DCEU has been on a downward spiral for a long time, but was the removal of Zack Snyder a mistake from Warner Bros? While it can be argued that pandemic has hurt the box-office collection for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, DC had it a long time coming. However, the HBO Max subscription certainly peaked in March with the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The Inception of DC Extended Universe
The DCEU we know today was created when Christopher Nolan pitched a Superman script with The Dark Knight co-writer David Goyer. The Interstellar director recommended that Zack Snyder would be the perfect director to make a kickass Man Of Steel movie since he knows the DC lore inside out and Nolan was blown away by Snyder’s Watchmen, which he said was ahead of its time. After going with Nolan, WB tasked Snyder to create a DC universe instead of a Superman trilogy.
DC with Zack Snyder
Under Snyder, DC had made Man Of Steel, Batman vs Superman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Aquaman, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Except for the Snyder cut which was released on a streaming service-HBO Max, all the DC movies made with his vision had done well. Financially, against a collective budget of around one billion dollars, the movies under Snyder earned around four billion dollars.
DC without Zack Snyder
And in the post-Snyder era, DC has made- shazam, birds of prey, wonder woman 1984, and The Suicide Squad. All these movies were made against a collective budget of around 600 million dollars while earning only 850 million dollars which is terrible. While the critical reception of the Snyder-verse might have been bad, it was clear that the audience was invested in what it was leading up to. And all Warner Bros have proved that after removing Snyder they don’t have any plan to create a coherent DC universe.
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If The Batman fails, it might be the end of DC films for a long time because WB is already struggling and they won’t be able to take more hits financially. Discovery might change things up once they take over the company at the end of the year. But they have a huge task on hand to resurrect this failing DCEU.
DCEU is failing even with James Gunn
DC is failing hard to please their fanbase. If Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s The Batman also fails, it could mean curtains for DC movies for some time. DC is in a tough spot because they could bring back Snyder to complete his Justice League saga but the critics will be harsh with his movies. Instead, they could keep going with movies that the critics might treat well but not many fans care about. It is a crazy mess Warner Bros have created with their own decisions.
On the other hand, they can make critically well-received movies but fail at the box office because they lack any sort of connectivity and an implication of a cohesive universe. Andy Muschietti is currently helming the DC Flash movie with Ezra Miller as Barry Allen. The movie is currently being shot in London and is supposed to arrive in theatres in November next year. But a lot hinges on WB’s eternal battle to create a new DC without Zack Snyder. If Batman goes into trouble, it is hard to imagine what DC does in the future. If DC’s The Suicide Squad is anything to go by, a very troublesome future lies ahead for Warner Bros.