The Snyder-verse: The DCEU and What Could Have Been

Note: SPOILERS AHEAD! You guys have been warned.

At the beginning of 2021, the world was given the privilege to partake in Zack Snyder’s version of the Justice League , as originally intended, giving us a sneak peek of what could have been. His leadership over the project was halted right in the middle of production due to the untimely death of his daughter back in 2017. 

The Snyder Cut, as the world calls it, takes us on the extended journey of Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman as they embark to save the world in the absence of Superman. His death, in the previous movie, Batman vs Superman, activated the end of the world. This event marks the awakening of one of the main iconic villains of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Darkseid. The delay of the Snyder Cut did not only deprive us of the original glory of this vision for the Justice League film but also all the storylines that were to be introduced into the DCEU through this version. 

The Snyder Cut vs Justice League by Joss Whedon

A disclaimer has to be made that it is no easy feat to take over the direction of a film mid-production so a fair amount of credit should be given to Joss Whedon for continuing the show. This does not however negate the fact that The Justice League that came out in 2017 was considered a disappointment by multiple critiques and general audiences. There were multiple reasons behind this verdict but one of the main ones being an issue of continuity.

The success of creating an overall universe through multiple films like the MCU and the DCEU is found in the seamless integration of multiple different movies, this would extend even into the tiniest details and some would even argue that the details are what make or break such integrations. This is something that the DC T.V. shows on the CW network do wonderfully and of course, the MCU that does this through its iconic post-credit scenes. 

Prior to his work on the Snyder Cut, Zack Snyder directed both Man of Steel films and one of the biggest DCEU films, Batman v Superman. These films cemented his style of storytelling on the screen so the disruption in the continuity in style was not only evident in the difference in storylines of both versions of the Justice League but also in the technical aspects of it (i.e. scene coloration). As a stand-alone film, these kinds of details would’ve not held the gravity they do in the situation in which continuity and integration are supposed to be established. The three previously mentioned DCEU films were the prerequisite films of The Justice League so having certain disparities between them are not favorable. 

The Snyder cut also had the advantage in terms of length, compared to Joss Whedon’s version which ran for 2 hours, Zack Snyder’s Justice League ran for 4 hours and 2 minutes. This advantage gave the Snyder Cut room to cover more bases and introduce storylines that Joss Whedon’s version couldn’t. It also gives more in-depth background stories to The Flash and Cyborg, which are the two members of the Justice League who are yet to have their own movies. Zack Snyder also includes an epilogue before he wraps the movie up which includes the Joker and Deathstroke, alongside the Flash, The Batman, Cyborg, and Mera in a post-apocalyptic setting. One of the most mind-boggling details to this epilogue other than the absence of Wonder Woman and Superman is the Joker’s closing monologue which implies many things, including the death of Lois Lane and Harley Quinn. The Batman then wakes up from this eerily real nightmare to a visit from the Martian Manhunter, a probable future addition to the Justice League. This nightmare sequence can even be traced back to the vision Cyborg had earlier in the film which depicts the death of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and a corpse that fans presume to be Lois Lane. It even hints at a probable multi-timeline storyline. 

Zack Snyder’s Justice League would have been the best way to set up the future films that DCEU could have encompassed. Comic book fans are now clamoring for the production of the Snyder-verse which would pick up the narrative of where the Snyder Cut left us and give reason to these haunting sequences presented to us in The Justice League. As a film, it is a lot to unpack in one article but as a whole Zack Snyder’s Justice League gives an idea of how epic his vision was for the DCEU. There are yet to be talks or any news regarding Warner Bros picking up the Snyder-verse but if they do, some fans believe that this could be the redemption arc for the DCEU as a whole that has been stated by many critics and audiences to be very disjointed in its overall storylines and general tone. This is your chance, DC, to fix the mistakes of the past and give us a glimpse of true art in superheroism.  

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