Why You May Not See Any More Zack Snyder DC Films After Justice League

It's a question that philosophers have grappled with since time immemorial: What happens when there's no more Justice League for Snyder to cut? For all of 2020, an otherwise uneventful year, fans have been so focused on the creation, distribution, and appreciation of the Snyder Cut that they may have lost sight of what comes next.

The forecast, unfortunately, looks bleak. A recent New York Times report discussing the state of the DC Extended Universe outlined some of Warner Bros.' plans for the future, and the studio appears to have a grim read on Snyder's contributions. The article, which focuses on DC Films president Walter Hamada, paints a picture of the company's proposed approach to production over the next few years, with big-budget event films backed up by smaller HBO Max movies and spin-off television series. "With every movie that we're looking at now, we are thinking, 'What's the potential Max spinoff?'" Hamada states in the interview, solidifying John Cena's Peacemaker series as the studio's new normal.

But there's a problem: Zack Snyder's Justice League, which is scheduled to debut in 2021, apparently doesn't bring that sweet cross-platform synergy to the table.

The Snyder Cut might be the end of the road

Unnamed Warner Bros. executives were quoted by The New York Times referring to the Snyder Cut as a "storytelling cul-de-sac," which Legends of Tomorrow fans will recall is a street that ends in a circle. Essentially, the four-hour multi-part series is seen as a dead end.

This view comes despite DC Films' new multiverse-centric approach to storytelling, where continuity takes a backseat to plot and creative panache. The studio's upcoming adaptation of The Flash is set to reintroduce old favorites from across the company's decades of intellectual property, with the return of Michael Keaton's Batman alongside Ben Affleck's take on Gotham's Dark Knight. While this no-wrong-answers angle seems tailor-made for continuing whatever version of the DCEU is available, execs apparently see Snyder's cinematic universe as incompatible with what's being planned. "At least for now, Mr. Snyder is not part of the new DC Films blueprint," The New York Times reports.

Even with this news — and Zack Snyder's reluctance to say whether he'd return to the DC fold if asked — comics and the entertainment industry in general are the lands of second chances for anything popular enough. Warner Bros.' enthusiasm for entering the Snyderverse might rekindle if the Snyder Cut sees a warm enough reception. For now, however, any plans for a post-Justice League story appear to be deader than Superman.