The MCU has been a pop culture juggernaut unlike any other. But there is one franchise with the potential to rival the MCU, and that is the DCEU. Unfortunately, WarnerMedia's attempts to make their DC Comics movies into the next MCU have been mixed at best. In an interview with TheFilmJunkee, filmmaker Zack Snyder explained why he is glad Warner has stopped trying to ape the MCU formula.
"Well frankly, I just love that [the DCEU] decided to kind of embrace their personality... I think that there was always this sort of criticism and or the middle step. What's the middle step? Ya know, trying to be like Marvel? Trying to do your own thing? Like, what are you going to do? But I think now, it's kind of locked in to this very specific trajectory where, I think and I hope, the idea is that it's filmmaker first... Which is basically what the multiverse allows for, filmmaker first and then, here's the characters, bringing the characters together."
More than any other director, Zack Snyder is responsible for the direction that the DCEU has taken ever since its inception with Man of Steel, and then Batman v. Superman. According to the filmmaker, the franchise was far too diverse in its output from the start to be folded into one cohesive universe.
"Even when I was doing Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, and Justice League, there were DC animated films that had nothing to do with what we were doing, and there were DC TV shows that had nothing to do with what we were doing, and there was no way to seam those up without alienating a giant fandom by saying 'Your Flash doesn't count' or 'Your animated show doesn't mean anything.'"
Warner was so intent on catching up with the MCU at first that they interfered heavily with their filmmaker's visions for each DCEU movie, in order to try to set up a cohesive cinematic universe. The most prominent examples of such interference were David Ayer's Suicide Squad, and Snyder's own Justice League. Now, Snyder is glad that Warner seems to have learned from their mistakes, and stopped trying to promote a single shared universe.
"I think that Marvel, they've built [their universe] over a long period of time, so by the time they got to their later movies, everything had kinda locked in, and it was all sort of moving in the same direction. But that was just never going to happen [with DC] because the DC TV shows were so popular and because their animated shows were so popular. I mean that was a success that they had. And [Christopher Nolan's] movies sort of had another tone and other universe. So there was no way that those things were going to ever like 'OK, we're going to say those things don't exist now, and it's this.' And I think there was that thinking for a while, but I'm glad that it kind of settled into a much more diverse [approach]."