Zack Snyder kicked off DC’s cinematic universe, commonly referred to as the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) with 2013’s Man of Steel. But much has changed since then. Warner Bros., following the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max earlier this year, is moving away from the so-called Snyderverse. With that being the case, J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek) is poised to have a large say in the direction of the on-screen DC universe moving forward.
A recent report detailing the new Superman movie, which J.J. Abrams is producing, brought forth quite a few details about what Warner Bros. has planned for the future. For one, Abrams won’t direct the Superman Reboot, which will feature a Black version of the superhero. Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing the screenplay and a search for a director is currently underway. Abrams will, however, per the report, “have perhaps the largest footprint [on the DC universe] as he oversees the Justice League Dark Universe for film and TV.”
It had previously been revealed that J.J. Abrams will be the architect behind a series of Justice League Dark projects, such as a new Constantine series and a Zatanna show, both of which are headed to HBO Max. But it seems likely that Abrams’ role within the future of the DCEU will only expand. Warner Bros. locked down the filmmaker in a massive $500 million deal back in 2019. Given that Abrams has a knack for getting franchises on the right track, as he’s done with Star Wars, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible in the past, it was always expected that Warner Bros. would use his talents for the DC brand as well.
Back in 2013, Warner Bros. saw what Disney and Marvel Studios had accomplished with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avengers, in 2012, became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, tying together several independent superhero franchises in one major crossover event. Starting with Man of Steel, just as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy had wrapped up, the same was attempted by Warner Bros. with DC. Unfortunately, movies like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice proved to be hugely divisive, which led to the disastrous theatrical version of Justice League in 2017. Things got off to a rocky start, to say the very least of it.
Now, the studio is taking a different approach. The Flash movie will open up the DC multiverse. This will allow them to not only move away from Zack Snyder’s version of the DCEU, but will also pave the way for multiple iterations of characters in different universes to exist at the same time. What remains to be seen is just how much of an active role J.J. Abrams will have as things progress. Next up is James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, which arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.