It has been a sobering two days after Warnermedia CEO Ann Sornaff spoke with Variety to confirm the death of the Snyderverse. Now, it is important to clarify, though Sarnoff is the head of Warnermedia overseeing DC films, games, and (I believe) comics as well, she does not have direct oversight on HBOMax. That control lies with (her boss) Jason Kilar.
This does provide a glimmer of hope for the revival of the Snyderverse which many fans have been taking to social media to express their interest in. This situation is a tricky one considering the baggage the studio has with the production drama during principal photography, the desire to regain the sense of control over their studio, and wanting to move forward with Hamada’s future vision.
All this considered, it is still ultimately up to Kilar what will happen. We should wait about a month or so for final viewership and subscription data to come in from which Kilar will make his final call. In a previous article I broke down the pieces to consider with moving forward, and this time around I want to clarify how low risk and easy completing Snyder’s vision can actually be. In other words, Warner can have its cake and eat it too!
To do so I will be using the framework from his released storyboards that broke down the plans for JL 2 and 3. Snyder has mentioned that things have been updated, but for the sake of argument, we will follow this as our thread.
Doesn’t Need Two Movies: If long term investment in the Snyderverse is a concern for execs over at Warnermedia then they really shouldn’t need to worry. The truth of the matter is there isn’t that much story left for Snyder to tell! This two movie concept was the original plan when the idea was having these projects release in theaters. Having any potential follow-up release exclusively to streaming on HBOMax creates a different ball game; you can bulk both projects into one.
Miniseries: HBOMax would likely want to take full advantage of such a buzzworthy property like a JL sequel and will want to keep that trending for more than just a week. Therefore, taking the two movie ideas, bulking it up to a four to five hour epic (like JL) and cutting it episodically would be a likely way to go. Remember, the Snyder Cut was almost a miniseries itself before contract terms obligated the solo film release!
Let’s imagine that the final Snyderverse project, to conclude his saga, is only a total of four hours of footage.While breaking this down let’s keep in mind that Marvel’s Wandavision was about five hours of footage with a $225 million budget. Justice League initially had $300 million for the four hours of content we got. Therefore, should HBOMax match the $225m, it is very possible to create the same quality work as we got to enjoy last weekend.
Episode 1- The League: Snyder’s JL2 storyboard opens with an epic scene of the league working together yet again. So we know there’s space for a large action sequence here with the core six and maybe even including Martian Manhunter. Diana is struggling from Steppenwolf’s words and wants to go home, Arthur is dealing with being king of Atlantis, a place that is still hesitant towards the surface, yet there he is helping it.
The Flash solo movie may likely deal with and resolve his father’s imprisonment. However, since any Snyder content would be non-canon it could perhaps still be something weighing on him. All the team members are physically present but their minds are elsewhere. I think adding Martian Manhunter to this sequence, being a telepath, could have a segment where he is being threatened with fire and loses telepathic control forcing the minds of the league into each others issues or at least unintentionally inviting him into their minds to see it all.
Martian Manhunter is usually described as the ‘heart of the team’ and his telepathy is often a device to connect them. I think his addition here could be used as a guiding influence to the league members to go and address their underyling issues. This could be a forty minute piece.
Episode 2 and 3- Versus: The storyboards confirm that Luthor gathers villains from across the DCEU (Legion of Doom/Injustice League) to face off against the league members as he seeks to acquire the antilife equation. Additional characters have been added to the DCEU since this board was written, so those members could slightly differ. Ultimately, this part of the project would follow the league individually as they pursue to resolve their conflicts while giving each a really great battle sequence. Aquaman and Mera would fight Black Manta and Ocean Master. Wonder Woman could face off again against Cheetah (in daylight please). The Flash and Cyborg are supposed to face off against Captain Cold according the story board so fine? Regarding Batman, I’m going to think worst case scenario and say we’re never getting the solo Affleck movie. If this is the case, then you can at least intigrate the key material from that movie into Batman’s arc; as he chases Luthor into the jungle and finds the Riddler (according to the board) Deathstroke can be there waiting for him. This way we can have the Batman and Deathstroke battle we’ve been waiting for. As for Superman and Martian Manhunter, I think this part of the movie could better be used to connect these two “last sons” and catch us up on Manhunter’s participation from the MoS, BvS, and JL.
A great addition to this sequence, that isn’t in the storyboard, is to have that introduction of John Stewart and the Green Lantern Corp and potentially the hawks of Thanagar (Hawkwoman) to provide a view of the galactic efforts to stop Darkseid and his conquests. This serves as a different angle of the Apokalips issue as well as introduces these key JL members with their moment to shine.
This section I say should be a solid hour and forty minutes. so each episode about 45-50 minutes.
Episode 4- Antilife: The grand finale of the JL 2. The antilife equation is unlocked and Darkseid reaches Earth to take it (killing Riddler as the board says). Darkseid takes the fight to Superman directy which can serve as Superman’s versus piece. Also, it would be our first look at Darkseid in action.
Elsewhere, Luther’s plans come to fruition as Wonder Woman is killed and so is Aquaman. Mera narrowly escapes which aligns with her place in the knightmare sequence.
We know the original boards had Bruce in love with Lois. I don’t think that will be the case, but somehow Batman’s failure to stop Darkseid from killing Lois will be significant. This will lead to Superman’s fall to the antilife equation and killing Martian Manhunter (as he is not in Knightmare). This will also be especially tragic considering their connection in previous films and earlier in this film as they are parallels; a last son killing a last son.
This ends with the time jump showing the Knightmare future take hold. I think this section could be a total of thirty minutes.
Episode 5- Knightmare: Now we’re into JL 3 territory. The boards have it open with John Stewart crashing on Earth in search of other lanterns. With the addition of Lantern and Hawkwoman earlier this could be a much smoother transition for his arrival here. I would also have hawkwoman survive and have it be the two of them. F*** it.
The boards clarify that this is all about the suicide mission to obtain a mother box to power the treadmill that will send the Flash back in time. Perfect. The entire doomed earth portion can be the entire episode; Lantern and Hawkwoman meet the team, they break it down for them, the last supper scene with the Robin flashback, mission, and time travel. Might be tight but this could be forty minutes.
Episode 6-Finale: Flash successfully goes back in time and warns Bruce allowing him to stop the death of Lois but gets hit by the omega beams. This prevents Superman from falling to the antilife equation and leads to the big action sequence that mimics the events of the original attempted conquest of Earth. This will have amazons, Atlanteans, humans, Lanterns, and Thanagar in the fight. This could be another forty minute sequence.
Conclusion: When you add up all of these estimated time blocks you get a little over four hours of content; basically the same as Justice League. This combination would allow Snyder to complete his vision while bringing the cast together just one more time for principal photography. It can also satisfy the Affleck vs. Deathstroke need, and give HBOMax yet another huge success that they can spread across a six week period.
Warnermedia wants the Snyderverse conversation to end. Unfortunately, if they continue to do what they’re doing I fear they may never hear the end of it. This is a solution that gives the fans what they want, gives the studio ultimately what they want, and everyone wins!
The only way Hamada will ever really hear the end of this is if He is able to blow peoples socks off with projects that are under his direction. The first on that roster would be the solo Flash movie that has promoted heavily the involvement of Michael Keaton’s return as Batman. However, on March 22 he went on records to confirm he wasn’t even sure if he was going to do it; the movie starts production in a month! What a mess!