Despite the fact that the future of Warner Bros. and DC’s big-budget, live-action cinematic universe actually looks pretty bright—with Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey, and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad—a vocal contingent of fans can’t let the past go and are still harping on about Zack Snyder’s Justice League director’s cut. A thing that does not actually exist.
For years now, fans—and Snyder himself—have rallied around the idea of the Snyder Cut and passionately advocated for Warner Bros. to give the creator the opportunity to complete an alternate version of Justice League. One they believe would somehow be a better movie than the version was given a theatrical release. As recently as earlier this month, the director and a number of the actors who appeared in the movie including Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, and Ray Fisher took to their Twitter pages with messages urging Warner Bros. to—forgive me—“release the Snyder Cut,” which only served to work the fandom up into yet another wave of unnecessary, exhausting frenzy.
While Snyder might dream of being able to rework Justice League into some semblance of a good movie, Warner Bros. apparently doesn’t have all that much interest in any sort of rerelease, according to a new report from Variety detailing the current state of the studio’s vision for its future.
The report explains how, because of the new HBO Max streaming service where a number of DC properties (like the next season of Doom Patrol and the new Green Lantern series) will live, some have speculated that Warner Bros. might have been considered dropping a Snyder Cut on the platform or even finishing the movie and putting it into theaters. But at least one person familiar with the studios’ priorities described the idea as a “pipe dream” that isn’t happening any time soon because of the sheer amount of money it would require. They added, “There’s no way it’s ever happening.”
While there may more than a bit of unused footage from Justice League, much of it is unfinished, meaning that Warner Bros. would have to commit a sizable amount of resources into getting a so-called Snyder Cut in working order. Mind you, such a movie would likely involve even more filming, editing, and the involvement of the original cast, who are all working actors with busy schedules. All of this makes even more sense when you consider that Warner Bros. is actively in the process of putting out a number of new films and series that have the chance to be the critical successes that Justice League was not, and it has a much more pressing, Superman-shaped conundrum that it needs to figure out.
In stark contrast to Wonder Woman, Batman, and even Harley Quinn (who you can consider the fourth member of DC’s Trinity from a corporate/financial profitability perspective), the studio doesn’t currently seem to have a plan as to how to handle Superman’s cinematic future. The same Variety report details how the studio wants to move forward with a Superman project that will satisfy audiences in ways that neither Superman Returns nor Man of Steel did, and because there are rumors that Henry Cavill might exit the franchise entirely, actors like Michael B. Jordan have been considered to take on the role.
There’s also the matter of multiple Green Lantern projects that are slated to introduce DC’s iconic, emerald space cop to both the big and small screens (again). Geoff Johns is still hard at work for a GL theatrical pic due out sometime in the future, and HBO Max is moving forward with that previously mentioned Green Lantern series. Beyond that, WB also means to develop movies focused on Batgirl and another about villainous Aquaman side characters, meaning that, well, the studio’s busy and it has plans to pour money into these films in the hopes that they become box office successes in their own right.
There might be people out there who feel as if a Snyder Cut of Justice League could be the thing that retroactively makes the DCEU a more narratively interesting place, but WB doesn’t seem to agree at the moment. Honestly? That’s probably for the best. The studio’s ready to move on, and it’s time the public got with the program.
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