Filmmaker Zack Snyder has spent several years working on the DC Extended Universe now. He started his run with the Superman movie reboot Man of Steel – at a time before it was public knowledge that the film would serve as the foundation for DC’s shared live-action movie continuity – and then kicked the doors to the DCEU open, with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder is currently in post-production on the first live-action Justice League movie, but he will have some time between finishing that superhero team-up adventure and the Justice League sequel that he is still attached to direct.
Warner Bros. Pictures has pushed Justice League 2 back in order to make room for The Batman (the DCEU Batman solo movie that Ben Affleck is directing, co-writing and starring in), now that the latter is moving forward faster than was previously-expected. Snyder will thus be able to take some time off (so to speak) from the DCEU and go make another project that he’s been keeping on the back-burner for five years now: the original drama/thriller, The Last Photograph.
THR broke the news about The Batman being fast-tracked ahead of Justice League 2 – at the same time, revealing that this will allow Snyder to focus his attention on getting ready for production on The Last Photograph, after post-production on Justice League has been finished. The plan is for Snyder and his production partner/wife Deborah Snyder to get started filming The Last Photograph by late 2017, once the pair have completed their promotional tour for Justice League (which hits theaters in November of that year).
The Last Photograph is based on a story that Snyder developed with Kurt Johnstad: Snyder’s co-writer on the scripts for 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire, who also wrote the script for The Last Photograph. The film, as reported by THR, revolves around a war correspondent in Afghanistan who winds up being the sole survivor of an attack on a group of Americans in the country – at which point, the correspondent meets a special ops soldier and accompanies them, on a search to find a missing family member. Christian Bale and Sean Penn were attached to star in The Last Photograph back in 2011, but – naturally – that is no longer the case at this stage.
This movie is clearly a passion project for Snyder, seeing as he first started to work on it in 2007. The Last Photograph could also make for a welcome, lower-budgeted change of pace from Snyder’s costly DCEU epics; at the same time, playing to his strengths as a action/thriller filmmaker and using some of the tricks that he’s picked up while working on the DCEU (see the cinéma vérité techniques that he used on Man of Steel especially). In that respect, The Last Photograph could prove to be as effective as a “palate cleanser” for Snyder as, say, Chef was for filmmaker Jon Favreau, allowing him to come back all the fresher and more re-energized for Justice League 2… assuming that plan for Snyder to return to the DCEU a fourth time doesn’t change, of course.
We’ll bring you more information on The Last Photograph as it becomes available.