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Rumors That Zack Snyder Helped With Aquaman Prove the Snyder Cut Will Haunt Us Forever

Everything comes back to Zack.

Another day, another DCEU rumor. This one should be taken with a grain of salt, as should all DCEU rumors, but let’s examine what’s going on with everyone’s favorite aquatic hero.

According to Screen Rant, actor Neil Daly recently was on the Fire and Water podcast, where he talked about how he assisted with test screenings of Aquaman. Daly said of a possible version of the film:

“We could have gotten a whole movie about Aquaman basically fawning over Mera the whole time and making all kinds of dirty jokes and things like that and they really had to get away from that, which is all what Whedon had done, so Snyder had a little bit of an influence on Aquaman. James Wan was showing Zack Snyder – against the studio’s wishes – cuts of the movie and early test screenings and storyboards to make sure that they’re on the same page with what he originally wanted and Snyder gave his blessing of approval, bringing it back to what he wanted all along.”

Screen Rant points out how in Justice League, there’s an extended scene of Arthur objectifying Diana while he’s sitting on the Lasso of Truth, which is played for laughs. There are plenty of teenaged sexual jokes made about Diana throughout the film, including a scene in which Barry trips and falls onto Diana’s chest. Apparently, despite being called out for this behavior, Warner Bros. hoped to continue this in Aquaman.

It’s worth noting that for Aquaman‘s problems, Arthur is respectful of Mera throughout the film. There’s no gross behavior, he doesn’t treat her like a damsel in distress, and she’s overall a kickass character. However, I am more likely to give the credit to Wan and the screenwriters than I do Snyder, as they’re the ones who ultimately made the call to write Arthur and Mera in the way that they opted to in the final cut.

What this brings us to is, once more, the fabled Snyder Cut and the legends surrounding Snyder’s plans for the DCEU. For those who don’t occasionally troll the DC leaks subreddit (if it’s a defense of myself, I also do this for Star Wars leaks too), the Snyder Cut is Snyder’s original version of Justice League before he stepped down to focus on his family following his daughter’s passing and Joss Whedon stepped up and worked with reshoots. There is a large portion of the Internet obsessed with the Snyder Cut being released, and even Jason Momoa brought up the cut in an interview.

Before we go further, I want to clarify that I actually am no longer a complete DCEU detractor. While Man of Steel was a massive misfire in my eyes, I’ve grown vaguely fond of Batman v. Superman and Justice League; while Aquaman wasn’t my favorite film of 2018, the visuals were gorgeous and I loved how hard it leaned into the innate weirdness of the character.

Snyder is a good director, with a visual flair that sets him apart. However, he is not a genius visionary who is willfully misunderstood by critics. He was simply the wrong director for Superman. When DC pairs the right director with the right hero, such as Wan and Aquaman or Patty Jenkins with Wonder Woman, the films sing. Snyder’s visual flair definitely suits the DC universe, just maybe not Superman and his sense of hopeful optimism.

I wouldn’t even necessarily blame Snyder for all of the DCEU’s failings either. David S. Goyer, who wrote the tiresome Man of Steel, and Chris Terrio, who wrote Batman v. Superman with Goyer and Justice League with Whedon, are equally to blame. The visuals aren’t the main problem with the film, even if they are a bit dark. The heavy, overly complex scripts tend to be where the biggest issues thrive. A good script doctor, or a different set of writers, would’ve made the scripts definitely more enjoyable; the non-Goyer and Terrio scripts for Wonder Woman and Aquaman work far better.

I also wonder if there was a set plan in place for the franchise, similarly to how Marvel was building towards Thanos and the Infinity Stones for ten years. The Knightmare sequence in Batman v. Superman teases a future in which Superman goes dark, but with Justice League under-performing at the box office and Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck possibly exiting the franchise, that future plan might have been scrapped. There are rumors of the Flashpoint arc being the centerpiece of the Flash movie to reset the franchise, and even a possibility of Wonder Woman 1984 being set in an alternate timeline, but we just won’t know until the films come out.

One thing is for sure. Between Wonder Woman‘s critical success and Aquaman‘s giant box office, neither of those franchises are getting rebooted any time soon. Wan might have asked Snyder for advice, but Snyder shouldn’t be thanked for Aquaman‘s success. That was all Wan, and Momoa, and the rest of the crew. However, since the Snyder fans are devoted, we will probably never see an end to the rumors of Snyder’s involvement in these films and what they mean for the future of DC.

(via Screen Rant, image: DC)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.