Certainly, this universe has given us huge hits like “Aquaman”, which remains the highest grossing DC movie of all time, as well as “Wonder Woman”. But still, the DCEU never quite came together the way the studio needed. After struggling to put everything back together following a series of Snyderverse-related disappointments, Warner Bros. finally decided to press the reboot button, hiring James Gunn and Peter Safran to lead DC Studios, with a reboot on the way. “The Flash” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” will more or less represent the end of what Snyder started.
There’s no denying that Snyder has a lot of talent and can produce a big hit. Heck, when “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” the so-called “Snyder Cut,” was finally released on HBO Max, the results impressed a lot of people. Still, the problem here has always been that WB went too hard, too fast on the filmmaker’s grand vision for a shared universe. Marvel built its cinematic universe one movie at a time until all the pieces were in place for “The Avengers.” Not making “Man of Steel 2” and instead going broke was detrimental in hindsight. Unfortunately, what happened here is more of a cautionary tale in modern franchise cinema.
Divorced from what followed, “Man of Steel” was a fairly successful film that, while divisive, did what it set out to do. It’s just too bad, especially for Henry Cavill, that Warner Bros. didn’t try to slowly build a universe from there. They could have course-corrected a bit in a sequel, made a new “Batman” movie, made “Wonder Woman,” and then made “Justice League” a real thing. Instead, this film was the almost accidental start of the ill-fated DC Extended Universe. WB and DC are still recovering from the mistakes of that time, and they likely will be for a while. It shouldn’t be like this.