Zack Snyder is aware that he does not have your vote of confidence. During the Justice League panel at Comic Con, a good portion of the Hall H crowd, filled with die hard comic book fans, were booing him, and for valid reasons too. Batman v Superman was a film that was too ambitious for its own good, as it attempted to juggle multiple [iconic] story-lines, while taking an unorthodox approach at establishing a larger universe with well-known DC characters. Now the pressure has never been higher for Snyder, with Warner Bros closely watching over his shoulder at his every move.
This is a very crucial film for the studio, because if Wonder Woman is a success then Justice league will have to keep that much needed momentum going, but if Wonder Woman fails then Justice League must save the DC Extended Universe. Either way, I’m viewing this film as Snyder’s Hail Mary pass to finally win over both critics and fans. Perhaps with Geoff Johns and now Ben Affleck producing, they’ll guide him towards reaching that goal. Early signs suggest that could be the case.
Producers have already stated that Justice League will have less of Snyder’s “controversial flourishes” and instead have the director focus on creating a more cohesive story. Considering the reception towards BvS, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. If more of a collaborative effort and less of a dictatorship within the production process was the missing key, then Warner Bros will look even worse then they do now after Suicide Squad. Here’s an example:
You know why the Star Wars prequels were an utter disappointment? Because producers were afraid to tell George Lucas “no” on an idea they knew was bad.
A part of me feels that Warner Bros was afraid to tell Snyder “no”. Why you ask? Perhaps it had something to do with him being handpicked by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, both of who are worshiped by Warner Bros after the Dark Knight trilogy. Then Man of Steel was a modest success (far better than Green Lantern). Suddenly Snyder, a director whose majority films are received with mixed reactions, is given the keys to the universe, without a clear direction on where they wanted to go. That’s how you end up with Batman v Superman (a film with a Ultimate Cut, which I happen to love).
My hope is that Justice League will be a product of Warner Bros finally getting their sh*t together, by appointing producers who know the source material (Johns) and know how to say “no” (Affleck) on an idea they know is bad. Its not all Warner Bros at fault though for their bumpy start in the DCEU. I think Snyder is a very talented director, who can accomplish things which no other person at his position can. But he’s not nearly a strong enough director to helm an entire universe. In fact, I don’t think anyone is.
The pressure is on for Snyder to deliver a film that’s less Snyder-y. He definitely has the help this time around in Johns, Affleck, and others. While it’s encouraging to see him “all business” on set, it’s also nice to see him still have a little fun, as shown in the photo he tweeted out. Remember Warner Bros had no choice but to proceed with him, after BvS released. Speaking of the photo, it looks like Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) might be more involved in Justice League than initially thought. To that I say, “hell yes”.
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