DCEU: Warner Bros should retcon the Snyderverse instead of restoring it

For all the greatness that was Zack Snyder’ s Justice League, Warner Bros. should not restore Snyder’s vision for DC Films, they should retcon it. [Justice League Spoilers ahead] 

The hype is real, Justice League’s four-hour directors cut (a.k.a. The Snyder Cut) is amazing. DC and Snyder fans were the driving force behind the #ReleasetheSnydercut movement and it has single-handedly launched one of the best comic book movies over the last decade.

Snyder’s vision first came to life in 2013 with Man Of Steel. The unique and polarizing take of Superman’s origins set the foundation for what would eventually become known as the DCEU. In doing so, Snyder set the stage for DC Films as the alternative to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. MoS was darker in tone, different from what we’ve seen by comparison to the MCU. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice followed, giving us our first-ever live-action encounter between Batman and Superman.

For many fans, that movie failed to live up to expectations. Perhaps it’ll go down as a cult classic but a lot of critics and many fans just weren’t feeling Snyder’s vision. For this fan, that’s where I jumped off the boat. Rumors surfaced about Snyder’s planned arc for what we now call the Snyderverse. If you’ve heard, it was clear Snyder had intentions of making his universe vastly unique.

Let’s not get it twisted, there’s nothing wrong with creators tweaking comic book stories for their films. In fact, creative freedom (among other things) was something Warner Bros lacked with their DC Films. It’s partially why movies divided fans, soured critics, and failed to live up to box office expectations. Look no further than Justice League’s theatrical release.

Nevertheless, Warner Bros allowed Snyder and his team to complete the version of Justice League fans deserve. However, his true vision, the original arc isn’t happening. Though fans are now launching a “Restore the Snyderverse” movement after the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, that epic film should instead serve as an incredible series finale to the Snyderverse – not a relaunch. Yes, instead of restoring the Snyderverse, Warner Bros should retcon it and use its remnants to create something new.

Death of Dick Grayson in the DCEU

Snyder had the Midas touch with the rerelease of Justice League, but that doesn’t mean everything he wanted to do was gold. One major story within his universe fans couldn’t get behind was Dick Grayson’s apparent death. In case you haven’t heard, that Robin suit in Batman v Superman was that of the first Robin, aka Dick Grayson.

According to Snyder, The Joker (Jared Leto) murdered Dick Grayson – which was responsible for sending Batman over the edge and creating the cold-blooded Dark Knight we see in Batman v Superman. However, fans did not love the idea of killing off the beloved Robin (in spite of the fact he has died in the comics before).

Of course, Warner Bros could always alter the story a bit if they were to write around what the Snyderverse set in motion, suggesting that it’s not Dick’s Robin suit but Jason Todd’s (the Robin who the Joker does kill in the comics). This would also somewhat retcon Suicide Squad‘s version of the Joker. The platinum grill could be the result of Nightwing bashing his teeth in and nearly killing him. Perhaps Dick and Bruce are then at odds over Bruce’s unwillingness to allow him to kill the Joker. Meanwhile, Bruce could conclude that Gotham needs to fear him unlike ever before – and thus the murderous Batman in BvS is born.

In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, The Joker asks him why he would “send a Boy Wonder to do a man’s job.” That could also be rewritten as Dick seeking revenge for Jason Todd’s death (instead of implying that he killed Dick). After laying waste to Dick, he would spraypaint the suit and Bruce would leave it up as a reminder. Good, right?

Either way, this leaves the window open for a DCEU Batman prequel based on Frank Miller’s classic A Death in the Family. Ben Affleck doesn’t need to return either, there’s a way to make it happen without him. After all, there is a new beacon of light hailing from the darkness.

Son of Superman

When it comes to Superman, Snyder very much did him justice. He gave us a unique take on the Last Son of Krypton and his Kryptonian mythos.

However for all the greatness that was, one major blow to Superman’s bloodline didn’t sit right with fans and that was Lois Lane’s teased pregnancy. That in and of itself isn’t an issue, what he had planned for the child’s arc was. Snyder sat down with Esquire magazine and divulged what his plan was, revealing that the child of Superman and Lois, who has no powers, would become Batman when he was of age.

Let that sink in. In this massive story arc, we would have not seen Dick Grayson take the mantle of Batman (or at all). There would not have been Terry McGinnis or a Batman Beyond to carry on the legacy of the Caped Crusader. Nope, instead we would have gotten the son of Superman and Lois dressed up as the Bat.

If Warner Bros. were to move forward with a young Jonathan Kent’s story, instead of having him become part of the Bat-Family, why not just give him a story all of his own? Imagine a coming-of-age story about Jon Kent who has been grounded, literally. That is until he’s forced to use his powers to fend off evil while his father is away. It’d be a great idea for one-off movie suited for HBO Max. And after The CW’s success exploring the Man of Steel’s family in Superman and Lois, it would definitely be worth a try.

Long live the Caped Crusader

Ben Affleck shined as the Dark Knight, once again silencing the naysayers with his epic performance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. We never got a chance to see Affleck in a Batman solo film, but all hope isn’t lost just yet as Andy Muschietti’s upcoming The Flash will see him suit up as the Dark Knight once again. Unfortunately, that will be the last time we’ll get to see Batfleck.

Zack Snyder's Justice League, DCEU, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman

Ray Fisher (Cyborg / Victor Stone), Ezra Miller (The Flash / Barry Allen), Ben Affleck (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Henry Cavill (Superman / Clark Kent), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), Jason Momoa (Aquaman / Arthur Curry) in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max

Even before Affleck hung up the cape, however, Snyder had plans to have Batman die in a Justice League sequel. Despite the many renditions of the Caped Crusader, we aren’t ready to say goodbye to the Batman in the DCEU. So let’s scrap that idea and do something else.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman will give us another version of the hero in a universe that is not part of the DCEU. Robert Pattinson will play Bruce Wayne in that installment so why not make that Batman very much part of the DCEU by way of Flashpoint? No matter what happens with the timeline, Pattinson’s Batman should replace Ben Affleck’s in the new DCEU.

Post-Flashpoint, The Batman trilogy could then be one giant prequel to the war-torn hero we saw in Justice League, allowing the character to carry on the DCEU but without the weight of the story that Snyder’s movies won’t be allowed to complete (simply because they will be DCEU prequels set in an alternate universe).

Merging the multiverse is something we’ve seen play out on The CW’s Arrowverse. While we’re expecting something similar to take place on the big screen through The Flash, it should involve Reeves’ Batman trilogy, bringing in Pattison’s Dark Knight to replace Ben Affleck as the primary Caped Crusader in the DCEU. This would be a tidy way of allowing Affleck to get the departure from the DCEU that he seemingly wants while still paying tribute to everything Snyder did beforehand – especially if we were to see Leto’s Knightmare Joker face-off with Pattison’s Batman at some point.

While people are readying themselves for a push back against Warner Bros, I say slow down. Snyder gave WB an excellent foundation to build a new DCEU, so allow them to build it and see where it goes from there.

Check out Snyder’s Justice League streaming now exclusively on HBO Max.

Would you like to see Warner Bros. restore the Snyderverse or do you think it acts as the perfect catalyst to build a new DCEU? Let us know in the comments below!