Warner Bros. has officially confirmed that Zack Snyder’s DC extended universe projects, nicknamed “Snyderverse”, have ended, but this does not mean that all of Snyder’s plans have been canceled. An interview with DC Chief Creative Officer and publisher Jim Lee at Comic-Con in San Diego in 2022 concluded the book about Snyder’s continued involvement in the DCEU film franchise, despite the success of Zack’s “Justice League” Snyder and a loud contingent of DC fans who want to see the planned sequels come out on the big screen. The DCEU is moving in a different direction than Snyder’s planned sequels, but some elements of his long-term plan are certainly compatible with the new DCEU future, so the Snyderverse may live on in some way.
Zack Snyder was originally one of the main creative people at DCEU, directed Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and worked closely with other directors Patty Jenkins and James Wan to ensure their collective creative vision was consistent. Unfortunately, due to a family tragedy, Snyder was unable to complete the 2017 theatrical version of Justice League, and the final film, completed by Joss Whedon, was a crushing disappointment. The success of the director’s version of “Justice League” has revived interest in Snyder’s plans for the DCEU, although the DCEU has already moved away from Snyder’s universe, for better or for worse.
Despite the critical success of Snyder’s Justice League, a new era for the DCEU has already begun: massive retcons for the franchise planned for the upcoming Flash movie, and many key actors of the Snyderverse are no longer part of the DCEU franchise. However, even though Snyder’s overall vision for the DCEU is no longer possible, his plans can still be used in future DCEU installments. There are rumors that the DCEU is paying much more attention to Henry Cavill’s Superman and his further adventures after the death of Steppenwolf, which allows some of Snyder’s plans for Superman to be used, and the same goes for characters such as Wonder Woman and possibly new versions of Batman. And Batgirl, too.
Why Snyderverse can’t continue
In addition to Zack Snyder’s lack of involvement in future DCEU projects, another important reason for the impossibility of continuing the Snyderverse is that the main actors are no longer part of the DCEU franchise. These are, first of all, Ben Affleck and Ray Fisher, who play the founders of the Justice League Batman and Cyborg, respectively. Ben Affleck, despite his love for the role of Batman, will play the role of the Dark Knight in The Flash for the last time, wanting to give his version of the character a meaningful ending, since the stress associated with the role threatens his physical health. Ray Fisher, in particular, had a bad experience working on the theatrical version of “Justice League”, and since then he has stopped his participation in future DCEU projects.
While the DCEU seems to be continuing without any version of Cyborg (as evidenced by the Peacemaker finale), Ben Affleck’s Batman iteration should be replaced by Michael Keaton’s version by the end of The Flash. The upcoming Batgirl seems to suggest that Keaton’s Dark Knight combines the stories of DCEU and Tim Burton’s Batman iterations, allowing the franchise to retain the character but not continue Snyder’s vision. However, this does not mean that Snyder’s plans are completely impossible to use.
How the Snyderverse Can Still be part of the future of the DCEU
There are rumors that Henry Cavill’s version of Superman will play a huge role in future DCEU projects, which allows some of Snyder’s plans to be repurposed in the new DCEU. Zack Snyder has planned a series of characters from several films for Superman, exploring the internal tug of war between his humanity and Kryptonian heritage, as well as his reuse of the classic blue Superman suit. In all of Superman’s appearances that take place after Justice League, he’s back in his blue suit, so the character’s arc most likely won’t be exactly what Snyder intended if used, but it could inspire future Superman stories in the DCEU, such as the Man of Steel sequel.
Zack Snyder’s reworked storylines can be used for other DCEU heroes as well. Originally, Wonder Woman was about to face her old enemy Dr. Poison again when a mad scientist released a deadly poison gas on Themyscira, a storyline that may appear in Wonder Woman 3. Snyder’s ideas for Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie could also be the basis for the sequel to “Batgirl,” and Keaton’s Batman could play the same role as Affleck in the sequel to “Justice League.” The Snyderverse may be officially defunct, but the DC Extended Universe may allow parts of it to live on in future installments.