CS Soapbox: why boycotting WB won’t restore the SnyderVerse
We’re at a weird point in our universe. A little film called Zack Snyder’s Justice League just got released on HBO Max due to overwhelming fan support, something that has never ever in the history of the world happened before — and may never happen again. Kinda like a Seahawks Super Bowl. There are any number of terrible, rotten, downright horrible films released each year, many of which likely endured the same type of tumultuous behind-the-scenes tampering as 2017’s Justice League, and yet, only a handful of people ever cry out to see a director’s true vision restored while the rest of us roll our eyes at the blatant naïveté.
Except, as ZSJL proved, that’s not entirely the case anymore. In fact, after witnessing that film’s greatness, I’m genuinely starting to believe an amazing version of Spider-Man 3 exists on Sam Raimi’s laptop just waiting for rediscovery… but here’s the thing: Even if that movie does exist, there’s a right way and a wrong way to beg for its release. As it turns out, dressing in spandex and kidnapping Raimi’s dog is not listed amongst the right ways. Who knew?
Which brings us to the point of this article: boycotting Warner Bros. films will not restore the SnyderVerse. In fact, you can probably hang that action alongside 48-hour fasting, refusing to cut your hair or withholding sex from a spouse as a tactic that will not under any circumstance help you achieve any goal in life. Unless your goal is to be a really skinny, long-haired fellow with blue balls. Don’t judge me.
Anyways, if you need some context, apparently a handful of angry Snyder fans* have taken to review bombing Godzilla vs. Kong and gone so far as to boycott the big budget titans mashup in retaliation for what they perceive as mistreatment of Zack Snyder and his superhero universe. A wave of one-star reviews flooded GvK on IMDb, dragging the film’s score down to a 7.5/10. Naturally, Godzilla followers have retaliated by striking back with their own 10/10 reviews — that’ll show ’em! The bombing runs got so crazy, IMDb decided to remove the negative reviews in order to restore balance to the universe.
Look, I’m a huge Snyder fan. My hands were practically shaking when I received my link for ZSJL. I disowned my wife and kids for three days so I could watch the film on repeat over the course of 72 hours. Then, after being dragged out of the house by the cops (and, coincidentally, my wife’s former lover), I bought an enormous TV and continued to watch the film until my landlord kicked me out of my apartment for having my sound system set to maximum kick ass for far too long. But that’s okay, because it looks just fine on my flip phone.
The point is, I want more of Zack’s universe. I want more Batfleck, more cuckoo Knightmare scenes, more black-suited Superman, more head-chopping Wonder Woman. I want it all. But, at this juncture, all we as fans can do is tweet the hell out of #RestoreTheSnyderVerse, rewatch the film over-and-over again and patiently wait for the powers-that-be to comply. Remember, these are ginormous films that require millions of dollars to fund, which is why my Go Fund Me plan didn’t work out — I only made $23.47. (Thanks mom!) Sure, there’s a huge fan base salivating over the prospect of more Snyder stuff, but it’s still a pretty big risk for any studio to take on, particularly considering the lukewarm response Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received a mere half decade earlier. Hopefully, somebody at WB sees the potential of the SnyderVerse and green lights more, but until then, be grateful we got this far.
Now, while you wait, and at the risk of sounding like a corny ad, go check out Godzilla vs. Kong. It’s pretty awesome. No, not ZSJL awesome, but still pretty awesome. Refusing to watch that flick only robs you and your loved ones of perfectly great popcorn-and-cheese entertainment. Imagine letting your child, friend or ex-wife go through life having not seen two of cinema’s biggest titans go toe-to-toe on the largest screen possible. You know, psychologists cost a lot more than a movie ticket.
Of course, if you think the movie looks like garbage that’s a whole different deal, but don’t miss out on something that could potentially turn out to be a life-affirming event simply because you’re trying to make a point that will likely fail to stick anyway.
Besides, best case scenario — and I’m talking best case scenario here, as in, the world entire snubs the movie as though it were Doctor Dolittle — boycotting Godzilla vs. Kong would only convince the studio that they shouldn’t make more Godzilla vs. Kong movies. Similarly, boycotting Mortal Kombat would mean no sequels, leaving us with the same putrid feeling we all had in 1995 when New Line Cinema failed to deliver a proper sequel to Paul Anderson’s mostly shi*ty take on the popular video game.
Similarly, even if you think James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad looks like a bad Guardians of the Galaxy knockoff, avoiding it won’t convince WB to continue the SnyderVerse. In fact, should its upcoming superhero slate fail, it’s likely WB would take a break from producing more DC content before eventually rebooting the property five or six years down the road.
Case in point: Batman.
In 1989, Tim Burton delivered a classic take on the Caped Crusader that is still regarded as one of the better comic book films ever made. His follow up, Batman Returns — perhaps the strangest blockbuster to ever feature a horny mutant penguin — didn’t sell enough Happy Meals, leading WB to flip a doughnut in the middle of oncoming traffic and quasi-reboot the series with the much lighter Batman Forever. That terrible movie somehow made a lot of money, mostly due to Jim Carrey’s star power, which led WB to double down on the camp with Batman & Robin, a film in which the Dark Knight tries to woo Poison Ivy with a bat credit card. Naturally, that film tanked — clearly, audiences weren’t quite ready for so many nipples — and WB brought back Tim Burton to save the day — oh, wait! No, the studio put Batman in the vault for nearly a decade before giving the reigns to our lord and savior Christopher Nolan.
Anyways, that’s likely what will happen should WB’s upcoming batch of superhero flicks fail. And while I just made the case that boycotting could potentially lead to another Dark Knight trilogy in 10 years, keep in mind that that would also mean the absolute death of the SnyderVerse. Again, the best way to ensure more Snyder films is to watch the hell out of ZSJL and help push those Twitter hashtags to record engagements. That’s the only path to success. All other paths lead to less happiness, not more.
Speaking of which, does anyone have a tent they’re no longer using? Or some really long extension cords? My flip phone just died.
*Quick disclaimer: #RestoretheSnyderVerse reached an astonishing 1.5 million tweets last week which means there are a lot of Snyder fans out there, many of whom aren’t prone to the silly actions mentioned in this article. There are clearly a lot more sensible fans than crazy ones, so don’t take this as an attack on the group entire. But, should you see a Snyder fan behaving in a toxic manner, calmly report them to the FBI.