There’s been a lot of talk about #RestoreTheSnyderVerse in the recent weeks, coming off the hype of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. And rightly so. The Snyder Cut was one of the most anticipated releases for HBOMAX and for anything in 2021 alone. So much so that it was announced nearly a year ahead of it’s release to garner subscriptions for the service. This is something they clearly had faith in. And nothing showed that faith more than the $70 million they decided to sink into it. Now the film is out and it’s universally loved. And people are demanding, #RestoreTheSnyderVerse!
But exactly how do they do that?
Well, before we venture out on resurrecting a billion dollar franchise, we should define what that franchise is. There’s been a lot of confusion amongst the fandom on what exactly is the “Snyder Verse”. Is it Snyder’s movies only? Is it films featuring Snyder’s characters? Do the films have to 100% adhere to his canon to constitute it being under the Snyder Verse? Well, there’s not exactly a clear answer, but here’s my breakdown.
CORE SNYDER VERSE
The Snyder Verse is any film that takes place and connects to Snyder’s main story. But there are tiers. The first tier is something I call, “Core Snyder Verse”. This means:
- Man Of Steel (2013)
- Batman V Superman (2016)
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
These are the core films in Snyder’s Universe. And to complete that core story would be to make Justice League 2 and 3. But we’ll get to that later.
The next subset in this tier are the “spin offs”. This includes:
- Suicide Squad (2016)
- Wonder Woman (2017)
These are films that are directly connected to Snyder’s universe, both in the characters used and in the story.
NON CANON SNYDER VERSE
The next tier is “Non Canon Snyder Verse”. These are spin offs that are based off of 2017’s Justice League. These include:
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
- Shazam! (2019)
- Birds Of Prey (2020)
- Aquaman (2018)
These stem from from the universe Snyder created. But they don’t adhere to the canon that Snyder set up.
UNRELEASED SNYDER VERSE
There is also another category of Snyder Verse related movies that I’m calling “Unreleased Snyder Verse”. These are films that were planned, but never panned out due to the change in creative direction. Some films, such as The Flash and The Batman could be considered unreleased because those are no longer the same movies when Snyder was heading the universe. Instead I’m gonna highlight films that never happened that were gonna connect to Snyder’s story. These include:
- Justice League 2 & 3
- The Batman (starring Ben Affleck)
- David Ayers Suicide Squad
- Deathstroke origin film (directed by Gareth Evans)
- Green Lantern Corps
These aren’t films that were necessarily in development. But the ideas for these were either kicked around or were announced, but never panned out.
The history of the DCEU is complicated. But this has been the way I’ve seen it for a while. It’s by no means the bible, but it’s integral for how I think Warner Bros and HBOMAX should #RestoreTheSnyderVerse.
#RESTORETHESNYDERVERSE = RESTORE SNYDERS VISION
So how do we do it?
To #RestoreTheSnyderVerse this means to first and foremost complete the 5 part arc. Which is what I called “Core Snyder Vere”. This was the Superman arc that was started in Man Of Steel and was supposed to culminate in Justice League 3. If there was a bare minimum of what #RestoreTheSnyderVerse meant, it’s those set of films.
The next part is the spin offs which would be under what I called “Unreleased Snyder Verse”. Such as The Batman (starring Ben Affleck), Deathstroke (starring Joe Manganiello), and the Cyborg film(starring Ray Fisher). Some of these were under the original slate, others have been revealed recently to have been in development.
You may be thinking, man, that’s asking for a lot. That’s cause it is. It’s not lost of many people that their demands are hefty. But the potential to make this a lucrative venture is high. And that brings me to the entire point of this article. How can HBOMAX #RestoreTheSnyderVerse successfully?
“WE CAN REBUILD”
Much like any universe you want to build, you have to build from the ground up. This allows for a loyal audience to grow so the films do well monetarily. MCU and DCEU both adopted this concept, but MCU was more successful because they started with obscure characters. This lead to minimal expectations from the general audience and when the films made a slim profit, the were still seen as a success. People forget, but every film in Marvels “Phase 1” made under half a billion dollars, except for the Ironman films, which barely crossed that mark. But their budgets were also somewhat modest. So even though they didn’t get the immense returns that they do now, they were still profitable and Marvel stayed the course.
DC was on a similar path. Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman both made profit. But DC got greedy when Avengers crossed $1 billion and they didn’t stay the course. If they did, Justice League would have been a billion dollar film.
So now, we arrive at a unique point where DC has a chance to revitalize their big team up franchise thanks to the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. #RestoreTheSnyderVerse trending over 1.5 million tweets being the proof of that. But how should they start?
“WE’VE SEEN WHAT PROMISES ARE WORTH”
While we all may want an immediate greenlight for Justice League 2 & 3. Those expectations are a bit unrealistic. And although Jason Kilar, head of Warner Media has talked about films having lofty budgets up to a billion dollars. He was talking about the distant future. Right now, HBOMAX is still a baby in terms of the streaming world, so budgets that high wont be happening for a while.
And as of now, HBOMAX invests about a $1 billion per year. So it doesn’t make sense for them to dedicate a half of that budget to one franchise. Which brings me to my point.
“WE DO HAVE SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE”
Even though this is the continuation of a franchise, this a new venture into the streaming world for DC. So budget wise, it would be wise for HBOMAX to build up the Snyder Verse from the ground up. And I can see no better project to start with than a Deathstroke series.
— JOE MANGANIELLO (@JoeManganiello) April 5, 2021
The push for a Deathstroke series has been gaining steam as of late, with fans trending #DeathstokeHBOMAX over 100k. Even Joe Manganiello has personally been pushing for it himself. He has even come out to give story details on not only his Deathstroke film that he was working on with Gareth Evans, but other projects that his character was involved in such as the scrapped Suicide Squad 2 and The Batman. So when it comes to Deathstroke, DC really has an embarrassment of riches. And I see no better way to kick off the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse campaign than with a low budget Deathstroke series that would lay the groundwork for where his character can end up.
Originally, the Deathstroke film with Raid director Gareth Evans was budgeted at $40 million. So while it’s understandable HBOMAX wouldn’t jump on the gun for an immediate Justice League 2 announcement, given the cost. A Deathstroke series seems like a no brainer. Plus you keep the DC fans apatite satiated until an inevitable #RestoreTheSnyderVerse announcement.
“ROOM FOR MORE”
Deathstroke has a unique involvement in Snyder’s DCEU. Not only is he a major player in the Knightmare timeline. He is also the main villain of the scrapped Ben Affleck Batman movie. So if his solo series is a success, the obvious next step is resurrecting The Batman film that was set to culminate with a battle between Batman, Batgirl, and Deathstroke. This would not only piggyback off the success of his solo series, but it would test the waters for Ben Affleck’s return to the role in a massive way. If he returns for a Batman mini series, he’d surely come back Snyder in Justice League 2.(Batman was set to die in Justice League 2). Why else would he lend his talents to the additional photography for the Snyder Cut that clearly sets up more?
And while all this is happening, I would venture out into the world of animation. It has been confirmed that Snyder wanted to include Green Lantern (John Stewart) to be in the end scene of his Justice League. But since that didn’t happen a good way to set that character up would be an animated project. The project whether a series or film could set up the status quo of what the Corps is up to, and it can culminate with them catching wind of the inevitable Darkseid invasion. Which would prompt Green Lantern to arrive at earth to aid in the fight.
And while we’re in the world of animation, they can do the Joker/Flash heist story that Snyder kicked around. Originally envisioned as a comic that Jim Lee would draw, Snyder wanted to tell an in between story where Joker steals a motherbox so the Flash can use it to time travel. In this story he also wanted to explore the death of Robin through a “Rashomon” concept. This would not only create synergy between all these projects, it would invest interest in the Knightmare world. Which is what the bulk of Justice League 2 is. By this point, the hype around these projects would garner so much fans, because it will have something DC never had. A plan. And if they do it right, the hunger for Justice League 2 & 3 will be so high, a greenlight will be a no brainer. And by the time we get there, the service will be able to support the budget needed.
THE SNYDER VERSE SLATE ON HBOMAX
Here’s how I would slate the HBOMAX releases to garner the most profit and synergy between properties.
- Deathstroke series (early 2023)
- David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (mid 2023)
- Green Lantern Corps animated project (early 2024)
- Knightmare Joker & Flash heist animated film (early 2025)
- Death of Robin animated film (early 2026)
- The Batman – Starring Ben Affleck (mid 2026)
- Justice League 2 & 3 (early 2027 and mid 2028) – Filmed back to back (will be a film, cut into a series)
And if we wanna get crazy, have the Deathstroke origin series include a Batman cameo. That way you build excitement for their potential squaring off. And if they really wanna connect the universe, shoot an end credit scene that will be included in David Ayers Suicide Squad, that hints at a potential sequel with Deathstroke as the villain.
As I type this I feel insane. But a part of me also feels like this would be the best way to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. Having each property connect to one other, while also expanding the universe in a big way. This would surely be of interest to HBOMAX. Especially if they wanna keep their DC fans subscribed. These projects vary in style and tone, and most importantly in budget.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League has presented them with a rare opportunity to build something great. I just hope they don’t take it for granted…
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