Justice League: 'Toxic' Side of DC Fans Denounced By Warner Bros. Head

By David Thompson Updated:
Zack Snyder and Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League has finally been released after years of DC fans clamoring for Warner Bros. to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Despite the film receiving positive reviews, it appears this was the end of Snyder's time at DC. WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff recently told Variety in response to The Snyder Cut being released, "With it comes the completion of his trilogy."

The Snyder-Verse trilogy of Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Zack Snyder's Justice League, would've never happened without the fans campaigning.  Along with the outpouring of support for Zack Snyder, some fans also turned this movement toxic by lashing out at executives at Warner Bros. for not initially supporting the Snyder Cut. 


In the interview with Variety, Ann Sarnoff asked fans "to be patient" with their plans at DC Films. She mentions that they want to listen to fans, but they "do want to stay true to [their] vision and [their] mission for DC and build that out." Here's her full quote:

"We’re always going to listen to our fans, but we are in service of the broadest fanbase and we owe them an integrated, holistic strategy. We are the shepherds of the franchise and hopefully when the fans see what we’ve got in store they’ll know that DC is in good hands across many different platforms with many different creators. We want different voices in the mix. For certain fans that want singular voices, they may be disappointed, but we would ask them to be patient and see what we’ve got in store because perhaps the newer voices in the mix will have just as compelling stories to tell. On balance, you of course want to listen to your fans, but we do want to stay true to our vision and our mission for DC and build that out."

Sarnoff said it is her "job to make sure [they] super-serve our fans across all demos and all fanbases." She also teased different branches of Warner Media working together, meaning "the media is going to be more connected, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in more overt ways."

"We have weekly meetings with our key execs in every division. Last August, I was made head of studios and networks and I now have all of the creative groups underneath me, so now around that table it’s not just Warner Bros. film, Warner Bros. television, and Warner Bros. games, but it includes HBO and HBO Max and the Turner networks, Adult Swim, and the Kids and Family networks. We are involving all of those people in our plans going forward and that means the media is going to be more connected, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in more overt ways. Like opposite The Suicide Squad we’re spinning out Peacemaker with James Gunn and Jon Cena passionately developing that for HBO Max. It’s my job to make sure we super-serve our fans across all demos and all fanbases."

Sarnoff continued saying she is "very disappointed in the fans that have chosen to go to that negative place with regard to DC" and that they "don’t want it to be a culture of canceling things that any small faction isn’t happy with" when asked about the "toxic side to the fandom:"

"We’re not tolerating any of that. That behavior is reprehensible no matter what franchise you’re talking about or what business you’re talking about. It’s completely unacceptable. I’m very disappointed in the fans that have chosen to go to that negative place with regard to DC, with regard to some of our executives. It’s just disappointing because we want this to be a safe place to be. We want DC to be a fandom that feels safe and inclusive. We want people to be able to speak up for the things they love, but we don’t want it to be a culture of cancelling things that any small faction isn’t happy with. We are not about that. We are about positivity and celebration."


It has become clear that the world Zack Snyder built is not the one WarnerMedia plans on continuing in their DC Cinematic Universe. At DC Fandome, DC Films president Walter Hamada teased the use of the multiverse and Elseworlds stories. He mentioned that "if we come across a filmmaker with an interesting story that doesn't work within our existing timeline and it would work as an Elseworlds we would definitely explore it."

Fans have already seen this in action with 2019's Joker and upcoming Matt Reeves film The Batman taking place outside the established DCEU. Hamada added, "That's the beauty of multiverse is we can explore it; we can go down the road and take a shot at it." In turn, this opens up DC Films to essential produce any DC film they want without feeling the restriction of fitting it into a connected cinematic universe. 

This is rumored to be the direction of JJ Abraham's upcoming Superman film, rather than existing in the same universe as Henry Cavill's Man of Steel. It remains unclear what the DCEU will even mean in the coming years with films like The Suicide SquadShazam! Fury of the Gods, and The Flash taking place in the built universe but unclear how they'll connect back to the Snyder-Verse films. 

Moving forward, it appears DC Films will be going away from the perfectly tie-together MCU formula and focus more on making good stories, rather than building an interconnected universe. 

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.