At least so far, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has been defined by record-breaking highs (Wonder Woman) and crushing lows (Suicide Squad). But 2016 was a particularly difficult year for Warner’s fledgling franchise.
Off the back of Man of Steel, the studio readied its titanic, crowd-pleasing flagship, Batman V Superman. Because it involved two of the biggest names in comic book history, Dawn of Justice was championed as the cinematic equivalent of a slam-dunk leading up to release – one that would easily muscle its way into Hollywood’s exclusive billion-dollar club. The end result, however, was a muddled, CG-laden mess. And don’t even get us started on Suicide Squad.
No matter what way you spin the numbers, Batman V Superman didn’t light up the box office in the way Warner Bros. would have hoped. This, coupled with the deluge of scathing reviews, reportedly left WB mulling over Zack Snyder’s future in the DC Extended Universe. And though he officially stepped down midway through production on Justice League, we’re now learning that the studio gave him the axe long before that.
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If you recall, the director decided to depart in May of 2017, but according to Mashable’s Josh L. Dickey, he was actually let go roughly a year ago today – so February of 2017. That’s several months before it was made public, which makes this reveal pretty interesting.
It’s unknown whether he was outright fired, decided to leave on his own terms, or a mix of the two, but what’s clear is that he was apparently off the film for longer than we initially thought. This also means that it’s even more unlikely he had enough time to assemble a finished cut of the pic, which squashes those rumors of there being a Zack Snyder version of Justice League hidden away in the WB vaults.
Anyways, looking ahead, next up for the DC Extended Universe is the release of Aquaman on December 21st, and in the spirit of injecting some much-needed fresh blood into Warner’s ailing franchise, Arthur Curry’s solo flick is coming by way of James Wan, Hollywood’s recognized authority on all things horror.