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DC fans meme WB’s many failed live-action universes

It's fair to wonder what DC would be today had Tim Burton made his Nicolas Cage Superman movie.

Justice League
Image via Warner Bros.

What started out as the typical post from a Zack Snyder fan mourning the loss of the director’s vision for a DC shared universe spiraled out of control into a full-blown meme Friday, thanks to the shenanigans of various Reddit users on the r/DC_Cinematic subreddit.

“WB already had a Plan It was Called Snyderverse” was the caption for the initial, totally sincere post from the Reddit user u/Longjumping_Report72 in an apparent reference to Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav’s recent announcement of starting a 10-year plan for DC following the newly merged company’s formation.

It wasn’t long before the post, which gained over two thousand upvotes in less than a day, became parodied into oblivion by other users, calling attention to the many seemingly failed DC cinematic universes that have unfolded over the years.

For example, Tim Burton helmed the acclaimed Batman duology of the late 1980s and early ’90s, starring Michael Keaton. But had Burton’s planned Superman movie — which had been slated to star Nicolas Cage — not fallen through, perhaps we could’ve had a “Burtonverse,” the Reddit user u/Nindroidgamer110 pointed out.

If that weren’t enough, Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller even had a DC project in the works that ended up being shelved, called Justice League: Mortal. Might that have been the superhero franchise that launched DC into the box office stratosphere, should it have been completed? The Reddit user u/HourDetective certainly thinks so.

“They had a plan. It was called the Junior Lifeguard Association,” was the Reddit user u/AverageBry’s satirical post, in reference to the superhero team-up we saw in the beloved 2000s WB show Smallville.

In what can only be described as a deep cut, the Reddit user u/egomann even made reference to the 1997 made-for-TV movie Justice League of America, which aired to critical panning on CBS.

And of course, the CW’s current Arrowverse was granted its own post by the Reddit user u/MandrewManson.

Even the obscure Legends of the Superheroes miniseries — which starred Adam West as Batman, and aired in 1979 on NBC — got a shout-out by Reddit user u/TheDjSKP.

It’s a good thing DC fans still have a sense of humor at all, given how the movie franchise seemingly struggled for so many years to maintain the same quality and quantity of films pumped out by Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stay strong, fandom.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'