Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut came about after a grassroots campaign from fans, but a new report says some Warner Bros. executives regret fulfilling it.
After mixed reactions to the DC Extended Universe from the critically panned Joss Whedon-directed Justice League movie in 2017, fans rallied on social media for the Snyder Cut. Although it was long dismissed as being impossible, this was inevitably fulfilled as an HBO Max exclusive. The studio even shelled out $70 million on top of the original budget for Zack Snyder to finish the project with VFX and additional scenes.
But with the news that some Warner Bros. insiders regret the release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League, how does this affect the future of the DCEU?
Lamentations from insiders
Variety released a report examining what challenges the new head of the DC films at Warner Bros. Discovery will be facing. This is in correlation to the news that DC Studios may have found its Kevin Feige as the figurehead and overall creative director of their superhero cinematic universe. While it is not officially confirmed, Dan Lin (Godzilla vs. Kong, The LEGO Movie) is apparently the most likely candidate to take the position.
Warner Bros insiders are reportedly saying that #ZackSnydersJusticeLeague 'never should've happened' since it further divided that fanbase against the studio
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) August 29, 2022
In that same Variety report, it was claimed that a group of Warner Bros insiders are ultimately unhappy that the Zack Snyder cut was ever released:
Privately, studio insiders have lamented that Zack Snyder’s Justice League never should’ve happened. Rather than quiet the unceasing online campaigning to #ReleasetheSnyderCut, the four-hour HBO Max feature only further entrenched the vocal and extremely online Snyderverse fanbase in opposition to the leadership at the studio in general and at DC in particular.
The apparent sentiment is that this did no favors for Warner Bros. and its leadership. Instead, it was viewed as an admission of failure and a victory of the vocal fan community. No credit was given to Toby Emmerich, Walter Hamada, Ann Sarnoff, and the rest of the upper management, despite greenlighting the release and additional budget to finish the Snyder cut.
It should be noted that the article does not claim that the entire Warner Bros. studio shares the regret the insiders mentioned have regarding the Snyder Cut. The Justice League Snyder cut did bring mass attention to the fledgling HBO Max streaming service. During the first week of the Justice League Snyder Cut, downloads of the HBO Max app increased by 64% and brought in nearly 3 million new subscribers.
Looking at the first full week of viewership for #JusticeLeagueTheSnyderCut, @Samba_TV found that 2.2M U.S. households and 954k U.K. households tuned in (3/18-3/24).#SambaTVInsights #SnyderCutJusticeLeague #SnyderCut #DCUniverse pic.twitter.com/RZscgrtG6X
— Samba TV (@samba_tv) March 29, 2021
By the end of 2021, the HBO Max subscriber base had reached 73.8 million globally.
Fans react to the news
After the news broke about the reported regret within Warner Bros. for the release of the Snyder Cut, fans took to social media.
Most of the reactions on Twitter have been disagreement and displeasure, contrasting that the #RestoreTheSnyderverse movement as the best thing that happened to the DCEU after the rushed Justice League in 2017 under Joss Whedon.
🍿Warner Bros REGRET Releasing The #SNYDERCUT 🍿
I've gone on a bit of a rant in this video as old WB are at it again with their persistent pushing of blame.
— Our Movie News🍿 (@ourmovienews) August 30, 2022
Of course @WarnerMedia @wbpictures @warnerbros old execs regret Greenlighting #ZackSnydersJusticeLeague if it has proven they were fucking wrong replacing SnyderVerse 🤣, now we the bots are the bad guys for wanting more of the original story💀. @wbd #RestoreTheSnyderVerse 💆♂️ pic.twitter.com/B89ogyWyDW
— Daniel🇨🇷#RestoreTheSnyderVerse (@LopzMoya) August 31, 2022
This is why they are unemployed. pic.twitter.com/r4CbzCx7iA
— Rational DC Fan (@DcRational) August 30, 2022
When a studio regrets allowing creativity and making money from that creativity, and pleasing its fan base; one must question the intelligence of that studio and its leadership. @wbd @warnerbros @wbpictures @hbomax #ImNotABot #DavidZaslav #RestoreTheSndyerVerse pic.twitter.com/pB0Z8ZmWaI
— Michael Brant (@MLBtsr14) August 30, 2022
With the course correction and long-term plans for the overhaul of the DC Extended Universe under CEO David Zaslav, it is still unclear whether the Snyderverse will continue. Zack Snyder himself is currently busy with his Netflix projects, including the sci-fi Rebel Moon and a sequel to Army of the Dead.
But while Snyder might be unavailable, the actors are apparently returning to reprise their roles. Ben Affleck is already confirmed to return as Batman in The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in 2023, while there are rumors of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Henry Cavill suiting up as Superman in Black Adam.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the alternate Justice is Gray version are both currently available on the HBO Max streaming service.