James Gunn was always going to radically transform the DCU, but most fans were hoping the changes would be for the better. His tenure as Warner Bros.’ answer to Kevin Feige got off to a terrible start yesterday when he confirmed that Henry Cavill won’t be returning as Superman. It was only in October that Cavill confirmed he was returning amidst a blaze of publicity. Now, in a situation that’ll be sadly familiar to longtime DC fans, the brakes have been slammed on and we’re making a U-turn.
With this looking like the final nail hammered into the coffin of the SnyderVerse, many fans are wondering what’s the point of seeing upcoming “DCEU” films like Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom when all signs point to a massive continuity reset coming very soon. Warner Bros. has a reputation for cancelling almost-complete projects after Batgirl, so could this happen here?
It’s a fair question, though the most sensible answer is that the vast majority of audiences don’t care about backstage wrangling and continuity issues:
The counterpoint is that a long-running MCU-style story keeps audiences invested in the long-term, and knowing they can have the rug pulled out from under them at any time hurts that:
Are these movies now just tax write-offs?
Even diehard DC fans are feeling deflated:
Where we go from here is anyone’s guess, but all signs point to Gunn clearing house over at Warner Bros. Wonder Woman 3 hit the skids, Jason Momoa is reportedly being recast as Lobo, and the status of The Flash remains unknown.
One thing’s for sure: with this move, James Gunn has generated a lot of bad blood from fans, and that trust is going to take a long time to rebuild.