Zack Snyder kicked off the DCEU with Man of Steel, which was meant to created the shared cinematic universe of DC heroes. Following Man of Steel, Snyder helmed Batman vs. Superman, with his three hour theatrical cut being most favored by the fans. Zack Snyder also has his hand in the other DCEU films, on board as producer.
As both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman didn’t exactly live up to expectations – both at the box office and with reviews – there has been question just how much longer Zack Snyder would be involved with the DCEU.
When Batman vs. Superman failed to deliver the billion dollar mark at the box office (much like Man of Steel), changes were made which included the addition of Geoff Johns and Jon Berg as the co-runners of the DCEU, and Ben Affleck added as a producer to the Justice League movie.
Now it’s apparently learned that Zack Snyder is not going anywhere and will be involved with the DCEU for a long time to come. In an interview with Batman producer Charles Roven, Roven mentions that Zack Snyder is directing Justice League Part 2.
Charles Roven says, “But the thing is, each unique film in the DC pantheon is going to be unique because the directors are different except for Zack directing Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the two Justice League movies.”
Roven made the remark while discussing how Man of Steel was meant to kickstart a shared DCEU universe (via ComicBook.com):
When we started with Man of Steel, we knew that we were going to expand the universe. From the moment that we started with Man of Steel, we knew that once we opened up the Superman … You can’t do Superman without talking about aliens existing in our universe. We knew that we were going to have to really consider what the world building would be beyond the unique film. Then, as soon as Warner Brothers announced that slate, we really got intensive about it.
But the thing is, each unique film in the DC pantheon is going to be unique because the directors are different except for Zack directing Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the two Justice League movies. Each one of those directors, whether it be David Ayer or Patty Jenkins or James Wan, they are bringing their sensibilities and a different production designer and different costume designer, et cetera. That world building will still be of the same DC Justice League universe, but have its own unique point of view.”
Obviously if the first Justice League movie out this year tanks pretty bad, Zack Snyder could be yanked from Justice League Part 2. While there is no question Snyder’s visuals are extraordinary, the problem lies with the storytelling. Both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman suffered from a weak story, with certain elements being just plain awful, most notably anything related to Superman (that’s IMO, folks).
Snyder and Affleck’s Batman was great; I had no problem with Wonder Woman, but a lot was wrong with Superman. Man of Steel divided and upset a lot of the Superman fans – never a good thing – which even included Superman “heavyweights” like comic book writer Mark Waid and noted super fan Max Landis who took to blogs and social media to voice their disappointment. The problem with Man of Steel is that Snyder (and Goyer) wanted to put their stamp on the character, so they went off in a different direction (basically copying the Michael Bay Transformers approach), and the killing of Zod at the end of the movie was a major mistake.
Snyder didn’t learn his lesson as Batman vs. Superman saw everything about the character butchered. Not only was Superman killed off (and made to look like a fool), but Jimmy Olsen was killed off in an “off panel” interview in which Snyder laughed about it; Mercy Graves was killed off, a character that first debuted in Superman: The Animated Series; Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is still up in the air, who was rewritten by Chris Terrio, the Justice League movie writer; Snyder decided to go with Doomsday (a terrible CGI version), a character that could have been used in a standalone Superman movie, and regarding Superman getting killed, it was much too early as Henry Cavill only debuted a movie prior. Then there is the fact that apparently Superman won’t be a part of the Justice League movie until the third act, which I don’t have much of a problem with because it keeps Snyder further away from the character.
While I might be coming off sounding a bit negative about Zack Snyder, I do generally like most of his movies, I think he just needs someone to pull in his reins. I also want to note I hope the reins aren’t pulled in too far with every DCEU movie becoming a copy of the Marvel movies, which Snyder correctly describes as “popcorn” films, meaning they are fun flicks, but pretty much nothing major happens and follows the same wash-rinse-repeat format.
Will Zack Snyder come through with Justice League? Will Zack Snyder end up directing Justice League Part 2? Those questions will be answered in the next eight months, and it will be answered by the fans.
Justice League opens November 17th starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Willem Dafoe an Atlantean, Nuidis Vulko.