Sorry if I seem to be turning this site into “Zack Snyder’s DCEU” for the past day or so; but these stories, I’ve found, tend to come in clusters. (And I’ll address a possible reason why they come in clusters later in this post)
Entertainment blogger Josh Dickey—whose past credits include working for Mashable, The Wrap, TMZ, and Variety—recently announced that he was leaving that part of the biz, and reflected on certain stories he had covered in the past. One of those was regarding the departure of Justice League director Zack Snyder from the project:
Since I’m shifting into DGAF mode, here’s a hot one for ya: Zack Snyder was fired from the DCEU just over 1 year ago. Couldn’t write it ~quite~ that way at the time, but was able to tapdance around it [clumsy/oblique headline not mine]
Dickey then links to the article he did write for Mashable on the topic, that leads with this paragraph:
Zack Snyder, primary engineer of the DC Comics movie universe since Man of Steel, whose creative vision has been polarizing to say the least, will take a significantly smaller role with the franchise going forward, as will his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, Mashable has learned.
The post gives the reason for Snyder’s departure as him needing time to mourn the recentish death of his daughter by suicide—which seemed at the time, and now, to be a perfectly reasonable reason to leave the project.
But was there indeed more to it than that?
Matt Goldberg at Collider confirmed that he had heard abundant murmurings about Warner Bros firing Snyder as well:
I’d heard similar things from separate sources over the last year as well. I also heard that Snyder’s rough-cut of the movie was “unwatchable” (a word that jumped out at me because it’s rare you hear two separate sources use the exact same adjective).
But Goldberg also wrote that even if that all that were true—the fact is, Snyder did suffer the tragic loss of his daughter around the same time. It might have been a sad situation all-around.
This news hits the Internet around the same time a number of posts are up either indicating Ben Affleck’s indecision on returning to the Batman role—or his absolute alleged suckage at playing superheroes. And while I think the Dickey tweet about Snyder was “organic”—as in, not part of any coordinated PR effort—there seems to be some entity out there really interested in getting Affleck (the last “iconic” Snyder DCEU legacy outside of Henry Cavill) out the door.
And by “some entity”—I mean, I think the WB just wants to “stick a pin” into this entire affair and move on to some other iteration of the DCEU. This is why they pushed the Joaquin Phoenix Joker story last week, and the “will Jake Gyllenhaal play Batman?” rumors several weeks before that.
I also think Warners thought that by putting the Avengers director Joss Whedon in the director’s chair after Snyder to finish Justice League, they were going to “fix everything.” But it was a lot of too much, too soon (including Cavill’s “mustachegate”)—and then even Whedon himself ended up being “damaged goods.”
So anyway. That’s what I think happened with all that.