Back in March, it was announced that Joss Whedon would be directing a standalone Batgirl film for the DC Cinematic Universe. At the time, I speculated aloud if Whedon, who would be writing, directing, and producing this film, would be put into a bigger role at DC, helping steer their universe in a similar way to what he did for Marvel. Due to a horrific family tragedy, Whedon will now be replacing Zack Snyder to finish Justice League.
To understand what a major boost Whedon can be for the DC Universe could be, you first have to look at his history in the industry. Sure, he's the man who created legendary television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but more important is how he helped shape the Marvel Cinematic Universe by not only writing and producing both Avengers films (2012's The Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron), as well as creating ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which helped further expand the MCU's lore via a television series directly correlating with the shows. This doesn't mean that Whedon was behind the wheel for huge Marvel successes like Captain America: Winter Soldier or the Iron Man series, but during their crucial first two phases, it was Whedon's job to not only orchestrate getting the heroes together for a massive adventure but also set the course for the subsequent films in Marvel's Universe.
What you have to understand now is the situation DC Comics is in right now. While diehards are here for 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were critically panned, setting Warner Bros. into a panic. And while early reviews are already calling Wonder Woman one of DC's best movies, the promotion (or lack thereof) of the film has been called into question, causing some to wonder if DC, while very much here for Wonder Woman, it's shaping up for Justice League being the movie that DC needs to perfect, and Whedon could be the right creative for the job.
For starters, Whedon knows how to tell comic book stories. Aside from his time with Marvel Studios (which even included some script doctoring on Thor: The Dark World and giving James Gunn advice on the first Guardians of the Galaxy), Whedon worked at Marvel Comics for roughly five years, creating the Astonishing X-Men series. He knows how to pace out these stories, which can be seen as something a director like Zack Snyder lacked. One of the biggest criticisms of Batman v Superman was how weak the story felt, and adding Whedon in on Justice League could help set up the next few years of DC films, especially since its set to introduce characters like Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg to movie audiences.
The biggest hurdle here might be meshing the visual aspect of Snyder with whatever Whedon will be doing to complete the project. The Hollywood Reporter says Whedon will be handling post-production duties, as well as shooting some additional scenes for the film, which could (should?) shore up the issues that movies like Suicide Squad were plagued with. With Whedon being a seasoned world builder and dot connector, throwing him into the driver's seat for the tail-end of the Justice League could make the fantasy of the DC Cinematic Universe truly being the competition Marvel needs.
Editor's note: A previous version of this post contained wording that might be perceived as insensitive to Zack Snyder and his family. The language has been updated to reflect the tone intended.