Zack Snyder has spoken again. This time he confirms that the DCEU was never meant to be a shared universe like the MCU, well, not in the traditional sense. After the MCU hit it off in a big way with critics, fans, and the box office numbers; it was only natural that Warner Bros. takes its DC property and go for the same idea of one unified cinematic universe that would show most of its major characters tied together. According to Zack Snyder, one shared universe was never the final plan.
Recently in a Vero interview, Snyder was presented with the idea that he was only trying to make a sort of “Trilogy” much like Christopher Nolan did with his Batman trilogy in the sense that his series was to act as a more self-contained story than anything else. Snyder only answered “Yes” when presented with this theory.
Man of Steel wrapped shooting in August 2011, in the middle of the MCU’s phase 1. The film did include many Easter eggs to hint, only hint, at the much larger DC Universe in movie form (Wayne Enterprises satellite, Lex Corp tanker trucks, etc) but these were meant to be just hooks left out in the DCEU for other directors to come along and create their visions of other heroes as they saw fit. This wasn’t necessarily to tie together the characters as the MCU did with Nick Fury or its constant Tony Stark appearances on film. The Avengers hit it big at the box office, Warner Bros. saw the numbers, and rushed into Batman V. Superman and so on. Wonder Woman is the perfect example of the Snyder vision as it took place separate from the previous three films inside the DCEU.
After the critical shelling of the Joss Whedon reshoot in Justice League, DC Films, and Warner Bros. has gone back to this idea with James Wan heading up Aquaman (December 21, 2018) and even the creation of a separate studio called DC Dark, to showcase the less kid-friendly side of DC Comics.