Zack Snyder confirms the DC Extended Universe was never meant to be a traditional shared universe like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the wake of The Avengers' overwhelming success, several studios attempted to launch their own crossover and team-up events. Naturally, Warner Bros. developed a franchise for their stable of DC Comics characters, but the results have been far from ideal so far. 2017's Wonder Woman is currently the only commercial and critical hit in the series, with the other entries all proving to be divisive.
The burgeoning DCEU hit its nadir last fall when Justice League ended its run as the lowest-grossing effort in the franchise to date. Originally helmed by Snyder, the film went through several drastic changes when Joss Whedon took over for reshoots. In the aftermath, there's been much discussion about an alleged Snyder Cut of Justice League, and what Snyder's original 5-movie plan for the franchise was. The director has been very active on social media, interacting with fans and discussing his DC films. Now, he's confirmed a major fan theory about the franchise as a whole.
In retrospect, it isn't entirely surprising this is the case. Man of Steel commenced principal photography in August 2011, when the MCU was in the midst of its Phase 1 and people weren't completely convinced their ambitious plan would pay off. To be fair, Snyder did include Easter eggs to hint at a larger world (see: the Wayne Enterprises satellite, the Wonder Woman photo), but these were more as hooks for other directors to craft their own standalone projects about other characters than indications all the DC movies were connected under one umbrella. Once The Avengers earned widespread praise and $1.5 billion in 2012, WB attempted to reverse-engineer a Marvel-style universe. Their interference on Justice League has been well-documented, but their mandates go back to Batman V Superman - which included the infamous scene where Diana Prince watches QuickTime videos of other League members. It's safe to say this initiative backfired.
Knowing this makes it all the more logical for WB's new leadership to pump the brakes and concentrate more on crafting quality, self-contained movies that have the potential to crossover depending on the results. Hopefully, this new strategy pays off and helps the DCEU rebound after a rough stretch. As for Snyder, his deconstructive approach to DC's icons definitely wasn't for everyone, but he appealed to a sizable segment of moviegoers who appreciated what he had to say. WB may have been better served allowing Snyder to realize his full vision instead of forcing something that didn't fit. They seem to have learned their lesson, so here's to brighter and better days for the World's Finest on the big screen.
Source: John Aaron Garza
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