It’s hard putting into words just how much of a love/hate relationships DC fans have with Warner Bros. For every Snyder Cut the studio releases, they then ruin any goodwill they’ve earned with their fans by either botching the DCEU’s continuity or making an uninspired film that fails to live up to the hype.
It seems as though there is always bad news coming out of the Burbank lot these days, which makes it increasingly tricky for avid DC fans to maintain faith in their beloved franchise. From dumb business decisions to utter disrespect for the fanbase, here’s a list of (most of) the times that Warner Bros. has disappointed DC Comics’ fans.
No More Batfleck – Keeping Ben Affleck Away from the Batman
For such a stoic and iconic character, it’s almost startling to see how difficult it has been for Warner Bros. to cast the proper actors to play Batman. It seems like every time a new face for Gotham’s Dark Knight is announced, fans are split on whether to love or hate whoever the new guy might be, and Ben Affleck was not exempt from this.
Though many fans saw Affleck as a terrible casting choice at first, most of the doubts were dispelled once we saw the “Batfleck” in action in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This incarnation of the Dark Knight might as well be the one that long-time fans of Batman were always waiting for: a skilled detective that wasn’t afraid of kicking some butt when necessary. He may have started as a little too old to properly play Bruce Wayne, but he grew into the role really well.
Unfortunately for DC fans, Warner Bros. rushed the project and Batfleck’s entire character development a bit too much. We never got to see this version of Batman starring in his own solo film – which would have been one of the most defining moments for the personality of the new DCEU.
Blinded by the Flash – Kept Ezra Miller Working in the DCEU
Perhaps one of the craziest sagas in modern entertainment history is the unhinged behaviour of Ezra Miller, and how Warner Bros. seems to be one step behind the actor at all times, sweeping any dubious deeds discretely under the rug.
What began as a series of attacks on locals in some Hawaiian bars quickly devolved into ongoing persecution that involves abduction, guns, and tons of bizarre situations that would feel too farfetched even for a movie.
Naturally, with all the controversy surrounding Miller, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. had to let the actor go, recasting the lead role in the upcoming The Flash solo film with someone a bit less controversial – except the studio has done nothing of the sort.
Warner Bros.’s deafening silence in the Ezra Miller case has left DC fans wondering about the priorities of the studio, seeing as there’s been a precedent of actors who have been fired for much less than what Ezra has done in recent months.
Still, we have to keep in mind that Warner Bros. is dealing not just with Ezra’s case at the moment, but also with another, much more public scandal that also involves one of DC’s main characters.
Ever Heard about Heard? – Kept Silent During the Amber Heard Case, and they Kept Her for the Upcoming Aquaman 2
Just when it seemed like Ezra Miller’s shenanigans might be the greatest of Warner Bros.’s woes, the court dispute between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp became the most talked-about issue on social media.
Some of the revelations about Heard and Depp’s intimate life were honestly unsettling, leading many to side with Depp after hearing some of the most outlandish claims of abuse from the actress that, to this day, still plays Meera in the Aquaman film series.
Even though the case was still nowhere near as scandalous as what’s going on with Ezra Miller, DC fans still campaigned for Warner Bros. to remove Amber Heard from the DCEU. Not only didn’t they get an answer, but the studio kept the actress front and center in many of the upcoming film’s marketing material.
This is yet another move that almost makes it seem like Warner Bros. has decided to go against the fans’ wishes, or as if they don’t care for what the fandom thinks – which is both highly troubling and extremely unfortunate for the franchise’s future.
Superman No More – No Sequel to Man of Steel (And Completely Disregarding Henry Cavill’s Existence)
2013 Was a pivotal year for the modern DC Extended Universe. It was the year that Man of Steel was released, poising the DCEU as a serious threat to the rising popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With such a monumental film, and with DC fans admiring Zack Snyder’s tone and direction for the franchise, a sequel was the next logical step for Warner Bros.
Except that we never got a proper continuation to this Superman flick. Even though we sort of got to see him again in Batman v Superman and then in Justice League, the character suffered the same destiny as Batfleck: only appearing in team-up films.
To make matters worse, many fans still consider Henry Cavill to be a near-perfect casting as far as getting the right man for the Man of Steel goes. Cavill proved that he can handle the pressure that comes with playing the iconic hero and even managed to give a compelling performance in Justice League, despite his underdeveloped part in the overall plot.
Any hopes that DC fans might have had of ever seeing Henry Cavill return as the Man of Steel were essentially squashed this year, specifically in the DC Comic’s Hall H event at the San Diego Comic-Con. Even though fans hoped to see Cavill announcing that he would be back as Superman in any upcoming DC film, all we got was complete radio silence from Warner Bros., effectively confirming our worst fears for the future of the Man of Steel.
Who Needs the SnyderVerse? – Axed the Entire SnyderVerse, Despite the Fan Outrage
If the DCEU wanted to have a real fighting chance against the MCU, they needed to establish themselves as an alternative in the purest sense of the word. That might be the reason why so many DC fans loved the work Zack Snyder did for the franchise. His trademark bleak tone and over-the-top imagery cemented the DCEU as the “serious” alternative to the MCU’s campiness – and, for fans, it worked.
However, even though it seemed like DC fans and Warner Bros. finally reached some common ground with the release of the Snyder Cut, the two sides would soon be at odds with each other again once it was revealed that the “SnyderVerse” would no longer be considered part of the mainline DC continuity. It’s a testament to Warner Bros.’s rushed decisions and poor decision-making – one that could cost the franchise a good chunk of its fanbase in the long run.
The result is the current state of the DCEU: there’s barely any semblance of real shared continuity between films, with a multiverse that feels forced and disjointed. The Flash might be the only hope the DCEU still has to regain some semblance of continuity, but, as we mentioned in the entry about Ezra Miller, that film is just another ugly can of worms in Warner Bros.’s production history.