2016 was a tumultuous year for Warner Bros. and the DCEU, what with Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad bombing with critics, despite high box office returns. While 2017’s Wonder Woman gained both critical and box office praise, Justice League, which came out that same year, did not. And while Aquaman seems to be steering the franchise back in the right direction, it’s always curious to go back and wonder what happened with those other films, the ones that really should have delivered right out of the gate. Fans and audiences have been theorizing what went wrong for the past few years, and while many make good points, there hasn’t been too concrete of a reason.
Industry Insider Neil Daly recently appeared on the Fire and Water podcast, where he gave out some tidbits, including the fact that Zack Snyder, who directed Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League (before stepping aside due to a family tragedy, giving Joss Whedon the reigns for reshoots), had wanted to make solo films for each of the characters before going off onto Justice League. This didn’t jive with Warner Bros.’s plans, however.
Daly claims that Snyder hadn’t wanted to rush straight into Justice League after Man of Steel. He thought there should have been solo films for each of the heroes that were introduced in Batman v Superman, but Warner Bros. spurred on by the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wanted to accelerate things. Snyder, according to Daly had a six-film plan, and wouldn’t have directed all of these solo films. Rather he would have let other directors flesh out the characters in sync with his vision, while he worked on finishing the main arc of the DCEU, which would have consisted of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Justice League, Man of Steel 2, Justice League 2, and Justice League 3.
We’ve heard in the past that Snyder had a specific plan in mind going forward with the DCEU, and while not everything he set out to do may have been in line with what fans wanted, we can wholeheartedly agree that using solo films to introduce each character before Justice League would have probably made for a better film. Just because Marvel did it doesn’t mean the format is off limits. And again, despite the mishaps of the past, the DCEU is in a better place now than it had hoped for. Aquaman is certainly the crowd pleaser, and we can only hope the same for Shazam! when it comes out soon.
What do you think of these insider tidbits? Would you have liked to see Zack Snyder’s plan make it to the screen? Let us know in the comments below!!
David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) has directed from a script written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. Shazam! is being produced by New Line Cinema in conjunction with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.
Shazam! stars Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Faithe Herman, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans and Djimon Hounsou. Here’s the official synopsis for DC’s Shazam!:
“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).”
Shazam! will be released in theaters on April 5, 2019, and will be followed by Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020. A standalone Joker film set outside of the DC Films universe starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime is also set to hit theaters October 4, 2019.
Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on the future of the DC Films franchise as we learn it.