Aquaman's Success Proves Zack Snyder's DCEU Isn't Dead Yet

With Jason Momoa constantly praising Zack Snyder's influence on Aquaman, could the movie's success influence Snyder's future with the DCEU? After a year of uncertainty, change, and rumor mill churning regarding the DCEU, Aquaman is finally out to (mostly) positive reviews and huge box office success, pointing a clear way forward for the embattled franchise.

Zack Snyder cast Jason Moma as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, and Willem Dafoe as Vulko, introduced Aquaman (twice, if you count his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice cameo), and while he let James Wan be the first to properly reveal Atlantis, the H.R. Giger meets H.P. Lovecraft designs that permeated much of Snyder's universe were clearly embraced by James Wan.

Related: Jason Momoa Won't Let Warner Bros. Distance Aquaman From Zack Snyder

While Aquaman's success is hardly going to make anyone do an about-face on the controversial director, it also serves as validation that maybe there was something to Snyder's vision worth maintaining as the universe moves forward.

Zack Snyder's Future With the DCEU is Minimal

Zack Snyder's time with the DCEU was always going to be finite. He had a 5-part story he wanted to tell himself, and he worked with Geoff Johns and others to sketch out a larger universal roadmap, but he wasn't going to serve as a sort of Kevin Feige for the DCEU. He was only going to be directing his 5 movies, and consulting with other writers/directors to help them tell the stories they wanted to tell.

Related: 5 Ways Warner Bros Can Try To Appease Snyder Cut Fans

Due to the divisive nature of his first installments in the franchise, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel, Warner Bros. has moved away from Zack Snyder as the central creative in the DCEU. He was an executive producer on Aquaman and he's a producer on Wonder Woman 1984, and may even appear as an executive producer for the films of other characters that he's introduced, but the credit is mostly an honorary title. He will have minimal involvement in crafting the stories or making creative decisions.

However, that doesn't mean his fingerprints won't still be visible on upcoming movies. He set the style and tone for the entire universe and cast every major character so far, with Shazam being the first superhero he didn't introduce himself. While the movies themselves didn't receive high critical praise, Henry Cavill Ben Affleck Gal Gadot Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller are well-liked by audiences. While Affleck and Cavill's futures are in question, most fans would love to see them return to the roles.

Shazam and Wonder Woman Are Still Full of Snyder

Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984 certainly won't be "Snyder Movies," but his fingerprints are already clear on both. With Wonder Woman 1984 it's pretty obvious, as he's the one that originally cast Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and developed her backstory, earning himself a writing credit on Wonder Woman. He's also serving as a producer on Wonder Woman, and while he may not have as much of a role as he did in the first, it does appear to be at least slightly more substancial than his executive producer credit on Aquaman.

Shazam!, on the other hand, seems to exist wholly outside of Snyder's influence, as he's not likely to have any credit on it at all, but the movie sill still be full of things he brought to the DCEU, as we've seen a number of Easter eggs referencing Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Easter eggs alone are certainly not evidence that the movie is embracing everything about what Snyder established, but Snyder's DCEU seems to come up a lot with director David F. Sandberg, who even inserted Shazam into Batman v Superman's Knightmare sequence, so the memory of Snyder certainly lives on in the film's production.

Page 2: How Zack Snyder's Plans Could Live On

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Key Release Dates
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
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