Archive for May 22, 2020

Which Version Of Justice League Is DCEU Canon? | Screen Rant

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Justice League was once going to set the stage for the future of the DC Extended Universe, but given how different the upcoming Snyder Cut is set to be from the theatrical version, which Justice League will end up being canon in the DCEU?

After years of campaigning from dedicated fans, it was announced this week that original director Zack Snyder will be piecing together his own cut of 2017's Justice League, and that the new version will release on HBO Max in 2021. Snyder left the project after principal photography was complete due to a personal tragedy, and Justice League underwent extensive reshoots under The Avengers director Joss Whedon that left it feeling an awful lot like a DC knock-off of The Avengers.

Related: Justice League: How Zack Snyder's Cut Is Different To The 2017 Whedon Version

Whedon shot nearly 80 pages of new script, and according to Snyder the theatrical version of Justice League only features about a quarter of the footage that he shot during his time as director. That leaves a lot on the cutting room floor for Snyder to work with, along with many story elements that were excised from Whedon's version in order to streamline the plot. Characters like Iris West (Kiersey Clemons), Vulko (Willem Dafoe), Mera (Amber Heard), and Martian Manhunter (Henry Lennix) were cut entirely, and Superman's resurrection and return was also handled differently. We'll have to wait for the release of Zack Snyder's Justuce League next year to see just how different the two versions are - but which one will be considered official canon within the DCEU?

The most obvious case for making Joss Whedon's version of Justice League official DCEU canon is that it was released theatrically, whereas Zack Snyder's Justice League will only be available on a particular streaming platform. This means that the 2017 Justice League will ultimately have been seen by a lot more people (despite the lackluster critical and audience response, it did gross $657 million worldwide), and it's not particularly reasonable to expect casual moviegoers to get a HBO Max subscription just to know what's going on in upcoming DCEU movies. This is especially the case since there are currently no plans to make HBO Max available outside of North America, and there's been no announcement of international release plans for the Justice League Snyder Cut, meaning that overseas fans may be left in the dark.

A lesser point is that Justice League has already technically been considered canon for three DCEU movies released since: Aquaman, Shazam!, and Birds of Prey. Actual references to Justice League in those movies have been limited to a Steppenwolf mention in Aquaman and a (headless) Superman cameo in Shazam!, so short of removing Steppenwolf completely or killing off Superman again at the end, there's not much the Snyder Cut can do to complicate those references.

There's a strong case to be made that, without Zack Snyder, the DCEU as fans know it would not exist. Snyder was the original architect of the cinematic universe, starting with Man of Steel in 2013 and continuing with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, which in turn set up Justice League. Snyder set the tone for this big-screen version of the DC Comics universe, cast all the members of the Justice League and created the original vision for them, and set the stage for their heroics. Even more light-hearted movies like Shazam!, which couldn't be further from Batman v Superman or Man of Steel in tone, still exists in a world where Snyder's versions of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are celebrities. With all of that in mind, it only seems right that Snyder's cut of Justice League should be considered the definitive one.

Related: Justice League’s New Version Isn’t The REAL Snyder Cut

The Snyder Cut of Justice League becoming DCEU canon also opens up more possibilities thanks to the inclusion of more characters. For example, Kiersey Clemons' Iris West could return in the upcoming Flash solo movie, and the Snyder Cut reportedly ends with a tease of the powerful villain Darkseid. If the latter becomes canon, it's the perfect set-up for Justice League 2 - should Warner Bros. ever decide to actually move forward with it.

While there are cases to be made for both versions of Justice League being canon, the rather blunt conclusion is that it really doesn't matter - because the DCEU as it existed in 2017 is already dead. Warner Bros. has since moved away from its ambitions of aping the Marvel Cinematic Universe and focused more on individual franchises and movies. For example, Todd Phillips' Joker doesn't fit into the DCEU at all; it features a different Joker than the one fans saw in Suicide Squad, and exists in a world that doesn't appear to have any superheroes. Despite not having any of the inter-movie connectivity that Warner Bros. believed would be a recipe for success, Joker's box office totals were second only to Aquaman in the current era of DC movies.

Following the struggles faced by Batman v Superman and Justice League, Warner Bros. took a looser approach even with movies that are theoretically a part of DCEU canon. As mentioned above, subsequent films only featured minor references to the events of Justice League and left behind the grim and serious tone of Snyder's movies in favor of more light-hearted traditional superhero antics. It's hard to reconcile Pitbull's "Africa"-sampling hip-hop song "Ocean To Ocean," the featured song of Aquaman, existing in the same universe as Batman v Superman. The studio is even making a movie called The Suicide Squad as effectively a reboot of that sub-franchise, despite it featuring some of the same actors in the same roles as David Ayer's Suicide Squad, so it seems like Warner Bros. is happy for DCEU canon to be a total mess.

The very fact that Zack Snyder's Justice League is now being put together is a symptom of Warner Bros. letting go of the idea of a concrete DCEU canon, and embracing a looser narrative with more possibilities. And based on the success that the DCEU has seen since the low point of Justice League 2017, letting go of canon is probably a good thing.

More: Justice League's Snyder Cut Will Be Better (But Will It Be Good?)

Which Version Of Justice League Is DCEU Canon? | Screen Rant

0

Justice League was once going to set the stage for the future of the DC Extended Universe, but given how different the upcoming Snyder Cut is set to be from the theatrical version, which Justice League will end up being canon in the DCEU?

After years of campaigning from dedicated fans, it was announced this week that original director Zack Snyder will be piecing together his own cut of 2017's Justice League, and that the new version will release on HBO Max in 2021. Snyder left the project after principal photography was complete due to a personal tragedy, and Justice League underwent extensive reshoots under The Avengers director Joss Whedon that left it feeling an awful lot like a DC knock-off of The Avengers.

Related: Justice League: How Zack Snyder's Cut Is Different To The 2017 Whedon Version

Whedon shot nearly 80 pages of new script, and according to Snyder the theatrical version of Justice League only features about a quarter of the footage that he shot during his time as director. That leaves a lot on the cutting room floor for Snyder to work with, along with many story elements that were excised from Whedon's version in order to streamline the plot. Characters like Iris West (Kiersey Clemons), Vulko (Willem Dafoe), Mera (Amber Heard), and Martian Manhunter (Henry Lennix) were cut entirely, and Superman's resurrection and return was also handled differently. We'll have to wait for the release of Zack Snyder's Justuce League next year to see just how different the two versions are - but which one will be considered official canon within the DCEU?

The most obvious case for making Joss Whedon's version of Justice League official DCEU canon is that it was released theatrically, whereas Zack Snyder's Justice League will only be available on a particular streaming platform. This means that the 2017 Justice League will ultimately have been seen by a lot more people (despite the lackluster critical and audience response, it did gross $657 million worldwide), and it's not particularly reasonable to expect casual moviegoers to get a HBO Max subscription just to know what's going on in upcoming DCEU movies. This is especially the case since there are currently no plans to make HBO Max available outside of North America, and there's been no announcement of international release plans for the Justice League Snyder Cut, meaning that overseas fans may be left in the dark.

A lesser point is that Justice League has already technically been considered canon for three DCEU movies released since: Aquaman, Shazam!, and Birds of Prey. Actual references to Justice League in those movies have been limited to a Steppenwolf mention in Aquaman and a (headless) Superman cameo in Shazam!, so short of removing Steppenwolf completely or killing off Superman again at the end, there's not much the Snyder Cut can do to complicate those references.

There's a strong case to be made that, without Zack Snyder, the DCEU as fans know it would not exist. Snyder was the original architect of the cinematic universe, starting with Man of Steel in 2013 and continuing with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, which in turn set up Justice League. Snyder set the tone for this big-screen version of the DC Comics universe, cast all the members of the Justice League and created the original vision for them, and set the stage for their heroics. Even more light-hearted movies like Shazam!, which couldn't be further from Batman v Superman or Man of Steel in tone, still exists in a world where Snyder's versions of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are celebrities. With all of that in mind, it only seems right that Snyder's cut of Justice League should be considered the definitive one.

Related: Justice League’s New Version Isn’t The REAL Snyder Cut

The Snyder Cut of Justice League becoming DCEU canon also opens up more possibilities thanks to the inclusion of more characters. For example, Kiersey Clemons' Iris West could return in the upcoming Flash solo movie, and the Snyder Cut reportedly ends with a tease of the powerful villain Darkseid. If the latter becomes canon, it's the perfect set-up for Justice League 2 - should Warner Bros. ever decide to actually move forward with it.

While there are cases to be made for both versions of Justice League being canon, the rather blunt conclusion is that it really doesn't matter - because the DCEU as it existed in 2017 is already dead. Warner Bros. has since moved away from its ambitions of aping the Marvel Cinematic Universe and focused more on individual franchises and movies. For example, Todd Phillips' Joker doesn't fit into the DCEU at all; it features a different Joker than the one fans saw in Suicide Squad, and exists in a world that doesn't appear to have any superheroes. Despite not having any of the inter-movie connectivity that Warner Bros. believed would be a recipe for success, Joker's box office totals were second only to Aquaman in the current era of DC movies.

Following the struggles faced by Batman v Superman and Justice League, Warner Bros. took a looser approach even with movies that are theoretically a part of DCEU canon. As mentioned above, subsequent films only featured minor references to the events of Justice League and left behind the grim and serious tone of Snyder's movies in favor of more light-hearted traditional superhero antics. It's hard to reconcile Pitbull's "Africa"-sampling hip-hop song "Ocean To Ocean," the featured song of Aquaman, existing in the same universe as Batman v Superman. The studio is even making a movie called The Suicide Squad as effectively a reboot of that sub-franchise, despite it featuring some of the same actors in the same roles as David Ayer's Suicide Squad, so it seems like Warner Bros. is happy for DCEU canon to be a total mess.

The very fact that Zack Snyder's Justice League is now being put together is a symptom of Warner Bros. letting go of the idea of a concrete DCEU canon, and embracing a looser narrative with more possibilities. And based on the success that the DCEU has seen since the low point of Justice League 2017, letting go of canon is probably a good thing.

More: Justice League's Snyder Cut Will Be Better (But Will It Be Good?)

Zack Snyder’s Justice League Trailer Is Already Being Worked On

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It was officially announced earlier this week that Zack Snyder's Justice League will comes out on HBO Max next year.

The Superman/Wonder Woman Romance Actually WORKED In [Spoiler]

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It looks great on paper: Put Superman, the Last Son of Krypton, together with Wonder Woman, an Amazon Princess, and create DC Comics’ ultimate power couple. Unfortunately, when DC actually tried this pairing in The New 52, fans reacted negatively and Superman would eventually go back to Lois Lane.

The problem was that, despite his immense power, Superman was always a god-like being who wanted to be a man. Thus, his most fulfilling relationships were always with women like Lois Lane who provided him with a touchstone to humanity. Pairing him with a woman who (in certain continuities) is a literal goddess actually denied Clark the sort of connection he strives for. But, while their relationship may have fizzled out in DC Comics, a very similar one worked beautifully in a different comic book universe.

Related: Astro City’s Batman Is A REAL Vampire

In Kurt Busiek’s fan-favorite independent superhero comic book Astro City, many of his most prominent characters are based on classic DC and Marvel heroes. These include Samaritan, a god-like being with more than a passing resemblance to Superman, and Winged Victory, a feminist hero who owes a lot to Wonder Woman. Early in the comic book series the two started dating – and remarkably, they’re both still together today!

To fully understand why this relationship worked in Astro City when it failed in DC Comics, one needs to take a closer look at the two characters. While it’s tempting to consider them mere parodies or knockoffs of their better-known comic book counterparts, Busiek put a lot of work into developing unique backstories for these figures that made them intriguing characters in their own right.

In the case of Samaritan, Busiek established him as a time traveler from a dystopian future who acquired great power in his trip through time (similar to a rejected origin Siegel and Shuster had for Superman). Dedicated to making sure his terrible future never happens, Samaritan becomes a dedicated icon of the superhero community who completely lives his life for others. In the very first issue of Astro City, readers discover that although Samaritan can fly, the only time he can actually enjoy flying is in his dreams. When he’s awake, he’s constantly flying from disaster to disaster so quickly that he doesn’t have time for anything except counting the seconds it takes to get from one location to another.

Related: Wonder Woman Fights Kryptonians Like Superman Never Could

Samaritan’s entire existence is essentially a blur of epic battles, disaster prevention, and superhero meetings. Although he does have a secret identity as fact-checker Asa Martin, he never gets a chance to socialize or form any meaningful relationships in that life. Things get so bad that his superhero team, Honor Guard, decides to mobilize every superhuman in Astro City to take care of all the disasters for one night, just so Samaritan can enjoy a night off and go out with the city’s most eligible bachelorette, Winged Victory.

Despite her resemblance to iconic female superheroes like Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl, Winged Victory also has a unique backstory. An ordinary woman, Lauren Freed, empowered by female “The Council of Nike” to be a feminist icon for women everywhere, Winged Victory not only fights crime, but she also establishes shelters for women and teaches female victims of domestic abuse how to defend themselves. These activities made the media brand her as a cult leader, but she still enjoys a high profile in the superhero community and is seen as a celebrity on par with Samaritan.

Thus, when the two go out (in their superhero identities) the public reaction is akin to seeing the latest “It” couple on the town. Mobbed for autographs and photographs, the two eventually switch to their civilian identities to enjoy a quiet night out at a local burger joint. Here, the differences between them and Superman and Wonder Woman become more pronounced. Where Princess Diana is an Amazon warrior who relates to the world as a goddess, Winged Victory is an average woman striving to live up to the expectations of being a god-like figure. Her fears of being “too human” are so bad that she almost never switches back to her original mortal form, preferring her beautiful goddess-type physique.

Related: When Superman Died, Wonder Woman Saved Him With [SPOILER]

This motivates Samaritan – a man who became a god struggling to hold onto his humanity – to lecture Winged Victory on the importance of not divorcing yourself too far from the humans you’re protecting. Initially, Winged Victory doesn’t take too well to this, feeling such advice would cage her in the dependence she’s trying to avoid. However, she comes to admit that while Samaritan is a god trying to be a man, she’s a woman trying to be a goddess. Acknowledging that they both have relatable fears, the two begin a relationship.

And while Astro City bounced around several other storylines for the next several years, a later tale revealed that Samaritan and Winged Victory’s romance proved successful – and that the two built a stable, mutually respectful long-term relationship over the years. The story showed Samaritan offering support to Winged Victory, who found herself motivated to reconnect with her mortal identity. Tellingly, he reveals that while he still dreams about flying, he no longer flies alone in his dreams as Winged Victory accompanies him there as well.

So, why did the Samaritan/Winged Victory romance work so well when the similar Superman/Wonder Woman pairing failed to win over readers? Ultimately, like all successful relationships, the two managed to give each other something the other desperately needed. In Samaritan’s case, the former isolated hero gained a partner he could confide in and one who could accompany him on his missions – reminding him there was more to enjoy in life than simply counting the seconds to the next disaster. Superman may have been able to establish strong human relationships with Lois Lane and Jimmy, but thanks to his much busier schedule, Samaritan could only find such a relationship in a fellow hero.

Related: Wonder Woman: The REAL Reason Amazons Aren’t Like Humans

Meanwhile, Samaritan offered an effective counterbalance to Winged Victory as well. While she cared about all people, the very nature of Winged Victory’s powers drove her to favor women over men (as the ones who empowered her sought to make her a female champion). By sharing her life with a man that she recognized as a decent, equal partner, Winged Victory was forced to question her mission – even standing up to the women who empowered her when she decided to let abused men into her shelters also. Being with someone who valued her beyond her role as a feminist icon also gave her the strength to focus on her human identity and re-establish ties with her estranged family as well.

Ultimately, while a Superman/Wonder Woman romance might be the stuff of fan fiction, the relationship between Samaritan and Winged Victory shows that a pairing between two powerful icons can work. In the end, though, power mattered far less in this relationship than the compatibility between the characters. They might not have as much face time as their better-known counterparts, but Samaritan and Winged Victory shows that a relationship based on mutual need is far better than one based on celebrity status.

Next: Astro City Comic Book TV Show Is Moving Forward

Uncensored Back to the Future 2 Is Now on Netflix, Creators Want Edited Version Destroyed

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Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis weren't too happy to learn about Netflix streaming a censored version of Back to the Future 2.
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