When news broke earlier today that Warner Bros. was putting their film adaptations of The Trench and The New Gods on the back burner, fans were immediately split. Some of that was existing, entrenched disagreements between Warner Bros. and its consumers, and some was exacerbated by the original report, which suggested that the reason for The New Gods's cancellation was Darkseid's appearance in Zack Snyder's Justice League. The character, played by Ray Porter, appeared in only a few minutes of screen time, but loomed large over the film and was pretty clearly set up as the central antagonist of a sequel that, as of this writing, is no longer planned to happen.
Let's backtrack a second to those pre-existing grievances. Obviously, after Joss Whedon finished Justice League and turned in a less-than-thrilling superhero team-up movie, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut fans almost immediately found themselves on an adversarial footing with Warner Bros., who wanted nothing more than to move on from the box office frustration of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the humiliation of Justice League. Eventually, they got the Snyder Cut, but since before it even hit HBO Max, calls to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse -- that is, to make Snyder's director's cut the canonical version of Justice League in DC movies going forward, and follow through on the movies teed up in his version -- have been pouring in.
DuVernay, meanwhile, has never been a favorite of the Snyder Cut faithful, who seemingly worried that her take on the mythology behind the New Gods might contradict or retcon what Snyder wanted to do in Justice League and beyond. This led to some of Snyder's fans being vocal about their disdain for The New Gods and sometimes for DuVernay herself. The social media interactions, apparently, got so bad that just before the announcement came down that The New Gods would not move forward, Zack Snyder's Justice League star Ray Porter (Darkseid in the film, and presumably the actor who would have had the role in The New Gods) tweeted to fans to "stop pestering Ava."
The filmmaker responded in kind, thanking Porter and telling him, "You’ve been nothing but gracious towards me. Appreciate you. And fans who supported. I’m told the studio will be speaking about their recent decision about NEW GODS characters soon. I hope our paths cross one day, sir. If not in the Fourth World, then in another."
Of course, that decision was made pretty clear by the phrasing of DuVernay's tweet, then made official by the story that broke shortly after. The relationship between DuVernay's fans and the Snyder fans only got more strained with the report that Justice League was tied to the decision to scuttle New Gods.
DuVernay, meanwhile, is still lined up to produce Naomi, a new superhero series on The CW based on the character created by David F. Walker and Brian Michael Bendis. Snyder is said to be done with new DC projects for the time being, althuogh he is still tweaking Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel for theatrical reissues.