One year later, ‘Restore the SnyderVerse’ continues to trend

A photo of DC Comics’ Justice League superheroes
Image via DC Films

On the one-year anniversary of the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, fans continue their petition to restore the so-called “SnyderVerse.”

DC still has a shared cinematic universe, sometimes called the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), but Snyder is no longer the visionary stewarding that ship. After his first two films to kick off the interconnected storylines — Man of Steel and Batman v Superman — received mixed to poor critical receptions when they released in theaters, Joss Whedon took over directing duties for Justice League. This occurred at a time when Snyder had nearly completed the project, but had to abruptly depart due to a family tragedy.

With quip-filled reshoots, re-edits and a more saccharine color pallet, the theatrical release ultimately gave a directing credit to Whedon, not Snyder. The 2017 end result, sometimes jokingly called the Josstice League,” was poorly received by critics and for many represents the absolute low point of the DCEU.

Snyder’s original version, rebranded as Zack Snyder’s Justice League and released on March 18, 2021, on HBO Max, gave fans and critics alike a taste of the director’s original vision for where DC would be headed if he was still steering the ship.

“If sequels have a chance of being made, I’m all for it!” one Twitter user said.

The straight-to-streaming release was much more critically acclaimed; in fact, we ranked it among the best movies of 2021.

It was a unique case study because the film’s eventual release was arguably the result of Snyder’s fan base demanding Warner Bros. make it available. Some weren’t even sure if the “Snyder Cut” even existed. But the doubters were proved wrong — and in the midst of a global pandemic where re-releasing a re-cut version of a film for streaming actually does make good business sense — HBO Max debuted what they later described as the “global phenomenon” of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

“I don’t care how many times they told us to move on. They never stopped us. Not us united. Now let’s #RestoreTheSnyderVerse,” one fan wrote.

“The story should and must continue,” another Twitter user remarked.

Even though there is a hit DC film in theaters now, The Batman; the Matt Reeves-directed project doesn’t take place in the DCEU, but rather its own, self-contained universe. There was a point early in production when Ben Affleck was set to direct and star, continuing his storyline from the Snyder-era of DC.

One of the plot elements for the now-defunct Affleck Batman film was seemingly set up in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, with a cameo by Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke poised as the main antagonist. Although we never got to see Batfleck and Deathstroke duke it out on the big screen, some concept art by Keith Christensen has recently surfaced to give us a taste of what we missed.

We love The Batman, don’t get us wrong. But if you ask us, we’d frankly welcome a separate exploration of the world of Snyder’s DC vision — even if it is in an HBO Max Original limited series, let’s say — if WB and Snyder can ever come together again for such a thing.

One fan was even kind enough to craft an original piece of promotional art for the rhetorical project. C’mon DC, you have a built-in fanbase for your next original series. Could this be the next Peacemaker?

Speaking of untapped potential, how about a continuation of Snyder’s dystopian vision of the future where Batman and Joker team up to battle a fascist Superman that was teased at the very end of ZSJL? Jared Leto may not be the GOAT when it comes to cinematic Jokers, but we’d be willing to see more of him in this context, for sure.

With the worlds of streaming and cinema seemingly combining in ways never before imagined, who knows what the future may hold for the SnyderVerse. We never thought the Snyder Cut would be released, after all, but here we are.