Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Snyder Helms Supes

After months of relative quiet, things have heated up pretty quickly on the Chris Nolan Superman project, with Deadline first to break word that none other than Zack Snyder, he of Watchmen and 300, has come aboard as director.  As I mentioned when I first heard that Snyder's name was in the mix, I can't say I'm really blown away by his selection, but I fully acknowledge that it could probably be worse.  The weird thing is that for the post part I've liked everything Snyder has done (especially his Dawn of the Dead remake, which I think was far better than it had any right to be), and I still greatly appreciate his efforts on the supposed-to-be-unadaptable Watchmen, but I just wonder how (if?) his particular set of stylistic quirks (ultra-violence, rock-heavy soundtracks, hyper-kinetic editing) will translate to the Man of Steel.

Now, the fact of the matter is that Bryan Singer tried an overly-reverential (some would say morbidly obsessive) approach with Superman Returns four years ago, and if that had worked better we'd already be talking about his third movie by now, so I totally get why they're going in this direction, but part of me wonders if this is another McG-Terminator situation (though, just to be clear, I think Snyder is considerably more talented than McG).  And of course, another factor working in this project's favor is the presence of both Nolan and writer David Goyer on the bill, with their work on the Batman side of things giving them a whole lot of free rein.  As an aside, I'm curious which of the creatives, Nolan or Snyder, will hold more sway over the finished product -- and who will get the credit (or blame).

In terms of his approach to the character and the material, this is what Snyder had to say to Geoff Boucher of the LA Times:
“He endures. We all want to know, ‘How will he come to us now?’ He is the biggest and the baddest of them all. The greatest of them all, right? We all want to know how the next chapter takes shape. I want to know how it will take shape.”
Granted, that's mostly boilerplate, EPK-type stuff, but I suppose we can take a wait-and-see for the time being.  The only disappointing thing I've heard thus far is that the potential villain of choice for the Nolan-Snyder Superman is General Zod, already immortalized by Terence Stamp in the first two flicks of the Chris Reeve cycle.  Come on, guys.  With the likes of Brainiac or Mongul or Darkseid or Bizarro or Doomsday or a half-dozen other powerhouses who regularly trade blows with Superman to choose from, do we really have to go back to the Donner-Lester well yet again?  Isn't that what got us in this mess to begin with?  Anyway, I hope that one turns out not to be true.

Also, seemingly putting a definitive period on the question of whether the last guy to wear the cape will get another shot, Snyder has told Variety that it's "unlikely" Brandon Routh will be back.  And that, as they say, is that.  Sorry, Brandon.


Imran said...

Two points.First being that I think Zack Snyder's ultra-stylistic approach to Superman would be fun to watch. I watched Superman returns twice. First time I was disappointed and second time I was even more disappointed. The special effects were lackluster the movie wasn't even fluid or gripping like say Spiderman 1.
I think a Zack Snyder treatment is exactly what this franchise needs.
Second point has nothing to do with Superman but rather with McG's treatment of Terminator. I liked that movie, I thought the direction of it was good. It was unabashed action movie slug fest, with a bit of a storyline. There was so much 'controversy' prior to the movies release, about Schwarzenegger not being in it. That controversy took away from what it was,and it was a prequel to the series. I would have loved to seen the direction of it.

mr.boy said...

Color me cautiously optimistic. I'm with you, Z. I have no problem with Zack Snyder. I think he's a very talented and creative director who, with every film, pushes the boundaries of his own vision.

But given that, when I heard the news, my reaction was "Zack Snyder? Oh. . . . oh, okay. . ."

I HOPE he's able to breathe some life into this floundering franchise. But I guess my biggest worry is that "too much" isn't always a good thing.

I had the same reaction when I watched "The Town." About 20 minutes into the movie, you realize Ben Affleck is the main character. Same thing. I was like "Oh HE'S the main character? Oh. . . well. . . yeah. . . all right, let's keep going."