WB Wanted The Dark Knight Trilogy To Launch The DCEU

The Dark Knight Rises

Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel wasn’t initially announced to be the launchpad for an entire shared universe of DC Comics adaptations, but just a couple of months after the Superman reboot was released, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had been confirmed as the next installment in the nascent franchise, with Ben Affleck cast as the Caped Crusader.

Not too long ago, Snyder revealed that in the early stages of development, he toyed with connecting his expanding mythology to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, which would have seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt showing up as John Blake’s version of Batman, picking directly up from the final scenes of The Dark Knight Rises.

That obviously didn’t happen, but in a new interview David S. Goyer admitted that Warner Bros. had been trying to pressure Nolan into tying his trio of acclaimed blockbusters into the foundations of an entire DC universe, something the director resisted.

“Chris always wanted to keep the Dark Knight films as a separate entity and the studio kept wanting, understandably, to pull him into a whole DC expanded universe. Chris obviously was a producer on Man of Steel, and it’s tempting to think they were linked, but they really weren’t. I mean, I’m sure one could retroactively do it.”

Nolan did take a story credit on Man of Steel before going on to executive produce Batman v Superman and Justice League, though, while Goyer contributed to the scripts of the first two installments in the SnyderVerse trilogy. There was a lot of creative crossover between Nolan, Goyer and Snyder dating from Batman Begins right up to the release of HBO Max’ four-hour cut of Justice League, so it’s interesting that the former showed such little interest in establishing a shared set of films before striking up a partnership with the latter when he eventually got around to it, which is made even more curious by the fact Man of Steel hit theaters less than twelve months after the Dark Knight Trilogy had drawn to a close.