On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a speech at an electric car plant in which he took credit for both the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes, noting “British actors play both Spiderman and Superman under this Government. I’m going to take credit for it.” It would be tempting to take this as the inane boasting of an intellectually deficient egomaniac, at least for those of us in the United States used to President Donald Trump. But as Bleeding Cool Rumourmonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston’s 8000-word fawning treatises on Johnson and his politics have taught us, Johnson is no Trump. He may be an egomaniac, sure. His boasting may be inane. He may be intellectually deficient. But he’s intellectually deficient like a fox.
And so, when Boris Johnson takes credit for Spider-Man and Superman, some of the most well-known heroes of their respective superhero universes, what can we read into it about his plans? If Johnson doesn’t get his Brexit deal, will he pull Tom Holland from the Spider-Man films, ruining the peace so recently negotiated between Sony and Marvel? And what of Henry Cavill? If Johnson prevented Cavill from playing Superman, what would it mean for the Worlds of DC?
While it’s unclear when Cavill will don the blue and red tights as the Man of Steel again, one thing for certain is that Cavill’s role as Superman is one of the most important links between the current Worlds of DC and the former DCEU, what Warner Bros referred to its superhero movie universe as back when Zack Snyder was running it. Snyder’s last film was Justice League, which he was forced to leave before completion due to a personal tragedy. Warner Bros brought alleged fake feminist Joss Whedon on board to finish the film, but though Whedon swore to uphold Zack Snyder’s Vision, instead he replaced all of Snyder’s badass scenes featuring Cavill as Superman with scenes where Cyborg says “booyah.” The result: catastrophic box office failure, with DC Films President Jon Berg paying the ultimate price for the film’s failure.
In the wake of the disastrous release, fans have clamored for Warner Bros to release a cut of Justice League which restores Zack Snyder’s Vision. These hardcore fans of Snyder’s grim and gritty view of a DC cinematic universe are known colloquially as Snyderbronies, and the cut of Justice League is known as the Snyder Cut. And no matter how much time has passed since Justice League’s failure, the movement demanding the Snyder Cut’s release remains strong, with Aquaman star Jason Momoa advocating for its release earlier this month.
But Boris Johnson could through a big monkey wrench into the works if Brexit doesn’t go his way. We’ve already seen Ben Affleck replaced by Robert Pattinson as Batman. If Superman were to be replaced with a new actor as well, we would lose the most important remaining link to Zack Snyder’s DCEU, the neck-snapping Man of Steel who makes out with Lois Lane in the ruins of Metropolis. Sure, casting a new actor as Superman might help the world to move on and put the Snyder Cut in the past. But Snyderbronies aren’t ready to move on just yet. Not until the Snyder Cut is released and we all see how much better it is.
And so, it’s become clear that it’s not just the fate of the United Kingdom which rests on the political battles and upcoming election that will set the nation’s course for decades to come. More important than any of that, the very fate of the Snyder Cut itself could rest within Boris Johnson’s hands, and that is truly terrifying.