Is Zack Snyder the Right Director for Superman?

For those of you who loved 300, at least liked Watchmen, the Superman project just got a whole lot more interesting. Several names have been circling the rumor mill in recent weeks, but the winner to direct the new Superman is Zack Snyder.

Christopher Nolan is overseeing the project as producer and David Goyer is writing the screenplay.

Superman will likely kick ass as a result.

I’ve been a fan of Snyder’s since day one, when the awesome zombie flick Dawn of the Dead bit its way into theaters. The film was fresh (despite being a remake), exciting, funny and visually stimulating. Then again, if Dawn of the Dead was visually stimulating, 300 was a visual orgy. The movie proved Snyder could direct straight-on action with a vengeance.

Of course, if 300 was a visual orgy, Watchmen was a visual uber-orgy (I worked myself into a corner with “orgy”). It may have been slow and not right for everyone, but it was an impressively made superhero movie.

We’ll ignore Legend of the Guardians, which just looks stupid (but still, visually amazing).

Snyder could definitely do Superman justice and bring him into the 21st century. I’m a Bryan Singer fan and even am a fan of his 2006 movie Superman Returns – but I recognize its deficiencies. At first I thought it was wise to make a sequel to the old Chris Reeves Superman films, solely because no one needs to be reminded of Kal-El’s origins. But Singer, for some reason, bound himself to the world of the Chris Reeves Superman, which was overly goofy and made for the 1980’s. The movie also lacked an epic climax, even though Superman nearly kills himself lifting a continent into outer space.

Snyder is starting from scratch and will make Superman a visually intense action movie (action – that’s another thing Superman Returns lacked). Coupled with Goyer’s writing and Nolan’s oversight, the movie’s odds – and expectations – are extremely favorable.

But is Snyder the right director for Superman? I was expecting Nolan to pick a director who catered a little more to Nolan’s filmmaking style. Snyder likes glossy; Nolan likes gritty. In this regard, Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) was a better choice.

Then again, directors change their style to fit the screenplay and story. Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen all have their own distinctive styles, and I expect a markedly different approach from Snyder for Superman.

I’m excited, and so you should be.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies
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