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Zack Snyder’s Justice League Fans Ramp Up Their Restore The SnyderVerse Campaign, But Was Warner Bros. Really Trying To Give Hope?

Henry Cavill's Superman
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Ever since Zack Snyder’s Justice League reached streaming via HBO Max, fans of the true cut of the director’s epic saga have been waiting for some word from the studio about how the four-hour movie officially performed. The film hasn’t been able to enjoy a proper theatrical run (though Snyder played it in a few theaters as a fundraising event). The Snyder Cut of Justice League was a subscriber play for HBO Max, available exclusively on the service to entice more people to register. It’s believed to have worked, and worked very well, if we are to trust the words of Priya Dogra, President of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks. And her words have started a call to action. 

First, the details. During an official presentation regarding HBO Max’s rollout to Europe. Priya Dogra was listing off the many accomplishments that the streaming service has notched on its belt. And in the process of rattling off “wins” for HBO Max, Dogra was quoted as saying:

Priya Dogra

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Naturally, Zack Snyder fans who are hungry for any bit of recognition from HBO Max or Warner Bros. fully embraced the use of the term “global phenomenon” with regards to the Snyder Cut… a movie they had been told didn’t exist for three years. Since March, when the movie landed on streaming, fans of Justice League have been seeking out any metrics that prove the popularity of the blockbuster. Streaming services don’t really go out of their way to publicize download numbers, unless a project did extremely well. However, given the grudge that some executives at Warner Bros. seem to still hold against Snyder and his passionate audience, it’s possible that silence was ordered around the production of Justice League, whether it was a “hit” or not.

Priya Dogra’s word choice ignited a flame on social media, as Snyder Cut fans resumed the call to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse, asking for Zack Snyder to be able to finish off the two Justice League films he has mapped out following this most recent cut. Some of it is teased in the closing minutes of Justice League, with a look into the Knightmare future where Superman (Henry Cavill) has become an enemy. And some things were left out, as when Snyder planned to showcase a Green Lantern speaking with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) as the Hall of Justice is being built in the background. 

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Do I think that HBO MAX deliberately included Justice League as part of its pitch, and referred to it as a “global phenomenon,” in an effort to give fans hope that the SnyderVerse can be restored? I don’t… but, I’ll also admit that its inclusion in an official HBO Max presentation -- and with a favorable slant -- is noteworthy. For this reason: The company policy when it came to Zack Snyder’s Justice League prior to this inclusion really seemed to be “radio silence.” This, at the very least, is acknowledgment. 

Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff made it crystal clear that the Snyder Cut “concluded” Zack’s vision for DC characters. And the DCEU seems to be full steam ahead with softer versions of the characters featured in Snyder’s movies, from The Flash and Shazam! Fury of the Gods to The Rock’s Black Adam. Not to mention the fact that Snyder appears to have successfully migrated over to Netflix, where he directed Army of the Dead and produced Army of Thieves. He’s also prepping the sci-fi thriller Rebel Moon, and has entertained both The Fountainhead and The Last Photograph as potential future projects. Would he even have time to return to a SnyderVerse, if it were in fact restored? 

To me, however, HBO Max always seemed like the clear portal for more Zack Snyder stories in the DC world. Let Ben Affleck make a six-episode Batman story where he takes on Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke, set in Snyder’s universe. Explore the dark side of Superman, and the history of Darkseid, in stories that don’t disrupt any continuity in the theatrical projects. Streaming o-pens up so many routes, and so when I hear that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is being used by WarnerMedia to promote HBO Max in Europe, and they are referring to it as a :global phenomenon,” and not “that albatross we finally unloaded,” it does give me a glimmer of hope that the door leading to more Snyder DC content just opened up a sliver. 

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.