Warner Bros. has been trying to distance themselves from the Zack Snyder era of the DC Extended Universe leading into Aquaman, but Jason Momoa won't let them. With Aquaman getting positive reviews and already blowing away the box office in China before it even hits the US market, the movie's star wants everyone to remember the director who started it all.
The DC Extended Universe is in a state of limbo after the abysmal performance of Justice League over a year ago. Public perception of the franchise was already rocky due to Zack Snyder's polarizing start to the universe with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so when Justice League was shaping up to have many of the same qualities, Warner Bros. pushed back, forcing Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio to make numerous changes before Snyder's eventual departure following a family tragedy. He was replaced by Joss Whedon, who oversaw weeks of reshoots to fundamentally change the tone and story of the movie, resulting in a Frankenstein monster that barely resembled Zack Snyder's original intent.
The movie ultimately saw middling reviews at best and bombed at the box office, and the year since has seen some major executive changes for the DC Films division of WB, including a number of changes to the future slate of films that seems to be distancing the franchise from what Zack Snyder originally started out to achieve. Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill may never appear as Batman or Superman again, and WB while Snyder is credited as a producer on upcoming films, it's said to be mostly in name only.
Aquaman is the biggest tonal shift the DCEU has seen yet, and while that was James Wan's intent from the beginning, it's being positioned by many as an effort to distance the franchise from Snyder. But not if Jason Momoa has anything to say about it. The Aquaman star was originally cast in the role by Zack Snyder for a cameo role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he's quick to remind people of that, finding a way to work it into seemingly every interview possible.
It doesn't simply stop at reminding people Snyder was the one to cast him, either. He even went as far to link Aquaman to Arthur Curry's final scene in Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League. This understandably caused a bit of a stir, considering the studio has been quiet on the much-discussed alternate cut of the movie, with sources reportedly only saying they have no intent to release it. But that didn't stop Momoa. When asked about the cut directly in another interview, he threw his support behind it completely, saying "F*** yeah, I want to see it!"
It makes sense that Momoa would be such a big fan of Zack Snyder, he's only ever had high praise for the director, especially recently.
“Really, like, I’m a soul mate with him. He’s family. I’m very indebted to that man. I invited him to my wedding. I told him to look around on my property and the things I barely held onto, because there were moments in my career where you can’t put food on the table. Not being picky and choosy, but it’s hard to make it in this business. I looked at him, and I said, ‘You see these things? These would’ve never, ever, ever have happened if it wasn’t for you.’ So Zack has a huge part of my heart.”
And it's not just Momoa, either. Everyone who's ever worked with Zack Snyder seems to have exclusively good things to say about him, and they're always enthusiastic to say it. During Comic-Con (in the middle of Justice League's infamous reshoots), Ray Fisher ripped open his shirt to reveal an "I heart Zack Snyder" t-shirt beneath it. He's also expressed a desire to see the Snyder Cut, corroborating storyboard artist Jay Oliva in saying Snyder captured all the footage he needed to make his movie and urged fans to "believe" on the Vero social network.
Despite all this support, even by Momoa, on the cusp releasing what could be the DCEUs biggest hit yet, Snyder isn't likely to return to the franchise, at least not anytime soon. The director has is even moving out of his longtime office on the Warner Bros. lot to instead work from his own brand new office in another location, where he'll begin work on some new, as yet unannounced projects.
Regardless of how things shape up for Snyder or DC films, it looks like Jason Momoa will continue to carry that torch to make sure that everyone knows Aquaman comes from Snyder's DNA. And while they may not work together again on a DC project, don't be surprised to see a place in a future Snyder film for Momoa.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019