DC fans aren’t happy with James Gunn — not one bit. Even though the success of The Suicide Squad (2021) made up for the disaster that was its predecessor — Suicide Squad — back in 2016, it wasn’t enough for comic readers and film fanatics alike to collectively decide that as far as the future of the DCU is concerned, James Gunn is no longer fit for the job.
Rumors have been spreading that James Gunn will be rebooting the DCU, especially following supposed speculation that the planned Wonder Woman sequel was getting canned and Henry Cavill’s cameo in The Flash wasn’t happening anymore. It certainly looks as if the DCU is after a clean slate, but after evidence pointed to Gunn taking over, the fans were in uproar over the likely scenario, suggesting that Zack Snyder should be appointed instead. From there, the #BringBackZackSnyder movement was born.
Essentially, the #BringBackZackSnyder movement is a form of protest created by the DC fans to prevent James Gunn from taking over as DC’s new head. It’s been argued that Zack Snyder has singlehandedly created some of the best content to come from DC in the past few decades, including 2013’s Man of Steel, 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. Meanwhile, there’s Gunn’s contributions to the cinematic universe; the Peacemaker series and the two Suicide Squad flops. There’s really no comparison.
So, James Gunn isn’t in the good graces of DC fans anymore, especially not after The Suicide Squad fiasco. It was a marginal improvement on the 2016 predecessor, but it still wasn’t at the same level of comic accuracy, diversity, flair and excitement as Zack Snyder’s projects. There’s several reasons why DC fans might want Snyder to take over in Gunn’s place; many want to see Ben Affleck return as Batman (separate to Matt Reeves’ Batverse in which Robert Pattinson portrays Bruce Wayne), plus there’s a handful of projects (Justice League 2, 3, Man of Steel 2, Cyborg, Flashpoint, etc) that never made it to the production stage because Gunn felt the need to rehash the same characters and retell the same stories, whereas Snyder was more open to elevating the DCU to the same level as the MCU.
Perhaps the main reason for bringing back Zack Snyder is to continue the Justice League arc, which would provide origin stories for several Justice League members, as well as follow on from Justice League to expand their involvement as individuals and as a team in a similar manner to Marvel’s Avengers. But who knows? The internet can be very persuasive, so maybe the #BringBackZackSnyder movement will catch the eye of some corporate bigwig and they’ll be changes to DC’s system going forward. Hopefully.