out Matt Reeves’ The Batman 2, a sequel that was announced during CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Warner Bros. generated negative press when it revealed it was cancelling Leslie Grace’s turn as Batgirl, even though filming was complete and post-production was just underway. Then there’s Ezra Miller, whose sporadic confrontations with law enforcement have created a public relation nightmare for Warner Bros. and its very expensive superhero tentpole blockbuster, The Flash. And there continue to be the waves of discontent from a passionate band of DC fans who want to see more movies and stories from Justice League and Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, extending what they have come to call the SnyderVerse. But new indications suggest that WB regrets ever releasing Snyder’s four-hour “Snyder Cut” of his original Justice League, so we now wonder what that sentiment could mean for DC’s future under current Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and potential head of DC Films, Dan Lin.
The New Snyder Cut Rumor
Veteran industry reporters Adam B. Vary and Brent Lang filed a report for Variety analyzing the fallout from all of the recent DC decisions, and what it might mean for the future of key DC characters such as Batman (currently played by Robert Pattinson, Ben Affleck, and Michael Keaton), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and Superman (whom many would like to see played by Henry Cavill at least one more time). Over the course of their reporting, Vary and Lang cite studio insiders who “have lamented” the studio’s decision to release Zack Snyder’s Justice League for fans. The four-hour cut was released to HBO Max, in an effort to both appease vocal fans who were clamoring for the lost “Snyder Cut” of Justice League to see the light of day, and to generate interest in the HBO Max streaming service. Hindsight being 20/20, of course, but these studio insiders allegedly have gone so far as to say that the movie’s release “never should’ve happened,” according to Variety.
Personally, I disagree with that notion on its face. Many of you reading this piece know the full story behind what happened to Zack Snyder on Justice League – why he stepped away from the production and what happened to the movie after he left. And in the wake of the neutered Justice League hitting theaters, Snyder fans campaigned hard to get their favorite director’s vision restored, raising charitable donations for suicide prevention in the process. In the long run, they succeeded. Zack Snyder got to release his cut of Justice League (with one or two exceptions). Why would Warner Bros. lament that decision? And what could such regret mean for the future?
Why Warner Bros. Might Regret The Decision
Following the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max, several fans who’d campaigned for three years online to champion the movie’s release accepted the victory, celebrated, and moved on with their lives.
it’s a miracle the Snyder Cut ever happened, im thankful to all those who fought for its release, i didn’t know about the “Snyder Cut” until a little bit before it released and it is now my favourite movie, everyone who worked on it did a great jobAugust 26, 2022
They got to see the version of the movie that they’d been told didn’t exist (which was never true). They argued for artistic integrity and won on behalf of Zack Snyder… who assisted their campaigns at almost every turn. Thanks in part to the existence of a streaming service in need of exclusive content, they convinced a major motion picture studio to reverse course and release a film they wanted to bury. It was miraculous.
Had they stopped there, all might have been OK in the world of DC. Or, more stable than it appears to be right now. But in certain corners of the internet, the goal posts were moved, and “Release the Snyder Cut” morphed into “Restore the SnyderVerse,” a new campaign that would allow Snyder to return to DC and deliver the Justice League sequels that were teased in the Snyder Cut. The analogy to “If you give a mouse a cookie…” has been made as calls for more Snyder movies have only grown louder, despite the fact that the filmmaker went over to Netflix where he delivered a new zombie movie and is hard at work on two chapters in the sci-fi epic, Rebel Moon.
The sentiment that Warner Bros. now laments releasing The Snyder Cut could be because they didn’t calm the waters around the former direction of the storylines under the guidance of Zack Snyder. Instead, it fanned flames that they likely wanted to douse, mainly because the DCEU seemed ready to spin the future in new directions following the release of The Flash, a movie that allegedly is going to introduce the Multiverse – opening the door to so many options with regards to storytelling.
What Might This Opinion Mean For The Future?
This is harder to tell in the wake of David Zaslav shelving Batgirl because it reportedly wasn’t worthy of a theatrical release. That suggests that Zaslav and whomever he handpicks to head up DC Films are going to be more deliberate in the decisions they make, and so returning to a SnyderVerse that struggled to connect with the widest possible audiences with Batman v Superman and Man of Steel would be questionable. Those movies did OK, and have since established extremely passionate audiences (particularly once fans saw the Extended Cut of BvS, which was far superior to the theatrical release).
But any indication that the studio insiders “lament” giving oxygen to the Snyder vision probably means that there’s no desire to go back to that blueprint, and instead will focus on where DC cna go from here. Even that reality creates all sorts of questions. Will Matt Reeves be able to stay in his own lane with his Batman franchise? Is The Flash going to be a one-off, or the next step for Ezra Miller in a larger DC world? Could Henry Cavill return, either in Black Adam, or his own Superman movie? There are so many possibilities for DC and its future. But if the rumors are true that WB regrets dipping back into its past – even temporarily – to revisit and release the Snyder Cut of Justice League, then it’s unlikely that the SnyderVerse is going to be part of those upcoming plans.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and 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.