Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice divided fans and critics like few movies have ever done before. The film came out in the same year as Captain America: Civil War, but was critically panned rather than praised, currently holding a meager 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, fans have come out time and again, commending the film’s unique visual style and gritty, emotional take on DC’s superheroes, and applauding visionary Zack Snyder for doing what no other superhero director has done before.
Nonetheless, critics have been particularly brutal — even two years later. Amy Adams was reportedly heartbroken by the film’s early reviews, and leads Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill have been understandably crushed by the initial backlash. This gave rise to a new meme known as “Sad Affleck” — or “Sadfleck” — capturing vividly Affleck and Cavill’s demoralized spirits during a particularly painful interview.
For years, Sadfleck has terrorized and disheartened not just the cast and crew, but also fans of Words of DC (formerly the DC Extended Universe) and the countless Snyder supporters rallying behind Warner Bros. Thankfully, one fan has finally stepped forward and given Sadfleck the edit it deserves.
Reddit user ARogue99 used the mobile faceswap app FaceApp on the Sadfleck meme, switching out Affleck’s quiet grimace for a mildly comforted smile, and Cavill’s serious non-smile for an elated grin, complete with his famous Mission: Impossible — Fallout ‘stache. Already, the image looks much brighter, both for these two actors and the future of the DC Extended Universe.
Unfortunately, Sadfleck may have logged out several months too late, because director Zack Snyder is no longer attached to Warner Bros.’ current superhero lineup and Affleck himself may no longer be playing Bruce Wayne in any future Batman films. Next year’s Shazam! is directed by The Conjuring alum David F. Sandberg, while the upcoming Aquaman solo movie is being spearheaded by Saw director James Wan. Wonder Woman 1984 is already being helmed by Patty Jenkins, who directed the first Wonder Woman film. There hasn’t been any word as to whether Snyder will still be directing any Worlds of DC movies.
As for Affleck, there have been rumors that he will be replaced by Jake Gyllenhaal, with Warner Bros. opting for a much younger Bruce Wayne. The studio also announced that they will not be making any crossover films for a while, which automatically puts to rest any fan speculation about a second Justice League movie.
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