The road to ‘Restore the Snyderverse’ lies through a zombie infested Las Vegas…
CROSSING THE LINE
If the zombies from Army of the Dead actually existed, they’d definitely run Warner Bros. in a more effective manner than the current management. If you were under the impression that we live in a capitalist society where ego is a distant memory and only profits matter, think again. Warner Bros. is living proof that people will double down on their egotistic behavior even when confronted with the opportunity to make millions in profits.
After a 3 year struggle and numerous racist allegations later, WB finally agreed to release the fabled Snydercut in March 2021. The reception was overwhelmingly positive amongst fans, general audiences and even critics alike. Everyone agreed that Zack Snyder’s Justice League was light years better than the Joss Whedon created mess of 2017. It had a lot of heart, well rounded characters and epic action.
Snyder knowing that this was perhaps his last chance to complete his planned 3 movie arc for Justice League, packed in every cliffhanger possible. From an escaped Lex Luthor revealing Batman’s identity, to Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke, to more of the evil Superman timeline, and to the arrival of a new superhero in Ryan Choi’s Atom. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is like the perfect bikini- it holds back the best parts and still shows a lot. Naturally there was a call from fans to ‘Restore the Snyderverse’ i.e. allow Snyder to finish his arc.
WB could have immediately capitalized on this, announced a sequel, spin-offs for characters like Deathstroke, Ryan Choi’s The Atom, Cyborg etc. But in their infinite wisdom, they would go on to not only promote the ‘Snyder Cut’ as a conclusion to a ‘trilogy’ (third movie after Man of Steel and Batman V Superman) but would also go further to hide the actual viewership numbers for such a massive global event. To add insult to ineptitude, they also would go on to use Snyder’s footage to promote a 4k version of the 2017 version that the world collectively spit on. (the trailer has around 120k dislikes currently).
In a recent interview, Zack Snyder who is usually very diplomatic or reserved about his relationship with WB would publicly go on to say that WB is very ‘anti-Snyder’ right now.
MUST THERE BE A SNYDERVERSE?
So unlike the Release the Snyder cut movement, the restoring part is a lot harder. There is no existing footage to capitalize on, the lead actors will be moving to other projects and mainly WB just isn’t interested. But fans must ask themselves, is it even worth it to have Snyder come back? Is it worth it to put him through the circus of execs with runtime mandates and abusive studio behavior?
If the movement was for artistic freedom and integrity, then there cant be any better artistic freedom than what Snyder has right now at Netflix. Look at how Netflix is rolling out the red carpet for him. Army of the Dead was a concept Snyder had developed several years ago. WB had passed on it and Netflix bought the rights in 2018. They gave him a big budget by Netflix standards (USD 90 million) and set up a prequel animated series and a spin off movie even before the movie is released.
Snyder is getting to create his own cinematic universe with his own rules and with complete artistic freedom. Can you remember the last time you saw an original (one that is not an adaptation of a book or series) cinematic universe?
Perhaps the Pirates of the Caribbean movies or John Wick or maybe the Alien movies. Army of the Dead is going to be the first original cinematic universe with its own mythology and world building in a long time. To have someone like Snyder be its chief architect is something every fan should be excited for.
But the DC ‘Snyderverse’ isn’t actually going anywhere, no matter how hard WB tries to erase it. Snyder has provided them with a profitable platform to milk on. Look at the last successful DCEU movies they made: Aquaman, WW84 and Joker (which is the the exception that proves that people are open to deeper, director driven movies from DC). Both Aquaman and WW84 try hard to erase its Snyderverse origins but end up doing things like having Steppenwolf mentions, having visual parallels in Aquaman, and using ‘the beautiful lie’ theme from Batman V Superman in WW84. Even the two less successful movies – Shazam! and Birds of Prey– have characters and references to the Snyderverse.
Black Adam is connected to Shazam! and will definitely have references to Shazam! and hence the Snyderverse. The Suicide Squad has Harley Quinn (who may not be a Snyder created character but is part of the OG DCEU that Snyder helped create) and other characters from David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. The Flash though it may or may not have that Ray Fisher/Cyborg role now, it reportedly has Ben Affleck in it. ‘Aquaman 2′ is a continuation of Aquaman which is a character Snyder adapted to the big screen. Except Matt Reeves’ The Batman, almost all the existing slate has the Snyderverse woven in their DNA.
If you wish to see the conclusion to Snyder’s Superman arc, a way must be found to help that DNA evolve again.
KNOWING WHAT TO KEEP
Unfortunately, merely hashtagging like before is not going to work. Fighting with WB, boycotting their movies or cancelling HBO Max subscriptions is not going to work either. There was news recently that Toby Emmerich (Chief Ego Officer) of Warner Media might be looking to move out soon, while Walter Hamada (DC films president) and other unnamed execs are still there. But as of now there is no timetable for these changes yet, except that Emerich’s contract with Warner Bros ends in 2022.
The only way then, to stick the middle finger in WB’s face is to let them know what they are missing. But all joking and ego’s aside; money talks. WB may not be listening right now, but they can’t be deaf for long. All you have to do to make money sing is watch Army of The Dead on Netflix. The success of Army of The Dead will definitely open doors for Snyder. Also, tell your friends about it, your neighbors, your families, etc… This is the way Army of the Dead can be more successful than Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
And here’s how Army of The Dead actually has a better chance of making a bigger viewership impact than Zack Snyder’s Justice League:
- Unlike HBO Max, Netflix is available easily worldwide. Most people already have a subscription.
- Netflix is aggressively marketing this movie. They are supporting it wholeheartedly unlike HBO Max/WB.
- This is the 1st movie in that universe and unlike CBM’s is easier for general audience to get into it.
- Who doesn’t love a 2.5 hours zombie action movie which embraces the genre yet bends it?
- It also has a prequel Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas and a spinoff movie Army of Thieves in the works.
- Also, Zombie tiger. Yes ZOMBIE TIGER. Say that to your friends. Unlike the Snydercut where you have to explain the backstory…there is nothing to explain. Just ask your friends if they wanna see what happens when Dave Bautista fights a ZOMBIE TIGER while trying to rob 250 million dollars out of Vegas and I guarantee you they would be onboard!
The good fight is the fight where we protect the things we love not try to destroy what we hate. If there’s any hope of wanting the Snyderverse to be restored or at least respected, then fans must wholeheartedly support the ‘Army-verse.’
Army of the Dead stars Dave Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, Ella Purnell, Huma Qureshi and others. It streams on Netflix world over on May 21st and opens to select theatres in US (you lucky bastards). It is directed, produced, shot and written by Zack Snyder.
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