After three years of absolutely ridiculous amounts of hype, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is easily one of the biggest film debuts of the year so far ... unfortunately, the movie's early press screenings and reviews haven't exactly been great.
Despite Warner Bros.' all-consuming marketing blitz, the film just isn't going over well with critics: whether it's the focus on existential drama as opposed to actual superhero action or the grim, overly-serious tone of the movie, Batman v Superman isn't the epic, awe-inspiring superhero flick that some thought it would be.
Fans are, somewhat predictably, taking it pretty hard. Some fans are blaming Warner Bros., others are blaming DC Comics ... but most seem to be focusing their frustrations on director Zack Snyder. Between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Snyder's take on the publisher's most iconic heroes hasn't exactly gone over well with fans — as a result, two separate Change.org petitions have appeared online, demanding that Warner Bros. remove Zack Snyder from the DC Cinematic Universe before it's too late.
While the two petitions are unrelated, they're both asking for the same thing: Zack Snyder's removal from DC's Cinematic Universe and future film prospects. The first petition calls Snyder's films "middling," and proposes that DC find a director whose projects won't be so divisive:
"Even if you loved Man of Steel and BvS. There has to come a time when WB and DC want someone at the helm that can create something that WON'T divide people in such a way. The building blocks are there for a great different set of superhero movies ... Zack Snyder is just not the guy that should be in charge of the biggest and most important films in the franchise."
The second petition doesn't really have an argument to speak of, save that Snyder has supposedly ruined all of DC's plans before they even got off the ground:
"This guy has already doomed the franchise with two critical flops in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. He's a great visual artist, but cannot tell a good story. The only chance of redemption for DCEU is to hire a director who's not as polarizing as Snyder, who understands the characters well, doesn't make them roam away from their mythos and balance the tone of the future movies."
One could argue that this sort of reaction may ever-so-slightly influence how DC approaches its marketing from here on out, but there's no way that Zack Snyder is going to be replaced. Change.org petitions are a great idea, but they rarely matter in the long run, and Warner Bros. isn't about to change its strategy over a pair of angrily-written petitions.
Snyder's next foray into the DC Cinematic Universe, the first Justice League film, is set to begin production next month. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on the other hand, opens in theaters on March 25.