Zack Snyder’s “Snyderverse” trilogy (comprised of Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League) is incredibly divisive, and yet has amassed one of the largest and most influential online fanbases: how?
Cast yourself back to 2013: for the first time since 2006, a new Superman film is on the horizon, a Batman Begins-esque take on the character that would ground him in the reality of modern-day society, exploring how the world would react to the sudden appearance of a “Superman”. The trailers are promising grand and sweeping visuals and a new, “realistic” story… and then the film is released.
Reception to the film was incredibly mixed: praise was awarded to Cavill’s embodiment of the role, the stunning VFX work, and Hans Zimmer’s electric score. However, the dark tone, Michael Bay levels of destruction, and creative liberties taken with the character left a lot of fans and critics alike feeling that this was, in fact, not their Superman, pining for the days of Christopher Reeve’s optimism.
Zack Snyder Vs. The DC Universe
In 2016, the highly-anticipated sequel (more due to the popularity of the characters than Man Of Steel itself) Batman V Superman released to an even poorer reception, holding all the same criticisms as the first one, but now suffering from a muddled narrative due to studio-enforced scene cutting, leaving audiences even more displeased. Then came the director’s cut…
With the release of the films Ultimate Edition, audiences saw Snyder’s true vision of the film, and people found themselves drawn to what they loved about the original film: the darker tone, the visuals, and the lead actors’ embodiment of the roles. The creative licenses taken with the titular characters still caused comic fans distress, but more people were flocking positively to the film.
However, Warner Bros. were not impressed, and come the release of Justice League in 2017, the third film in the trilogy, utilized reshoots to turn the film into a bizarre hybrid of Snyder’s darker and grounded tone and Marvel’s more comedic and banterous adventures. The result, ironically, was a film no one liked, not Snyder’s critics nor his fans, and the Snyderverse was dead… or so it seemed.
The Snyderverse Is Dead… Long Live The Snyderverse
Following the film’s release, many Snyderverse fans came together to campaign for the Snydercut: Zack Snyder’s true vision for Justice League. With the hollow reshot film they got, audiences found themselves more appreciative of Zack’s grounded fantasy, realizing that while the characters were not true recreations of their comic selves, they still held merit in their own unique right.
Then, in a glorious moment of fandom victory, in 2021, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released following the #releasethesnydercut campaign. Reception to the film was the most positive out of the trilogy, with a fresh critics’ score and fan scores being the highest for any film Snyder has ever directed.
With the release of the Snydercut, Snyder’s true final vision was revealed, and superhero fans everywhere rejoiced for the stronger comic accuracy of characters now their arcs were complete. Audiences were overjoyed with the new directions taken with Batman and Superman without pandering to nostalgia like the 2017 cut, and a new epic standard was set for comic book movies with this 4-hour epic.