It’s no secret one of the most polarizing conversations to have in nerd circles is the affect Zack Snyder had on the DC Extended Universe.
You may as well crack open “How do you feel about the President” in a diversity and inclusion board meeting or “Can we finally get serious about gun control” in the midst of an NRA convention.
For some peculiar reason, no one can agree about how Zack Snyder should be lauded for his storytelling prowess and movie making agility. Apparently, this same topic led to some strenuous thumb wrestling and vitriolic name calling at Warner Bros.
Following Zack’s awful and unimaginable family tragedy, WB brought in Avengers and Age of Ultron screenwriter and director Joss Whedon to trim everything up. Regretfully, the trimming became a hack job of epic proportions leaving many DC acolytes to demand “The Snyder Cut,” which may or may not actually exist.
Suffice to say, Joss Whedon left us with a vision of the Justice League that may have been slightly askew from Snyder’s vision. One of the people who noticed the discernible difference was Aquaman’s director James Wan.
It All Comes Out In the Wash
This forbidden topic comes up because of the ‘Fire and Water Podcast,” which featured test screener for both Justice League and Aquaman, Neil Daly.
On the podcast, Daly shared that Whedon was responsible for the “teenage boy sexual humor” in Justice League. Following the “creep factor” he shares, we learn that Wan believed the King of Atlantis needed to go against the stream.
So, he called Zack Snyder–much to the chagrin of WB executives.
We could have gotten a whole movie about Aquaman basically fawning over Mera the whole time and making all kinds of dirty jokes and things like that and they really had to get away from that, which is all what Whedon had done, so Snyder had a little bit of an influence on Aquaman.
I love how Daly notes “a little bit of an influence.” When the young Jedi goes to Yoda, it’s a bit more than a “little bit.” Daly continues…
James Wan was showing Zack Snyder – against the studio’s wishes – cuts of the movie and early test screenings and storyboards to make sure that they’re on the same page with what he originally wanted and Snyder gave his blessing of approval, bringing it back to what he wanted all along.
Two things are deftly idiosyncratic here:
First, we’ve always thought WB did Zack wrong but to not even want his input on what could be the studio’s welcome back party?! That’s lunacy. They’ve had financial success, even the bad movies. But the fans have execrated half of the DC / WB joint efforts because of poor storytelling, lack of connection to canon, and overall vision for a fanboy and fangirl experience.
Next, Zack gave his “blessing of approval.” Wan made his own movie — his way, his vision, his signature. Nonetheless, he understood how everything began and how Arthur Curry was supposed to be. So, while he casually distanced Aquaman from Justice League, he carefully kept this aligned with what Zack originally wanted.
The moral of the story is this: If Walter Hamada doesn’t back a Brinks truck up to James Wan’s house to replace Zack Snyder as the chief visionary behind the ‘Worlds of DC’ or whatever the hell WB wants to call it, there is something really wrong.
DC has a direction. Finally. Woe to all the CBM fans if they wander off the dirt road to take a piss again.