How Snyder's Firing Changes the Narrative
It was obvious from the minute Justice League hit theaters that much of Snyder's story and visuals had been scrubbed from the movie during the reshoot process, and the news that Snyder was fired in early 2017 just confirms that the intent all along was a rejection of his vision, not an effort to complete it.
It has since been revealed that the movie's release date should have been delayed, but it wasn't in order to protect some executive bonuses, so it can only be assumed that the attempt to pretend for a number of months that Snyder was still the director, then continue to spread the narrative that his vision was still being pursued afterward, was likely an attempt to maintain an appearance of stability for similar financial concerns.
Warner Bros. reportedly expected Justice League to fail for months before release, so the decision to have Whedon change Snyder's movie as drastically as he did was the studio going "all in" to erase what they saw as the harmful effects of Snyder's take on the world and it's characters, using the movie instead as an attempt to pivot characters like Superman into a lighter and more hopeful version of the Man of Steel. Based on reviews, the movie was at least successful in that aspect, with many critics rating Justice League a very flawed movie, yet labeling it as a step in the right direction for the franchise.
At this point, it's abundantly clear that reports that both Zack and Debbie Snyder's involvement in future DC movies will be basically nonexistent are true. They're currently credited as producers for movies like Wonder Woman 2 and Aquaman, but those credits are "in name only," as they won't be providing any creative input.
It may be a lackluster ending for the man that kicked off the DCEU and dedicated nearly a decade of his life to bringing these characters to the big screen. While it's understandable that Warner Bros. felt it needed to make drastic changes in light of poor critical reception, the circumstances surrounding this situation are especially unfortunate for Snyder, who has said he wishes he had the chance to finish his movie for fans of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.
While it may be the end of Snyder's time with DC, he still has a number of projects in the works with The Last Photograph and his adaptation of The Fountainhead. Hopefully his stylistic and storytelling techniques can lead him to a less divisive environment than he experienced in his time with the DCEU.
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018