Consider the following op-ed as a sequel to THIS by yours truly from 2018. Now, back to the periphery…
Yes, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is going to be released sometime in 2021 on HBO Max — something I admittedly thought would never happen.
Well, for one thing, doing so would go against the entire narrative (*ahem* lie/cover story) that Joss Whedon was brought in by Warner Bros. simply to “finish Zack’s vision of the film — which 99.9% of y’all reading this right now bought hook, line, and sinker.
Secondly, it’s not like Mr. Snyder’s MAN OF STEEL (which I borderline love and have said so many times) and BATMAN v SUPERMAN were beloved all-around successes — especially BvS which pretty much resoundingly turned the mainstream audience off. As a result, they didn’t show up a year and a half later for JUSTICE LEAGUE — which flopped like a fish on a dock.
And most significantly, I never thought Warner Bros. Pictures would spend the significant amount of money — like $30 million-plus — it would take to finish the film.
But they did, well, kinda. I’ll put it this way: ZSJL is basically an HBO Max production, not WBP’s.
Nevertheless, money is indeed being spent and ZSJL will air on the aforementioned HBO Max as a limited series at some point in 2021.
Now, here’s the bottom line: ZSJL should be a one-off.
Let Mr. Snyder finish the film as he originally envisioned (and truth be told, WBP signed off on…though they ended up with MAJOR buyer’s regret) and give him, his team, and his fans some closure. But no way in hell does the DC Snyderverse need to continue afterward.
Characters birthed in the Snyderverse will continue on — Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman for example — but no ZSJL parts 2, 3, or 10. AND…
No solo BvS/JL Batman film or HBO Max mini/limited series with Ben Affleck.
Well at the very top of the list of reasons is that Ben Affleck is done with playing Batman and has been for pretty much three years now. He moved on and so should the Batfleck fans. (Remember Batfleckers, you’ll always have BvS, JL, the cameo in SUICIDE SQUAD, and of course, ZSJL.) Keep in mind that Affleck wanted to exit the role — and directing a solo Batman movie — as much as Warner Bros. wanted to reboot Batman on film and go in another direction. (I say that as someone who once was a Batflecker and not only celebrated when he was cast as Batman back in 2013, but long wanted him to direct a solo Batman movie.)
Secondly, it’s not like the depiction of Batman in BvS was all that, well, good. While Affleck’s performance in the film was one of his best as an actor, many fans, and certainly the general audience, didn’t take too kindly to a burned-out, boozing, pill-popping, deconstructed Batman who brands and kills people.
And of course, there’s THIS…
So, you mean to suggest that even though there’s a new cinematic incarnation of Batman on the way with director Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN starring Robert Pattinson, Warner Bros. is going to be OK with another live-action version of Batman — one that basically failed — running concurrently? And Ben Affleck, who publicly walked away from the role, is now going to return to it? Well…
Even if Ben Affleck was on board to return, it simply doesn’t make any sense for live-action Batman to compete against, well, live-action Batman — even if it’s not a theatrical release. (There’s only ONE previous incarnation of Batman on film that would be OK to exist alongside Battinson, period.)
(Can we cut Ben Affleck some slack for chrissakes?! He got a bunch of unwarranted shit when he got the Batman gig 7 years ago, and now there are folks clamoring for him to return to the role! He knew his time was up, so his decision should be respected.)
All of the Batman on film eggs are in THE BATMAN‘s basket now, as they should be. I don’t know about 30 weight ball bearings, but it’s all THE BATMAN nowadays.
It’s time to look forward and not to the past.
Of course, the BvS/JL Batman is still “out there,” so to speak, somewhere in the periphery of what’s left of the “DCEU.”
And in that ether, he needs to stay…220, 221, whatever it takes. – Bill “Jett” Ramey