While the debate over the final version of Justice League rages on, one of the film's stars thinks the DCEU will always belong to Zack Snyder. Man of Steel marked a turning point for Warner Bros.' attempt to bring their DC Comics characters to life. Though not planned as the birth of a universe, its release the year after The Avengers' massive success led WB to hand the reins of the burgeoning DCEU over to Snyder. Three years later and the director's pseudo-sequel Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice would arrive and cement the tone and reputation of DC's cinematic universe.
Though three out of the five entires in the DCEU belong to Zack Snyder now that Justice League is out, his influence can be felt all over the universe. Both Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman borrowed heavily from Snyder's style of directing, with the latter especially laden with excess contrast and slow motion. Next year's Aquaman is still an unknown quantity, but Snyder has already helped to shape the look and feel of Jason Momoa's character. Though Joss Whedon may have stepped in to rework Justice League, the film and the DCEU as a whole still rest on the shoulders of Snyder's vision.
As part of Justice League: The Official Collector's Edition, a new book full of cast and crew interviews along with concept art for Justice League, The Flash actor Ezra Miller spoke about what Snyder means to him and the DCEU as a whole.
"Zack Snyder is the DC god. He's the father of our universe. He's been directing this series of films that will really plant the seeds for the whole Gaia tree of the DC Universe, and its many branches and flowers, giving us, the cast, this template as an artistic community. Zack has really taken care of us all. He's been so incredibly attentive to all of us and our diva needs and our questions. And when I want to overthink the physics of The Flash, he's been ready to engage with me on that level."
There's no denying most of what Miller says, as Snyder has clearly had an huge impact on how DC films are crafted. Moving forward, however, it's unknown whether that will be a good thing or a bad one. While fans may blame Whedon for Justice League's critical failure and financial underperformance, Snyder is just as responsible.
All of Snyder's previous DCEU films have been critical bombs, and none have matched the level's of Marvel's biggest offerings. When it comes to criticisms of the DCEU, most of the complaints are about Snyder's vision. And though Suicide Squad disappointed on most of its own merits, Wonder Woman was able to shine by taking a slightly different path. The future of Justice League and the DCEU is uncertain, and only Aquaman will serve as any sort of indicator over the next year and a half. Whether things carry on, splinter off, or get rebooted, however, Zack Snyder's impact on DC films is undeniable.
Source: Justice League: The Official Collector's Edition
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019