At great risk to my personalal Brand®, I’ve become quite known for my advocacy of #ReleaseTheSnyderCut.
What is that? Why, I’m glad this imaginary reader asked. After 2017’s DC superhero team-up film Justice League (a.k.a. “Diet Avengers”) faltered in theaters, I joined the ranks of fans calling for the real one. We wanted the real movie that oft-dismissed director Zack Snyder intended before he left the production under weird/bad circumstances.
To sum up: Fans won big, and the victories haven’t stopped. Even in a terrible year, we’ve learned that:
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a.k.a. Justice League: The Snyder Cut, will arrive in 2021.
- The film will step back two degrees from the lackluster theater edition: it won’t be that, or Snyder’s earlier “compromised” version.
- Justice League, a la Snyder, may arrive on HBO Max in a massive multi-hour film format, or in a miniseries format with chapter divisions.
- Already, the promise of The Snyder Cut has urged many other hopes, including: Ben Affleck’s return as Batman, or other director’s cuts released.
- Among other, er, suggestions, fans suggest David Ayer’s original, pre-tampered Suicide Squad come out, or even Joel Schumacher’s old Batman Forever from the mid-1990s starring Val Kilmer!
One Bat-dream has already come true. Just yesterday, Variety announced Ben Affleck will return as Batman. He will suit up at least once more, for The Flash (2022). That a film that already promises to cinematically commission the DC “multiverse” in which all the different actors/heroes/adaptations are all declared canon.
Tomorrow’s DC FanDome virtual conference event (which is open to anyone) promises to bring even more goodness for super-friends, including:
- Zack Snyder’s brand-new teaser for the long-delayed Justice League film/miniseries.
- A new trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 (also delayed too long this year, because of virus shutdowns).
- Early official announcements about sequels to Aquaman and Shazam!, and Shazam! spinoff Black Adam.
- First footage and/or props from Matt Reeves’s new-continuity Bat-film The Batman (2021), starring Robert Pattinson.
- First footage from James Gunn’s soft reboot/sequel The Suicide Squad, and early looks at Andy Muschietti’s solo intro for The Flash.
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe sadly sidelined this year by (1) lost story momentum after Avengers: Endgame, and (2) delayed theatrical releases, DC is owning 2020 so hard that it’s making me consider fulfilling my long-delayed promise to start defending Marvel as the underdog!
My predictions for DC FanDome tomorrow
I have, and could again, consider several ways such fan responses reveal the grace-meets-idolatry mess of popular culture.
For now, however, I just want to act as a Christ-redeemed fan myself. I wish to extend a little fandom joy I’ve felt in an otherwise very hard week.
Also, I want to gamble: with these soft predictions for tomorrow’s event. Of course, these are just speculations. I know so much better, however, than to pretend these crazy fan theories won’t happen. Why? Because it’s the year 2020. All the “wise men” of this age said #TheSnyderCut was impossible, and it happened. All the same “super-apostles” of FilmTwitter scoffed at Ben Affleck returning as Batman, and now that’s real too.
Why, then, couldn’t all these fan-dreamed announcements also occur?
1. Zack Snyder will hint at/promise more Justice League.
Zack Snyder will at least strongly hint that Justice League: The Snyder Cut will not be the last film in his long-planned and –delayed series. He may even directly promise that, based on wildly enthusiastic fan response, he will indeed be able to finish the Justice League series.
2. Henry Cavill will appear, and they’ll announce he will finally return as Superman.
Snyder, and/or the directors/stars of Shazam! or Black Adam, will help announce that Superman actor Henry Cavill will certainly return. He’ll star in one or more of the following:
- Sequel films or series to Justice League: The Snyder Cut
- A solo Superman film or series of films (this is Cavill’s hope for sure)
- Guest appearances or supporting roles in Shazam!! 2 and/or Black Adam.
3. Ben Affleck will appear, and they’ll hint at/promise he will return as Batman in other films.
While Cavill stayed quiet during the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut activism, Ben Affleck jumped right into it. A tweet from his official account, on Nov. 17, 2019, made the movement go crazy and granted it legitimacy. Affleck eagerly supports Snyder. It was only after the Justice League (2017) mess that he reluctantly stepped back from a solo Batman film some years ago. Now, Affleck has recovered from some life issues and against all odds seems eager to play Batman again. Will The Flash (2022) mark his last appearance, or could he be open for even more?
I predict that Affleck will at least appear in Snyder’s panel discussion to discuss Justice League: The Snyder Cut. But they may also hint at/promise:
- Affleck could return in sequel films or series to Justice League: The Snyder Cut
- Affleck could indeed return for a nobledark Batman miniseries exclusively for HBO Max.
4. Ray Fisher, who plays Cyborg, will appear (confirmed) and they’ll hint at a movie or series.
Fisher’s role as Victor Stone, who becomes Cyborg, was infamously cut short in the Joss Whedon–repurposed Justice League (2017).1 But Snyder has long wanted to focus on Fisher as “the heart of” his Justice League. Fisher will literally be portraying a black man whose sports career is ended at his transformation into a cyborg. Alien technology threatens to take over his body and soul. Some fans speculate that Fisher will not only showcase that unique struggle, but effectively portray a superhero who has a disability.
5. Believe it or not, they could even do a thing with Ryan Reynolds.
This one’s further out there (ha ha!). But I’d like to make this wild construct: that coy #TheSnyderCut supporter (and unfairly maligned Green Lantern star) Ryan Reynolds will reclaim the Green Lanterns’ ring in some capacity, including one or more of:
- A starring role as Hal Jordan in an HBO Max Green Lantern Corps. “buddy cop in space”-style series
- A guest star/cameo/supporting role as Hal Jordan in Justice League: The Snyder Cut (rebooted continuity from the 2011 franchise attempt)
- Perhaps he could even have a voice acting role as Hal Jordan in a Green Lantern Corps. animated film or animated series.
6. Miscellaneous predictions:
- Henry Cavill (Superman) and Zackary Levi (Shazam!) could share a virtual screen, joking about the body-double oddness concluding Shazam!
- Ryan Reynolds could “crash” the thing, maybe even Snyder’s panel. He may lend his Deadpool-like flair to lighten Snyder’s “dark” emphases.
- At long last, everyone will go all-in with the “multiverse” concept. This means film actors may appear alongside TV actors of the same roles.
- Examples: You could literally see (confirmed guests) Pattinson and Batman Forever star Val Kilmer appear with Affleck, for a Bat-panel.
- Oh, and more announcements will follow in the newly announced second day of DC FanDome, confirmed as Saturday, Sept. 12.
To be updated, sometime after we see whether (or how) I was right!
- Fisher has since even challenged Whedon, former DC films executive Geoff Johns. Fisher claims Whedon acted unprofessionally and even abusively, enabled by others. That investigation is pending. And it’s very interesting to go back, now, and see articles like this one swearing that (based on Very Inside Studio Sources) that Fisher will never, ever play Cyborg again. ↩