We’ve officially been in a post-Zack Snyder DC Films world for almost 2 years now. However, it’s Snyder’s vision of where he was taking DC Films that people can’t seem to stop talking about.
On a recent The Fire and Water Podcast, Neil Daly shared some information regarding Snyder’s planned vision, Justice League and Aquaman. You might be thinking, who is this guy and why should we care what he has to say? Well, Daly is an independent freelance market research analyst. He runs the early screenings of films and relays the feedback to the studios. Some of the DC films he ran screenings for are Justice League, Aquaman and Shazam!.
Forced The League To Come Together
We’ve spoken before of how Snyder had a planned 5-film arc, but Daly says it was actually 6 films. Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Justice League, Man of Steel 2, Justice League 2, and Justice League 3.
However, Snyder’s original plan wasn’t to bring the Justice League in at all as early as they did. Snyder wanted to build up the heroes, via their own solo films, much like Marvel did with their films. WB wanted to fast-track a team-up film and play catch up.
In terms of Justice League itself, it’s been speculated in the past that the film was supposed to open with the Apocalyptic war that Wonder Woman describes to Bruce in the middle of the movie, which Daly confirms. It was also to feature a younger Darkseid, as well as Ares (who was the villain of Wonder Woman) and multiple Green Lanterns (which would also include team building in follow up films).
The Whedon Factor
In terms of how much Joss Whedon was actually involved, he directed at least 50% of the re-shoots and was the one responsible for bringing in some of the humor; such as Flash falling on Wonder Woman, Martha and Lois’s thirst conversation and Aquaman’s lasso of truth scene.
Speaking of Aquaman, Mera was shown in the film when Steppenwolf goes for the Atlantean Mother Box. We also knew that William Dafoe was cast as an Atlantean (which we now know as Vulko thanks to Aquaman) and was supposed to appear, but never did. It turns out, Mera and Vulko were to come back in a scene at the end of the movie to get Aquaman, likely leading into his solo film.
Daly also said that Wayne Manor was meant to become the Hall of Justice, but I think most fans were able to pick up on that when Bruce was talking about a table with 6 chairs (with room for more) at the end of the movie.
I Hear You Can Talk To Fish
Neil Daly also touched on some information regarding Aquaman.
Although Snyder is no longer part of DC Films, Wan would show him early cuts, test screenings and storyboards to make sure they were on the same page, despite the studio being against the idea.
The first version of the film was 3-hours long. Wan didn’t want to keep all of the Black Manta footage, but Geoff Johns said he wasn’t allowed to cut any of it and to find other ways of making the film shorter.
He also reveals a common fan theory that dates back to Man of Steel; Aquaman saved Clark from the oil rig explosion.
At the time of filming, WB was still in plans of making Flashpoint, which ties into the newspaper Easter egg in the mid-credits scene which says “Wonder Woman nixes Aquaman dating rumor.”
What’s Next For DC Films?
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Snyder had a vision of where he wanted to take his DC Universe and what he wanted to do with the characters. If Daly is to be believed, he’s a credible source so he should be, Snyder wanted to take the more thoughtful approach like Marvel with the solo films, but the studio intervened.
So he created a vision that appeased the studio and brought the JL in earlier. People didn’t like that and he got blamed for it. So they told him to fix his vision in JL. He didn’t. Unfortunately for Snyder, his family tragedy happened and, while I’m sure he would’ve stepped away regardless, WB must’ve seen that as an opportunity not to bring him back.
Not all is grim, however. Aquaman is a $1 billion movie, mostly because it focused on itself and not building a universe. It has one throwaway line regarding Justice League, but otherwise you wouldn’t even know this connects to it, and that’s the way they need to be moving forward. Focus on single, solo movies and let sequels take care of themselves.
What do you think about Neil Daly’s scoop on Snyder’s vision? You can listen to his full interview on Fire & Water here.