Netflix and DC – two franchises, two exits, two months. Henry Cavill sparked controversy with his back-to-back high-profile step down from his role as Geralt from Netflix’s The Witcher and Superman after his incredible run in Zack Snyder’s Justice League trilogy (and one mishandled Black Adam cameo). As beloved as his roles were and Cavill’s representation of them, external factors involving the production did not allow for the progression of the actor’s tenure in these career-defining projects. And long before the audience got a taste of what could possibly go wrong, Henry Cavill had forewarned the production of how not to approach the Justice League adaptation.
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Henry Cavill Reveals His Vision For Justice League
The duo that began it all – Henry Cavill and Zack Snyder – had a blueprint for the larger-than-life story that was destined for the silver screen ever since Man of Steel took off. Both of them visionaries and ambitious in their own right, Cavill and Snyder packed a punch when it came to envisioning an idea and executing it on screen. As such, what began with a brutally realistic Superman origin story, soon awaited the culmination event: the Justice League showdown against Desaad, Steppenwolf, and Darkseid.
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But for all of it to come true, and in a spectacular fashion that would be unrivaled and unparalleled in its cinematic scale, Cavill insisted that the production had to take it slow:
“Justice League could be great if done correctly. It’s a very tough one to do because the DC comic heroes are all god-like in their power. So in this real-world universe, real-world setting we’re telling our story in, it’s going to be tough to achieve that. It has to be done very delicately with a lot of thought. So, it won’t be right away. I hope it’s not, anyway. It may take some time of building up other movies and other characters and introducing them together in one way or another. … I think it would be great to do, but I don’t think it’s around the corner.”
But the DCEU Superman was proven wrong in his assumption as Man of Steel was quickly followed by the Batman v Superman showdown and the Justice League arc – all within 4 years of each other.
Was Zack Snyder Rushed by DC and Warner Bros.?
If there is one thing that has led to numerous conflicts and contests on film sets, it is the difference in opinion between the creatively inclined mind of the director and the business instincts of the producers. While delivering the best story ever told occupies the mind of the one behind the lens, those in the suit are more concerned with profitability and getting a return on that investment. It’s not a far reach from there to imagine that Warner Bros. Studios played a part in obscuring the range and extent of Snyder’s vision in the hopes of a quick profit. In a Collider interview, the BvS director claimed:
“Listen, I said to [Warner Bros.], ‘My feeling about the DC universe and about Superman in general, is that Superman’s gotta work. Right? When Superman works, then you can talk about your Green Lanterns and your Aquamen and whatever else you want to do.’”
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The revelation does indicate an influence of the studio to push for more superhero stories even before Superman was fully formulated. 5 years later, the director, although weighed down by personal tragedy, came back to finish what he started, but the waters had muddied too far beyond recognition. And even though his ambition and nostalgia dragged back the public to the controversially doomed DCEU, the Snyder’s Cut was not enough to convince DC to carve out a niche in their Elseworlds narrative where the SnyderVerse could reside. Perhaps, if all parties involved had trusted the process instead of rushing to lock down the narrative, we might have gotten the 5-part Justice League story that the DC cinematic canon truly deserved.
Zack Snyder’s DCEU films are available for streaming on HBO Max.