Director Zack Snyder Opens Up About the Superman Reboot
03.17.11 by BJSprecher
Director Zack Snyder has built his career on making faithful, visually-stunning adaptations of popular comic books and novels with such movies as 300, Watchmen and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. He took a slight detour from adaptations with his new movie opening next week, Sucker Punch, which he conceived and co-wrote with Steve Shibuya, but his next movie will be the king of all adaptations. Snyder will tackle the first and greatest superhero of them all, Superman, in the Warner Bros. reboot. Snyder recently took time away from promoting Sucker Punch to discuss Superman: The Man of Steel (working title) with the L.A. Times, offering up his philosophy on how to approach such an iconic character, what it's like to work with producer Christopher Nolan, and when we will see title star Henry Cavill in the cape and tights.
Whereas director Bryan Singer's Superman Returns attempted to recapture the magic of director Richard Donner's 1979 classic movie by retaining the general tone of the movie, using John Williams' score, and having Brandon Routh model his performance after that of Christopher Reeve, Snyder said that his approach to Superman is to "respect" what has come before, but not be beholden to it.
Literally, the one thing that everyone can start to think about is that we’re making a movie that finally goes with the approach that there’s been no other movies. If you look at Batman Begins, there’s that structure, there’s the canon that we know about and respect but on other hand there’s this approach that pre-supposes that there haven’t been any other movies. In every aspect of design and of story, the whole thing is very much from that perspective of respect the canon but don’t be a slave to the movies.
Snyder mentions Batman Begins with good reason: Nolan's Batman origin movie brought the franchise back from the brink of death following the debacle that was Batman & Robin and paved the way for The Dark Knight to become the highest grossing comic book movie adaptation of all time—and the third all-time highest domestic grossing movie behind Avatar and Titanic. So Warner Bros. decided to bring Nolan aboard as producer to "godfather" the Superman reboot. Snyder said that collaborating with Nolan has been "really great" so far.
Chris is awesome. He’s super-respectful but super-helpful, too. You can’t imagine a more generous [collaborator]…once he sort of got what I want to do with it, he was like, "OK," and once he said, "You know what, that’s awesome," now he’s 100%. If I say, "What do you think of this?" he’s like, "That’s awesome," and then there’s a great give-and-take about it, a great conversation that we can have about it and making it better everyday. And by the way he’s hilarious, too.
Snyder would not comment on what Cavill's Superman costume will look like, but he did say that it will be revealed well in advance of the start of production to avoid a leak.
I’d love to talk about it. We’re going to have to show it before we shoot, probably a while before that because [otherwise] someone will be on the set and get a picture of it.
For more from Snyder on Superman: The Man of Steel, check out the full interview over at the Hero Complex.