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  • January 17, 2024 4 min read

    Despite the imminent DC Universe reboot, Zack Snyder's DC Snyderverse still holds a glimmer of hope, thanks to a surprising update from a high-ranking Netflix official. The inaugural film of the revamped franchise, Superman: Legacy, will be overseen by DC Studios CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran, following the 2024 Creature Commandos TV show. While this marks a new timeline, the continuity of existing DC Extended Universe endeavors, such as Peacemaker and Blue Beetle, remains integral. In the cinematic landscape of 2024 and beyond, parallel storylines from standalone ventures like Joker and The Batman will also contribute to the diverse tapestry of DC's upcoming movie slate.

    In the ever-evolving landscape of DC's film and TV realm, the current state of affairs leaves little space for the DCEU movies that unfolded under Snyder's creative vision. Nevertheless, the director has hinted at his openness to helm additional Justice League installments for audiences in the future. Adding a glimmer of hope to this prospect, Scott Stuber, Netflix's head of film, has conveyed encouraging tidings. Should the streaming behemoth successfully secure licensing rights, the transformation of Snyder's DC projects into exclusive Netflix originals becomes a distinct and exciting possibility.

    Bringing the Snyderverse to Netflix stands as a strategic triumph for the streaming giant, promising a surge in viewership and a substantial influx of subscribers. Although Zack Snyder's original Justice League didn't grace the theaters, the extended four-hour director's cut found immediate success upon its streaming release on Max. Third-party analytics, as reported by Bloomberg, revealed a staggering 64% surge, equivalent to 1.48 million downloads, in Max downloads within the initial ten days. Additionally, a notable 8.9% uptick was observed in app sessions, reaching a substantial 119.1 million.

    Capitalizing on the Snyderverse's expansive global fanbase, Netflix aims not only to attract a broader subscriber base but also to replicate the impressive streaming figures for forthcoming DCEU movies, continuing the narrative threads introduced by Zack Snyder's Justice League. Netflix has firmly established itself as the bastion of Snyder's creative vision, hosting high-budget franchise projects such as Army of the Dead and Rebel Moon. Despite generating diverse opinions among critics and audiences, both films have demonstrated their appeal, with Army of the Dead amassing views from 72 million households within a month, according to Deadline. Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire further solidified Netflix's success, claiming the top spot as the #1 Netflix movie worldwide during Christmas 2023.

    Despite Netflix's clear support for Snyder, the Man of Steel filmmaker faces significant obstacles if DC Studios doesn't grant licensing rights to the streaming giant. Currently, the chances of Gunn and Safran approving the Snyderverse for Netflix seem slim, given their dedication to developing their own DC Universe. Even if Snyder's Netflix DC projects were positioned as an alternate timeline, the existing complexity arises from DC's inclusion of both a main timeline and parallel stories in their future slate.

    Exciting DCU narratives on the horizon include not only projects like Superman: Legacy and the Lanterns TV series but also standalone films like Joker: Folie à Deux and The Batman Part II, which operate outside Gunn's DCU Chapter One: Gods and Monsters banner. With an abundance of content in the DCU pipeline and Max serving as the streaming partner for many upcoming projects, it appears improbable that DC Studios would allow Snyder to establish a parallel DC universe on Netflix. The lack of incentive is particularly evident, as any revival of the Snyderverse could potentially create competition for the DCU, exacerbating an already intricate fan culture marked by division. 

    Instead of churning out more films, Zack Snyder could explore alternative mediums like comic books and animation to further expand the Snyderverse. The director has adeptly woven multi-format tie-ins into his previous endeavors. For instance, alongside Rebel Moon, he introduced the prequel comic Rebel Moon: House of the Bloodaxe, an official tie-in novel featuring an extended narrative, and an animated short. A similar strategy is in place for Army of the Dead's spin-offs, such as the ongoing production of Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, an animated series that Snyder is determined to bring to fruition despite initial fears of cancellation. Notably, even Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut incorporated animated segments featuring a comic within the movie. 

    In line with his cinematic portfolio, Snyder has the potential to wrap up his superhero universe through more financially viable endeavors. A graphic novel series emulating the essence of Henry Cavill's Superman or Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, or an animated series featuring their vocal talents, could satisfy those longing for more of Snyder's creative vision. Although licensing rights remain a requisite, navigating this route might prove less intricate. The spin-off plans for Rebel Moon also encompass a narrative podcast, presenting another avenue for the Snyderverse to persist. Despite Netflix's eagerness to support this superhero franchise, the ultimate destiny of the Snyderverse lies in Zack Snyder's hands. If he opts to channel his efforts into crafting original narratives, as he has consistently expressed, it might be time to bid a definitive farewell to the Snyderverse.

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