When Zack Snyder stepped away from directing Justice League -- with only months to go before release, amid personal scandal and behind-the-scenes whispers about a studio that lacked faith in the film -- the last thing it seemed like was a potential savior for the struggling DC films. Yet, years later, it seems as though Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League has breathed new life into the DC film universe, exciting fans and helping to mend fences with talent that seemed like they were all but finished. In the three months since HBO Max announced that they would be bringing Snyder's Justice League to their streaming platform, DC's movie universe has gone from something that seemed like it was on life support to something exploding with infinite possibilities.
Henry Cavill is set to return as Superman -- something that, for a long time, rumor had it was more or less off the table as Warners wanted to fully re-evaluate the franchise. Today, fans learned that not only are the rumors about Michael Keaton returning as Batman true, but Ben Affleck, too, will be returning to the cape and cowl -- something that virtually nobody saw coming.
Going back to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Flash (Ezra Miller) made his first big-screen appearance in a moment that came straight out of the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book miniseries. That moment has increased relevance now, since Miller appeared in the role of Barry Allen/The Flash in the penultimate episode of The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event -- the first official sign that the DC films were part of the multiverse established in the second season of The Flash, and seemingly given an increased importance with the new knowledge that, in The Flash (the movie), Affleck and Keaton will reprise their roles as Batman, fully embracing the multiverse in a way that we couldn't have expected before Zack Snyder's Justice League, and in a way that even Marvel has not yet really done.
Granted, not all of these changes are the direct result of Zack Snyder's Justice League. That said, it's hard to ignore that about a year ago, there was pretty muted enthusiasm for any movies that weren't Wonder Woman or Aquaman sequels. People didn't really believe The Flash would ever happen.
It's hard to ignore, though, the non-stop parade of news, hype, and fan enthusiasm that started with the HBO Max announcement and has yet to let up. Expect more of it -- along with some Snyder Cut footage -- this weekend at DC Fandome: Hall of Heroes.