Though the impeccable and fandom-powered journey to Zack Snyder's Justice League ended with success for both the fans who witnessed the well-constructed vision of Zack Snyder for the DCEU, as well as for Warner Bros. and DC Films, whose decision to release the Snyder Cut led to record subscriptions of HBO Max. But as Zack left the audience with a stunning cliffhanger at the end of his Justice League and gave everyone a long glimpse at what he had in mind for the franchise, fans want the studio to now #RestoreTheSnyderverse.
Both Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff and DC Films head Walter Hamada have deemed Zack Snyder's Justice League a cul-de-sac, with no plans in motion to continue the character arcs as per Snyder's ideas. Even Zack Snyder has called his film a one-time thing, explicitly mentioning that the studio considers Joss Whedon's theatrical version of the film (which credits Snyder as director and Whedon as co-writer) canonical to the ongoing continuity of the franchise. Despite this, today, HBO Max released a compilation trailer of Zack Snyder's DCEU films, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021). Is this trailer a hint to Warner Bros. finally realizing that DC is better in the hands of Zack Snyder? Or is it HBO Max telling us that Zack Snyder's vision is finished for them with the Snyder Cut?
The Trailer Is An Homage to Snyder's Journey
HBO Max's trailer seems to be a homage to Zack Snyder's vision which helped in the successful and visually stunning inception of the DCEU. The trailer features clips from the first two films in the trilogy, also featuring the voices of various actors who were part of the cast including Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Michael Shanon, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, Russell Crowe, and Kevin Costner. The trailer leaves out footage from Zack Snyder's Justice League, probably to avoid spoiling the film, which was made available to stream on HBO Max less than a month ago.
The trailer is actually edited in a way to visualizes the long road to the Snyder Cut, which fans went through along with Zack Snyder, continually revolting against the studio to release the director's vision, through social media campaigns, podcasts, blog posts, and even flying an airplane over Warner Bros. Burbank headquarters. The campaign got so strong that Zack Snyder joined in the movement and made it more impactful via Vero, eventually leading the stars to support Snyder along the way. The trailer emblematically connects the fans' commitment and dedication towards the Snyder Cut movement to the journey of the DC characters and their evolution within Zack's DCEU.
Zack Snyder's DCEU films have envisioned DCEU characters with a certain depth into their personal issues, psychological conflicts, decision-making, and differences against each other. This was something Zack teased from the beginning of the franchise in Man of Steel and progressively expanded this approach to all his characters in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, especially visible in Zack's fresh take on the character of a hardened and emotionless Bruce Wayne/Batman. The trailer tries to engross this into the short clipping while promoting the three films available to stream on HBO Max.
But that's not the only thing the trailer leaves us with. It leaves us with a little message there which can imply two things, and unfortunately, it might be inclined towards the bad news.
HBO Max has landed a message within the trailer. In between the clippings, the trailer displays a message which is designed to honor Zack Snyder's vision towards DCEU that he visualized in the three films, but is somehow pushing us towards the end of Snyderverse.
The message says:
"THE PATH WAS LONG. BUT JUSTICE IS COMING"
"THE COMPLETION OF ZACK SNYDER'S TRILOGY"
Though the first sentence, which says Justice Is "Coming", for an instance implied that the studio is planning to continueSnyderverse and allow Zack to finish his Justice League sequels, as inferred by the word "coming". However, what it actually implied there was simply the arrival of the trilogy on streaming platform HBO Max. By adding the word "Completion" ahead of Zack Snyder's Trilogy, HBO Max has cleared that for them and Warner Bros., Zack Snyder's vision is completed with the Snyder Cut, and the trailer is supposedly just a stint to market these three films as Zack's trilogy and uses Snyder's name to target the viewers' demographic.
Since the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, fans have associated their preference concerning DCEU with Zack Snyder's vision for DCEU and has clearly discarded Warner Bros.'s approach towards the franchise, which was fueled by negative reception towards Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But Snyder Cut's success and its enthralling storyline, which went full circle to Batman v Superman and connected the dots in a stunning manner, has made the audience realize that Snyder had much more in his bucket to offer to the DC fans. But owing to critics, Warner Bros. decided to keep Snyder off-limits for its repurposed approach towards the franchise. Now it seems that Warner Bros. can't just go back and restore Snyderverse, given that they already have multiple DCEU releases in slate over the course of the next two to three years, all of which share continuity with the theatrical version of Justice League.
Having Snyder's name associated with a separate trilogy of DC films will only work for HBO Max to boost more viewers and attract them to the platform. But looks like it isn't working, as fans are pretty much angry at HBO Max's stint.
Fans Reacts to Trilogy Trailer
Twitter is going crazy at HBO Max's stint of calling the three films as Zack Snyder's Trilogy. Fans are tweeting their disgust at this gesture and are reminding HBO Max that Zack's vision is at least a pentalogy, with other solo outings such as Wonder Woman sharing continuity with those films. Here are some of those reactions.
The trailer is just fueling in the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse tweets alongside support for a solo Batman movie starring Ben Affleck and the earlier fan petitions for getting back Joe Manganiello for a Deathstroke TV series. But, it doesn't seem to be going the right way for fans.
What about Snyderverse?
The Snyderverse, at least for now, seems like a dream too good to be true. The "pentalogy" as fans believe is a long shot for Warner Bros. to even consider at this point. Warner Bros. is seriously considering to revise the DCEU one more time with next year's The Flash which will follow the Flashpoint storyline from the comics, giving DCEU an option to alter time and reality within the universe and change the bad calls the studio made.
Besides that, the studio is already awaiting release of The Suicide Squad along with Shazam! Fury of Gods, Black Adam, and Aquaman 2 also in release slate. With the pool almost full for DC Films and Warner Bros., restoring Snyderverse is a long shot.
As for a possible separate production of Snyder's films at HBO Max, it's impractical to sanction such high-budget projects exclusively for a streaming service as it doesn't account for high returns on investments, especially in case of HBO Max which is still in its initiation phase. Moreover, HBO Max already has too much on its plate with every 2021 film premiering there along with theaters, as well as the ongoing production of HBO Max originals including DCEU's companion series, Peacekeeper.
On the other hand DC Films have recently canceled New Gods, citing Darkseid's appearance in Snyder Cut as one of the reasons for the film's cancellation. With the announcement, DC Films does leave a hint for possible revival of the film, saying that the project will remain under hiatus at the studio and may even see the light in the future. It's too much of a hypothesis to say that DC Films cancelled New Gods to make way for Snyderverse and Ray Porter's version of Darksied. But we can keep hope that Snyder's plans will also remain on hiatus with possibilities of those films coming to reality in the future. After all, it took almost four years to get Snyder Cut approved.
Snyderverse is the name fans came up with to honor Snyder's envisioned journey of DC's superheroes in a live-action universe, whom he considers some mythological, powerful beings, stuck in conflicts while battling personal demons. And that's exactly how Zack Snyder's Justice League portrayed these characters, making them more relatable to people, making their issues more allegorical to real-life socio-political problems, and thus, establishing greater connection with viewers.
It will be an amazing experience to see those storyboards come to life on-screen, but for now, HBO Max is hinting that Snyder's films at DCEU are done with Zack Snyder's Justice League.
It's not arguable at all that WB sanctioned Snyder Cut to boost subscriptions for HBO Max, which, in turn, has helped the platform gain massive fan support and popularity. In the end, film-making is a business and the concerning decisions in films are also made keeping the commerce aspect. So, the completion of Snyderverse will also face this jolt if ever considered at the studio.