It seems Zack Snyder’s departure from Justice League wasn’t as amicable as was previously reported. The director was allegedly fired from the movie months before it was reported he departed to deal with a personal family tragedy.
Reporter Josh Dickey originally reported on the story last July for Mashable, shedding light on Snyder’s departure. Dickey has since departed the industry and opened up about a series of pieces he wrote, including Snyder’s departure, in which he states the director was fired from the movie but was unable to report the news.
Dickey’s account has since been corroborated by Collider’s Matt Goldberg. Goldberg writes he too heard Snyder was fired, but nobody was willing to speak of it on the record out of respect to the personal tragedy that Snyder was going through.
Snyder’s early rough cut was reportedly “unwatchable,” leading Warner Bros. to make the decision to fire him. This occurred in January 2017, months before news broke Snyder had departed the project due to personal matters.
But placing all the blame at the feet of Justice League isn’t the end of the story. Signs that Snyder would eventually be fired appeared in 2016, with the underperformance and poor critical response to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Snyder was eventually figured, changing the course of Justice League. Snyder had reportedly completed 100-percent of principal photography, fueling rumors of there being many scenes cut from the movie.
A lot of Snyder’s work was reportedly tossed aside when Joss Whedon was brought on to change the tone of the movie, shoot new scenes and fix some of the issues. But even Whedon could rescue the film, as Justice League was panned by critics and became the lowest grossing movie in the DCEU.
This latest news leaves the DCEU in a much murkier place. Snyder was supposed to be the visionary that led the franchise, much like Marvel’s Kevin Feige.
Warner Bros. is now pivoting away from building a universe and is instead working on developing standalone movies. Some movies will still be connected to the storyline set forth by Snyder, including Wonder Woman 2 and Aquaman, but Shazam! and the upcoming Joker movie may have nothing to do with Justice League.