Monday, October 04, 2010

You will believe a man can fly... and then slow waaaay down when everything looks its coolest... and then fly again!

Zack Snyder, late of "300," "Watchmen" and the upcoming "Sucker Punch," is the director of  "Superman: The Man of Steel" for Warner Bros. and producer Christopher Nolan. So says The Hollywood Reporter, who also mentions rumors of a certain returning bad guy.

Call me... "cautiously psyched."

It's en-vogue to knock Snyder right now - "300" has been swallowed-up - with some justification - in the broader geek-community rejection of Frank Miller and "Watchmen" remains divisive. For what it's worth, I remain of the opinion that it's the third best Superhero movie ever made after "Dark Knight" and "Spider-Man 2" ("Iron Man" and Donner's "Superman" being 4 and 5) and I'll maintain that while it's not as "solid" as TDK it's the braver, bolder, more intellectual and more challenging of the two by far. Also, his first non-adaptation effort, "Sucker Punch," has yet to be seen.

Obviously, it would've been more "interesting" had the job gone to also-rumored Darren Aronofsky, but I can't find anything to be upset about. The web will be full of tedious jokes about "speed-ramping" (like, err... the one in the title of this article, for example...) but I like the sound of it. Snyder can direct actors, "gets" the genre, handles big-scale action like a seasoned master and is thus far distinguished in comic-adaptations by his fidelity to the material - I'd LOVE to know what his "favorite" Superman era or story-arc is, if he has one, because then you'd probably know what the movie was going to look like.

In any case, this will be the first time a Superman movie has been made by a filmmaker more known as a visual-stylist, which should actually be pretty refreshing at this point. Imagine a "Superman" movie that looked as close to any given Superman comic as Dr. Manhattan's origin looked/felt like it's source material? Yeah, I'll file this one under "optimism," for now.

20 comments:

MAHistorian said...

I had a feeling that it would be Zack Snyder, after his name was brought up, during Christopher Nolan's search for a director. Snyder is the only director, on Nolan's short list that had any previous experience, in adapting comic books, for the silver screen.

He understands, the comic book genre, and he knows how to make the pages come, to life, on screen. Regardless of the mixed reviews for both 300 and Watchmen, Christoper Nolan chose him, to direct, a live-action film, about the Man of Steel.

I hope, after so many disappointments and setbacks that Zack Synder will finally capture the the kind of hero that the Man of Steel is to the world.

I cannot wait to see a real Superman, not a CGI or an animated one, flying above the world again.

Aaron said...

Hey MovieBob, I was wondering if you saw Snyder's last film , Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. I saw it last week. IT'S FUCKING HORRIBLE. The action is all at extreme close up which is made worse by the fact that all of the owls look the same. The dialogue is embarrassing at times. The characters are all poorly written. The jokes made me contemplate suicide. Worst of all, it's so boring. It's just a mess. Easily Snyder's worst film.

Q said...

Ok Bob, will you at least admit that Synder's Watchmen was no where near as intelligent as Moore's, especially in the details.

I mean I know Synder tried something that no one else did which as try to make an ADULT superhero movie and did alright on its own merit but still had pacing issues and you could really tell that Synder didn't fully comprehend all the themes in Watchmen (The action is overly stylized going against the realism that the comic brought and characters that once seemed tragic were almost made funny by his childish sense of humor).

He might not be nerd enough to tackle complex mythologies like Viking Owls but I think he could easily do Superman in a very simplistic Golden Age style ie.

(OMG!! Superman just PUNCHED Darkseid IN THE FACE!)...or something like that.

Elessar said...

Eh. Call me up and down. I like Zack Snyder as a guy, but his work is INCREDIBLY uneven, not only in the quality of his films overall, but in the quality of the film from scene to scene (IE, THAT scene was awesome but THAT scene sucked and then THAT scene was awesome and then...). Dawn of the Dead is the best example of this, but Watchmen gets it to (you'd be surprised to find I like the comic better).

300 was his most even film in that it was just-above-average-but-awesome all the way through. Superman is...a different kettle of tea, from all those things and I'm not sure it's his. I'll have more of an idea when I've seen that Owl movie, because that has the most in common with Superman (and isn't that odd to say). I'll be optimistic, but it's verrrrry cautious.

And I think Superman 2 is better than 1, shitty treatment of Richard Donner or not.

Sir Laguna said...

Dawn of The Dead, don't forget the more-than-correct remake of Dawn of The Dead.

He's not only good directing CGI-heavy slo-mo.

Christopher said...

Snyder has a ridiculously to- and fro- track record with me. I wasn't crazy over Dawn of the Dead, found 300 to be fun but kinda stupid, I hate half of Watchmen (Silk Spectre II, Ozzymandius, Nite Owl II, unnecessary ultra violence, gratuitous nudity, the fucking ending), I like another half of Watchmen (Jackie Earle Haley, the Comedian, Dr. Manhattan's origin story, set and costume design), and I had fun with Legend of the Guardians.

But Superman to me is in dire need of a character-focused movie rather than a visual one since each film since Superman 2 has been one disappointment after another. It also doesn't help that Supes keeps fighting damn thugs all the bloody time. I can see fighting Zod as a better idea than most, but I'm still unconvinced at Snyder's directing ability.

akkuma420 said...

If Snyder can get his adolescent humor in check just a little for this movie, I can see this working really well....
He's an excellent director, has great style, but can get a tad silly at times.

Neue said...

I've seen Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen about half a dozen times each and I really have no bloody idea what everyone is talking about when they reference his sense of humor.

Can someone shed some light on all these juvenile comedic moments I've clearly missed over and over and over and over?

Q said...

@Neue

There is a scene in the 2nd Act of 'Watchmen' it's right after Manhattan left, Nightowl starts hitting on Silk Spectre. They commence making out but there's one problem Nightowl can't "rise" to the occasion. UH OH. Now this scene was in the original graphic novel but the way Snyder filmed it made it more Farrelly brothers when it should have been more Coen Brothers.

The humor is dark but childish. He approached it like a thirteen year old would.

And of course, the hundred or odd so quotable lines from 300 (take your pick of which)

Sssonic said...

I'm not-at-all optimistic. I still have yet to see his "Dawn of the Dead" remake, but every other Snyder film I've seen has left me pretty cold. "300" never really grabbed me, mainly because Snyder's directing rendered it unimaginably dull; the racking was so frequent nothing felt like it had any visceral impact, and the whole useless subplot with the Spartan Queen was a real snoozer, much as I respected its overall goal.

"Watchmen" meanwhile...it's not a terrible movie, but it's also just not very good. I don't much feel like calling it "intelligent" on Snyder's part when most of that intelligence
a.) came from the source material rather than Snyder himself, who wasn't even involved in the screenplay
and
b.) wound up being significantly drained out of the story in some of its most crucial areas.
Most of all, though, I just found the Directing really unappealing. Again, the racking really hurt things for me (though at least this time it wasn't so frequent that it never worked), and I just don't feel Snyder had a real sense of the story beyond its most superficial levels.

I know no one was ever going to let Bryan Singer do his follow-up when "Superman Returns" was greeted so coolly by audiences, but I still believe it to be a great movie, and I mourn that we will not only NOT be getting Singer's sequel but that the new Superman movie is in the hands of one of the last directors on Earth I'd want anywhere near it.

Moshi said...

HURR DURR SUPERPOWERS

Kyle said...

I would love a good Superman movie. I really would.

I didn't see the last one.

Arturo said...

He claims that he's a huge fan and that he wants to prove that you can still do a good Superman movie by staying true to the source material (Watchmen), but also bring it to new audiences.
I wouldn't take his word just like that, but he does seem confident. We'll just have to wait and see.

The Grey Man said...

Well, whenever Aronofsky is listed as a possibility and they go with someone else I'm gonna be disappointed. This case is no different, especially with all the bandying about Snyder's visual style, when Aronofsky is an incredibly interesting and visually dynamic director.

Bobby said...

I am stoked! I am not really a fan of "Superman", he's boring at times (but when things like "Red Son" come along, Supes is brilliant), Synder is fantastic.

His "Dawn of the Dead" was a solid and fun remake. "300", while uneven, looks great and it enjoyable. "Watchmen" is damn near perfect. His latest, in my opinion, was sheer genius. Gorgeous visuals, intense story, surprisingly dark. I am immediately sold on anything he does.

Dave said...

Oh dear sweet jesus no.

Whose genious idea was it to get a guy whose entire goddamn resume is to have made the crappier version of a prexisting product? Literally every damn movie he's made had been an adaptation of something that already existed...and has been all the inferior for his influence.

He has no understanding for subtelty or restraint, and actually rewrote some of the most powerful scenes in watchmen because they weren't violent enough, thereby destroying the defining character moment for Rorshach. He's like the bastard child of eli roth and jj abrams.


Oh well, I suppose I can wait another 20 years for a good superman film. I'll always have the DCAU....

Rarer Monsters said...

I would not be psyched...even if people are positive about Watchmen, the only reason that it turned out good was because it was an essentially idiot proof book...just make a panel for scene adaptation and it'll turn out good, then slap a blue filter on it so it looks like CSI.

It might even work for a franchise like Batman, where there are seminal works he could adapt, but there really is no definitive superman work that Snyder can lift off of. What's left for a director like him? Just hit generic points, and with a story and character as already generic as Superman is, that's a recipe for a totally forgettable work.

Dave said...

@rarer

and he couldn't even do that right. He cuts out R's awesome monolog against Ozzy which sets their two vastly differing ideologies against each other and foreshadows the entire goddamn plot.

and then during the flashback with the kidnapped girl, he's so lunkheaded that he doesn't understand the meaning of the scene at all, and just has R cleaver the guy in the face. All snyder had to do was do exactly what the comic did and he couldn't do that right. he had to do the directoral equivalent of tracing and he failed.

But what really gets me is the description. Zod? Again? Have we not already done superman 2 about 50 times? The only thing compelling about the character was the actor. Why not use someone else form superman's rogues gallery? What about brainiac? parasite? Livewire? lobo? Hell, Luthor hasn't been properly represented in the movies EVER.

Arturo said...

Personally, Sucker Punch looks like it's gonna be awesome in a great B-movie sort of way, kind of a departure from a movie like Watchmen, but still good.
I just heard the plot for this new Superman could focus on CLark Kent traveling the world, deciding whether or not he should truly be Superman.

Vincent said...

AND AND AND!!!

Most importantly!

Snyder knows how to do action scenes with GREAT choreography and NONE of that awful super-close-up, shakey, ultra-fast jump cut garbage!