Unsurprisingly, the news and intel that's come out of DC Entertainment during this period has been received quite differently by both camps. Those who loved BvS hated everything they were hearing about sweeping changes taking place behind-the-scenes, while it was all music to the ears of those who yearned for an overhaul of the DC Cinematic Universe.
Indeed, it became such a tough pill to swallow for those in the pro-BvS camp that it led to a schism between them and the online sites they'd been visiting for years for news and scoops. They didn't want to believe the stories, which all painted the following picture:
- Zack Snyder's days as the Creative Architect of the DC Cinematic Universe were coming to an end since Batman v Superman didn't do what Warner Bros. had been hoping it would do
- Geoff Johns was elevated within DC Entertainment to essentially take over the creative reins and make sure that future properties represented the DC brand differently
- The ramifications of the behind-the-scenes shakeups led to several directors coming and going (Seth Grahame-Smith, Rick Famuyiwa, and Ben Affleck) from DC projects as the powers-that-be figured out exactly what the plan was moving forward
- Previously-announced films were delayed or put on indefinite hold (The Flash, Justice League 2, and- to a lesser extent- The Batman)
- Justice League itself was getting overhauled throughout its production cycle with sweeping changes to its script and tone to make sure it was more of a crowd-pleaser than Batman v Superman was
- Snyder's initial vision, coupled with changes made during its production cycle, were deemed to not be enough- forcing the studio to consider a second major facelift for Justice League in the Spring of 2017
- There's been an undying game of Bat and Mouse with Ben Affleck regarding his future as the Caped Crusader
- Citing a personal tragedy, Snyder officially and permanently steps away from Justice League, and Joss Whedon is brought in to direct a bunch of new material (which he'd written), and to put together what will be the final theatrical cut of the film, assuming the role of Director for the most important stretch of the film's post-production
- Danny Elfman replaces Junkie XL as the composer for the project, and promises a score that's far more nostalgic and classic- harking back to DC's previous cinematic heydays- instead of pushing forward in the newer, bolder direction Snyder once sought with XL and Hans Zimmer by his side
- The film, which was once rumored to be nearly 170 minutes, is cut down to 119
Every single one of these stories was received and digested totally differently depending on what camp you were in. For some it was like a knife in the back, for others it was a reason to rejoice. But one truly unfortunate consequence of all of this news is that it drove a wedge between the pro-BvS crowd and the entertainment news community.
When a story would be reported by a scoop site, it would be ridiculed and decried. It'd get labeled as "click bait" and "fake news." When it- or some version of it- would get confirmed by a trusted news outlet like Variety or The Hollywood Reporter later on, or even confirmed by those running DC Entertainment, it was usually met with further denial, outrage, or backlash from those who had spent months hoping it wasn't true.
Those who hated what was happening began resenting anyone who was happy about the changes, and some of those who were rejoicing began rubbing it in the faces of those who initially denied and doubted that anything was afoot at DC Entertainment after BvS. These sore winners made it impossible for those on the other side of the fence to come to grips with the fact that the DC Cinematic Universe would never again resemble Snyder's blueprint once Justice League was over and done with. Those who adored Snyder found themselves cornered, sensing that they were part of a small, passionate minority; A group up against fellow DC fans who wanted changes, troll-like Marvel fans who childishly want to see DC projects struggle, and the vast majority of the online news community who seemingly had nothing but bad news to deliver to them.
And, backed into a corner, they became an angry tribe and a defensive, embattled hive mind was born. A community rose from the ashes of Snyder's fallen kingdom and- in a way- that's kind of beautiful.
At a time when Justice League is preaching for everyone to Come Together, and to Unite because "You Can't Save The World Alone," these people found each other. It became them against the world.
It's with that in mind that I hope that Justice League finds a way to mend this broken fandom. The film, a merging of the two ideas that both camps love, could serve as a bridge to a united front. Those who love Snyder's aesthetic and mythological visual storytelling, rich with comic-book-come-to-life imagery will get that in spades. Those who yearned for a more optimistic, hopeful, joyous celebration of these characters they've loved their whole lives will get that.
Maybe, just maybe, both sides will realize what an amazing time to be alive this is and look towards the future with open arms and an open mind, together. It may have been a bumpy ride, but DC may have finally found its footing. On the horizon, we have James Wan's Aquaman, Patty Jenkins returning for Wonder Woman 2, and a Matt Reeves Batman movie! Not to mention, we should be learning any day now who will be directing 2020's Flashpoint.
And, lastly, after all of these trials and tribulations Justice League will be here in a few days and the buzz so far on it...is good!!!
Sometimes, you've just got to pinch yourself.
It's time, at last, to come together. And I'm All In for that.