Despite spending $300 million on the production and a further $150 million on marketing, Warner Bros. are happy to pretend that Joss Whedon’s Justice League doesn’t exist, and Zack Snyder’s upcoming HBO Max exclusive will be regarded as official DCEU canon. That sentiment is certainly shared by the fans, many of whom destroyed their copies of the theatrical release when it was confirmed the Snyder Cut was finally becoming a reality.
The shared superhero universe looked to be in the midst of a reset after Justice League disappointed at the box office, with the studio keen to move on from the entire debacle. However, the Snyder Cut has softened that stance somewhat, with Ray Fisher’s Cyborg set to return alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman in The Flash, even though James Wan’s Aquaman was smart enough to barely acknowledge Justice League‘s existence at all.
Meanwhile, as a semi-prequel, Wonder Woman 1984 is free to tell a standalone story that doesn’t have to connect any narrative dots, and in a recent interview, Patty Jenkins admitted that neither she nor her fellow DCEU directors consider Joss Whedon’s take on the franchise’s all-star team as canon.
“Justice League? No, I think that all of us DC directors tossed that out just as much as the fans did. But also, I felt that version contradicted my first movie in many ways, and this current movie, which I was already in production on. So then, what are you going to do? I was like, you would have to play ball in both directions in order for that to work. The only thing I have done, and have always tried to do is, I knew when Zack was doing Justice League, where she sort of ends up. So I always tried, like, I didn’t change her suit, because I never want to. I don’t want to contradict his films, you know? But yet, I have to have my own films, and he’s been very supportive of that. And so, I think that Justice League was kind of an outlier. They were trying to turn one thing into, kind of, another. And so then it becomes, ‘I don’t recognize half of these characters. I’m not sure what’s going on’.”
That’s a damning indictment from Jenkins, but not an entirely unexpected one. After all, Zack Snyder was the person tasked with bringing Justice League to the big screen in the first place, so it makes complete sense that his version would be the one the DCEU relies on, even though it’s arriving four years later than scheduled and plenty has happened in the interim. Of course, Wonder Woman 1984 has the luxury of not having to deal with such problems, and is free to add whatever it wants to the mythology.