The DCEU will maintain continuity, except when it doesn’t, and the Justice League reshoots were designed to lighten the tone of the movie.
In an interview with bird-themed pop culture website Vulture, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson announced that DC has abandoned the strict continuity of a Marvel-style shared universe to adopt a much looser definition of the term. Nelson explained:
“Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t make sense, but there’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe. Moving forward, you’ll see the DC movie universe being a universe, but one that comes from the heart of the filmmaker who’s creating them.”
DC Co-President and Chief Creative Officer Geoff “Jeff” Johns also chimed in on the company’s less-than-enthusiastic view of continuity.
“Some of the movies do connect the characters together, like Justice League. But, like with Aquaman, our goal is not to connect Aquaman to every movie,” Johns explained, making the collection of news clippings and photos from DCEU movies with pins and string connecting them all to Aquaman that we’ve spent the last six months assembling on our bedroom wall. “The movie’s not about another movie.”
One of the reasons that Nelson and Johns had to clarify all of this is all of the recent rumors about upcoming DC flicks. The Batman, a standalone but still connected movie starring Ben Affleck, or maybe not, no he’s definitely starring it, wait, no he’s not again. A Joker origin movie, alongside a Joker and Harley movie, alongside Gotham City Sirens, alongside Suicide Squad 2, with two jokers, maybe one of them being Leonardo DiCaprio. Dueling Marvel family movies starring various pro wrestlers. Human sacrifice. Dogs and cats living together. Jonah Hex 2. Mass hysteria. If it seems like chaos, Johns feels your pain.
Johns set the record straight:
“Some of the stuff is true, some of it isn’t true. When we talk about things or we’re making deals for people to develop scripts or whatever, sometimes, things leak; sometimes, things are misreported, and it’s frustrating. Because we do wanna go out there and talk about what our strategy is, and this stuff just muddies the water. There’s a lot of internal conversations going on about, How do we help kind of clean that up a bit?”
The article explains how Johns and Nelson gained control of the DCEU, following the critical failure and commercial underperformance of Batman v. Superman. A source, according to Vulture, says Johns was against the controversial Superman neck-snapping scene and the movie’s best-in-class grim-dark tone. Johns and fellow exec Jon Berg were given the reins of the universe, just in time to take credit for Wonder Woman, which single-handedly restored the movie audience’s hope for the DCEU.
And Vulture’s article seems to confirm that one of the reasons alleged fake feminist Joss Whedon was chosen to “revamp” Justice League after Zack Snyder‘s departure was to change the tone of that film to a brighter one. “Everyone was excited about Joss being a part of DC,” said Johns, “and we thought he’d be great to write the scenes, the additional-photography scenes that we wanted to get.” According to Vulture, that plan was in place even before Snyder left.