While certain films like Waterworld and The Quick and the Dead were already too far into production for him to save, his work on Titan AE, Speed, and Toy Story were lauded. Whedon is known for developing Rex the dinosaur in Toy Story and, according to Amy Pascal, he was also responsible for singlehandedly saving the film by making Woody and Buzz more likable. In Speed, Whedon was celebrated by its original writer Graham Yost for his changes to dialogue and additional character beats. It also goes without saying that Whedon has more experience than anyone in dealing with studio guidelines in his time working not only as a writer/director of the two Avengers films but also in working on the early stages of Agents of SHIELD and writing the Astonishing X-Men comic series in 2004.
Zack Snyder’s influence in the DCEU is undeniable; However, even before his departure, it was clear that was a changing of the guard developing behind the scenes. Snyder is a polarizing figure among fans and has taken a great deal of flak over the years regarding the DCEU’s creative decisions. Warner Bros. has repeatedly reiterated support for Snyder and his vision, and even offered to push Justice League's release date back for him - a massive gesture for such a huge project - but as the DCEU continued to grow, the studio also began to expand the influence of other creative minds like Patty Jenkins, Ben Affleck, and Geoff Johns.
Johns' involvement is one of the biggest changes as he's not only taking on an executive role, but a creative one as well. He co-wrote the upcoming Wonder Woman film and had developed the stories for Aquaman, Green Lantern Corps, The Batman and the upcoming Teen Titans television series. So, while Snyder's tone and style were central to this shared universe getting off the ground, and will likely continue to influence the films to come, he isn't as integral a part as he was at the start.
Fortunately, Warner Bros. efforts to bring strong talent to the DCEU means Snyder can feel comfortable stepping away to spend some much needed time healing with his family - leaving the remaining work on Justice League in Whedon's more than capable hands. When it comes to his future involvement, THR reported that Warner Bros. has extended his first-look deal, meaning there's sure to be work for him when he returns. Whether that's work in the DCEU or elsewhere remains to be seen, but based on the support the studio has shown him so far, it looks like it's up to him whether or not he wants to jump into another DC film.
Whenever that happens and whatever project it ends up being, we wish the Snyder family peace and our deepest condolences in the intervening days.
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Flash Movie release date:
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020