Why Zack Snyder *Might* Be Right for Superman
I'm not the biggest fan of Snyder's previous work, but it's too early to rule him out yet...
Since it was announced yesterday that Zack Snyder will be helming Chris Nolan's SUPERMAN reboot, there's been a lot of mixed reaction in the forums. Some people, who love his movies like 300 and WATCHMEN, are obviously excited to see him tackle Big Blue, while those who feel Snyder's films lack substance and heart are worried that we'll get a story that doesn't do justice to the world's greatest superhero. Either way, a lot of people have been very quick to make judgements. Personally, I'd say cautious optimism is the best response to have.
Snyder would not have been my first choice from the list of directors that was floating around. Robert Zemeckis seemed to me the most natural fit, while Darren Aronofsky and Duncan Jones seemed like potentially the most artistically daring choices.
I think 300 is a great, stupid action movie. The action scenes are spectacular (some complain about the speed-ramping, but I'll take that over shaky cam avid farts any day), but the film lacked substance. Everything happens on the surface level. I was looking forward to WATCHMEN, but I was disappointed to see a film that looked just like the comic but failed to resonate on the same level, not to mention some absolutely boneheaded production choices (the sex scene set to "Hallelujah," the old-person make-up on Nixon and Carla Gugino, spending so much time and money animating Dr. Manhattan's wang that you forget to make his mouth look right).
While I believe that Snyder could probably shoot some great Superman action scenes (for whom Snyder's speed ramping style actually seems natural), the last thing I want is a shallow Superman film. We need to see why Superman matters, not just how badass he can be. With that said, here are the reasons why I think there's no reason for those of us who are unsure about Snyder to get upset yet:
1. Christopher Nolan - A screenplay written by the Nolans and Goyer is almost certain to have more substance than anything Snyder's worked with in the past. Those worried about Snyder's casting or directing of the actors should rest easy knowing that Snyder has already said he expects Nolan to be heavily involved, and that since they started talking about making this movie it has been their goal to make Superman relevant, to show us why he matters. Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT did just this for the Caped Crusader - placed him firmly in the modern world and didn't shy away from the real-world implications of someone doing what these characters do. It is my hope that Nolan's strengths will balance out what I perceive as Snyder's weaknesses.
2. General Zod - While I'd rather they tackled someone we haven't seen yet (like Darkseid or Braniac), the fact that we'll at least be getting a villain Superman can punch means we'll finally get some action scenes. Even as someone who doesn't always like Snyder, I have to admit that the thought of a Snyder-shot Zod vs. Superman slug-fest does sound pretty fucking epic.
3. The Hamm Connection - I know not everyone thinks Hamm should be Superman (sorry to the Welling or Routh supporters, but anyone who still thinks one of them will get the part is setting themselves up for disappointment), but he's one of only three actors that I've ever looked at and seen Clark Kent. The other two are Christopher Reeves and Gregory Peck, and I'm afraid they're both out of the running. The fact that Hamm has a supporting role in Snyder's upcoming SUCKER PUNCH and co-stars in WB's THE TOWN, which is currently enjoying a good critical and financial run, seems to bring us even closer to seeing what I know many of us out there believe could be a definitive version of The Man of Steel.
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