A few months ago, we learned that Warner Bros. executives considered Zack Snyder’s Justice League to be a cul-de-sac. Which is to say, it’s a road to nowhere that will leave the DC Extended Universe exactly where it started. That opinion apparently is shared throughout WarnerMedia despite the apparent success of the newly released Snyder Cut. In fact, WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff is ready to stop now any possible rumors about director David Ayer getting to oversee his own cut of 2016’s Suicide Squad.
“We won’t be developing David Ayer’s cut,” Sarnoff said flatly and directly when Variety broached the subject in a new interview.
The news, which is likely to frustrate at least a few fans still wistful for the DCEU as it briefly existed between 2016 and 2017, is the most succinct comment from Sarnoff who seems intent on pivoting the conversation in the industry (and among DC fans) away from the Zack Snyder and Ayer era that resulted in several critical disappointments between Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, and a major critical and box office failure in the studio-approved version of Justice League, which was heavily reshot by Joss Whedon in 2017. (Ironically, this month’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now one of the best reviewed DCEU films, although it’s impossible to know at the moment if it is considered a success for HBO Max.)
“I appreciate that they love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his contributions to DC,” Sarnoff said of Snyder fans already moving onto the new social media catchphrase of #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. “We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the Justice League to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy.”
The implication is that Snyder’s time playing with DC’s stable of superhero characters is over, a sentiment that Snyder has repeatedly shared in interviews over the past week. However, it’s worth noting that while WarnerMedia appears eager to move past the Snyder era, Sarnoff is at least more evenhanded in her comments than she was about a possible “Ayer Cut.” While Warner Bros. may want to move on, they may appear to still leave some room about the prospect of revisiting the “Snyder Verse” in some form.
At the moment though, Sarnoff is ready to look to the future. In the Q&A, she also reveals the studio is anxious to rebuild the DCEU into a multimedia brand that interconnects films, television shows, and video games. In other words, a little bit like what Marvel Studios has built between theatrical releases and new Disney+ series.
Additionally, Sarnoff revealed that WB’s independent investigation into Ray Fisher’s accusations of racial bias during Justice League reshoots has been concluded, and the cuts made during this process were deemed to be “not racially motivated.” She also spoke of executives dealing with harassment from a toxic component of DC fans.
But by and large, she paints a vision for a more inclusive and larger DC fanbase in the coming years as WarnerMedia attempts to bring more voices into the creation of content. You can again find the full interview here.