It’s been close to impossible for a long time to try and predict what Warner Bros. and DC Films have in store for their raft of comic book properties, which is probably because the key people involved in those decisions don’t really know, either.
The DCEU was originally launched as a shared cinematic universe to try and replicate the formula that had brought Marvel Studios so much success, but a lot of the early movies were heavily compromised by studio interference. Eventually, any notion of an overarching continuity was slowly eroded, even though blockbusters like Aquaman, Shazam! and Birds of Prey are still technically tied to Zack Snyder’s efforts through references, characters and previous interactions, while standalone projects including Joker and The Batman also sprang up.
Of course, things are a lot murkier now that WarnerMedia is poised to be merged with Discovery, creating a huge new multimedia conglomerate that’s set to eliminate a massive amount of deadwood at the boardroom level. How everything eventually shakes out remains to be seen, but a report from Geekosity is claiming that once the deal goes through, the doors could open to SnyderVerse favorites like Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman returning to the big screen in theatrical releases.
“[Discovery CEO] David Zaslav is interested in making the DC Films connected like it was with Zack Snyder’s DCEU,” writes Geekosity.
“This is what the Snyderverse truly is. He plans to restore it, but he will still evaluate The Snyder Cut numbers on HBO Max. This means that Ben Affleck’s Batman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, and all other characters and actors may have a chance to return theatrically.”
Obviously, the analysis of social media trends, hashtags and the restoration of the SnyderVerse is going to be nowhere near the first thing on the agenda when a $100 billion merger occurs, but it might find its way onto the to-do list eventually. In any case, Affleck’s future as Batman appears to be entirely in his own hands and completely up for debate until The Flash is released next year, while Cavill’s future is much more uncertain, although he does at least remain under contract as the DCEU’s Superman for now.