Zack Snyder says there was pressure to "divorce" Justice League from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because studio Warner Bros. had "this hatred" towards the superhero bout between Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill). Snyder's sequel to Man of Steel and the precursor to Justice League received largely negative reviews from critics and failed to reach the billion-dollar milestone at the worldwide box office — BVS grossed $873 million globally after it released five years ago today — and the blockbuster's underperformance ultimately led to a studio shakeup and a "course correction" that formed DC Films in 2016.
"I feel like the studio had this hatred for Batman v Superman," Snyder told SFX Magazine. "There was this pressure on me to divorce [Justice League] from Batman v Superman, which I didn't want to do, and which I didn't do."
"Frankly, it's a trilogy of movies, so it continues the story," Snyder added of his so-called SnyderVerse trilogy. "The narrative is affected by the things that have gone before it and that way it's able to realize this world that sets up the Darkseid invasion, for what was planned to be a five-movie arc. It definitely finishes with this version of the film [Zack Snyder's Justice League], with our heroes having mended their personal wounds and joined together as a family."
Amid calls from Snyder fans to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse — the director has already revealed plans for a Justice League 2 and 3 pitting heroes from across the DC Universe against the forces of Darkseid (Ray Porter) — Snyder has remastered and re-released the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition in 4K, which is now available to stream on HBO Max and own digitally or on disc.
"For me, it is a really personal movie. When Batman v Superman came out, it was like, 'Wow, oof,'" Snyder told UPROXX in 2016 about the critical reception to BVS. "It did catch me off guard … I really wanted the tone of the three movies to be different chapters, and not the same note you strike again … because of what fans have said and how the movie was received by some, we have really put the screws to what we thought the tone would be and I feel pressed it a little bit further."
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Porter, Joe Manganiello, and Jared Leto, Zack Snyder's Justice League is now streaming on HBO Max.