After the tremendous success of the film, Wonder Woman, DC fans are filled with hope and optimism. The movie nullifies whatever went wrong in DC’s previous movies and fans are waiting eagerly for the next series of films from the production house. But, just then, fans were informed that Geoff Johns would be handling DC’s creative vision instead of Zack Snyder.
This doesn’t seem like news to discuss upon, as both men are extremely creative and have been crucial to the building of DC plots. But Geoff Johns announcement that he is looking to celebrate and build on the DC’s most admirable characters which Zack Snyder aimed at “deconstructing”, attracted mixed emotions from fans across the world. With this turn of events, DCEU may get a whole new makeover. The sudden change may even draw curtains on the continuous failure that has been plaguing their movies.
So is the duo sailing on the same boat? Are their visions for DCEU like cheese and chalk? By “celebrating” characters, is Johns actually “deconstructing” the very foundation that Synder built for DC from the time of “Man of Steel”?
A different view
Snyder’s directorial style has not gained a lot of applause from some comic fans but as a ‘creative visionary’, he has reimagined the greatest characters of DC and his efforts have definitely hit the bull’s eye. James Cameron, one of the greatest directors, praises Snyder for evolving and creating a new ‘language’ for other filmmakers.
At a San Diego Comic-Con spotlight panel, John voiced his vision and idea of superhero stories and what they would be like when translated into movies. He was questioned about his skills as a creative officer. The crowd wanted to know more about how his vision would inspire the birth of new stories for creators and if the fans of DC would be truly happy. Whilst Johns tried to explain his in-depth knowledge of and history with DC Comics, he had this to say:
“I work with so many talented people. So there’s people that love it, and understand it, and embrace it, and then there’s people that don’t know that and you want to help them learn it, and you want to tell them why a certain storyline for a certain character might not work. Or why a take on a character might not work, or what Superman really should be.
But the whole thing is to craft and shape the story and the tone to fit the character. And to celebrate the character, instead of deconstruct the character. I think you want to celebrate the character, because you’ve got to celebrate something and build it up, I think, to really make it into something that represents who that character truly is.
And also, the fact that I’ve written all these comic books gives me a lot of credibility coming into the room because it’s hard to argue sometimes. Like, people can tell me what Aquaman is, but if I’ve written the book – literally – it helps me out.”
For those who have not been impressed by Zack Snyder’s visual and creative style, these words are a reason for them to join in the celebration of “celebrating” DC’s characters. But hard core Zack Synder fans may most probably not agree with. The thought of further building up on existing characters and leaving out the rest seem almost unjustifiable. These fans keep waiting for new characters, new plots and new movies.
No one can forget the strong reactions that Snyder received when he decided to swim against Hollywood superhero-trend-wave and cast Ben Affleck as a middle-aged Batman. He had a vision for Wonder Woman when he took the step to of casting Gal Gadot (Patty Jenkins admits she wouldn’t have cast Gadot). She perfectly depicts the character of Diana and now, fans across the globe can relate only to “Gal Gadot” when they hear the word, Wonder Woman. It was also a shock to all when he cast Jason Momoa as Aquaman. This turned the career for Arthur Curry as he went from being a joke to the hero of DC’s most anticipated films. So, it is clear that Synder always knew his character well and had a vision of the kind of people to cast for the same.
After seeing the reactions to Batman v Superman, Deborah Snyder acknowledged and accepted the fact that fans don’t like to see their heroes being “deconstructed. But one can also agree that Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns wasn’t exactly a “celebration,” either. It was simply based on ideas and thoughts that shaped the super heroes. Often opposed, most of these stories gain universal acceptance only after a generation of artists cite them to be breakthroughs in the film industry. While some believe that Batman V Superman is Snyder’s ‘amateurish’ version of Watchmen that was pushed into DCEU, all Marvel directors refer to Watchmen to be an “unparalleled masterwork”.
What about JL?
If you are a DC fan, there is just one question on your mind. What about Justice League? On whose vision will it be based? Should one expect “deconstruction” of Justice League as a whole and the rise of Superman? Or will it ‘celebrate’ every character?
And yes, the answer seems a bit too obvious. The filmmakers have said that audiences’ disapproval to deconstruction was clear even while Justice League was being filmed. They promised that the movie would address the feedback. In the first Justice League trailer, in Superman’s absence, Wonder Woman seems to appear as the main character that saves the day. She has been portrayed exactly how Synder wanted: the bravest and ‘purest’ hero of the Justice League.
So, the fans who haven’t taken the fate of Superman too well can see his resurrection (Man of Steel‘s closing shot) is to be set up as the turning moment of Justice League. Superman’s return is one that is needed to save humanity and surely all his fans will be happy.
A new era for DC?
Johns has an approach to DC that is diametrically opposite to with Snyder’s views. But what we can conclude is simple. Going by the past, a director who has no upcoming DCEU movie recently rumored beyond Justice League will be looked upon as an ousted creative head.
Although fans would deeply examine this as evidence, one cannot eliminate the fact that Zack Snyder has played a crucial role in creating a movie universe that celebrates the DC’s heroes. Fans have travelled a long way through DC films with Zack Synder and weighing his value to DC would take years since he has been the father of almost all stories of DC.
Now, all we as fans can do is sit back and watch.