The BIG Question - Is Zack Snyder The Right Director For Superman?


The problem with many of the recent crop of superhero movies is that they just haven’t been different enough. Take three examples, spanning the last five years; Fantastic Four, Spider-Man 3 and Iron Man 2. Each had their own individual problems but when you think about the films collectively, they were all innately similar; a recognisable face or faces, battling the forces of evil whilst a love interest invariably meandered in the background.

Of course, if you really tried, you could boil many more films than these three down to those common denominators. Contrast them with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films though and you can start to see the difference between the superhero films which go through the motions and those which try to innovate… and what Snyder excels at, is innovation.

In Dawn Of The Dead, Snyder took the stagnant zombie-horror (the stagnant 'horror remake', no less) to new, kinetic levels; in 300, the generic actioner got a super-toned makeover; for his latest project the by-now established director has gone for an animation. The next Snyder film we’ll see will be Sucker Punch, another completely different type of film which looks nothing if not incredibly original. A few months ago, we wrote that the worst thing that could happen to Superman: Man Of Steel would be for it to become a Christopher Nolan film: a Batman copy. With Zack Snyder, we’re guaranteed anything but an imitation.


Superman’s appeal has always been partly due to his ability to interact with the public. In his public face (Clark Kent) he brings them news, whilst in his private one, he saves the day and, more often than not, the world. His relationship with Lois Lane roots him in humanity, makes him a sympathetic character, above and beyond whatever mistakes he might make in his working lives.

Snyder’s problems, from Dawn Of The Dead to The Owls Of Ga'Hoole, has been creating believable relationships between individuals and audiences; most notably in 300. Eminently quotable, Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas was an on-screen action-titan. But compare him to John McClane or The Terminator or even Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne and your connection with Leonidas doesn’t even come close: you might respect him, admire him even, but you can’t really root for him, or cheer when he defeats evil.

Snyder isn’t right for Superman because in his constant battle to innovate he sacrifices character for on-screen beauty, forgets plot development in favour of touching up his special effects. A Snyder film is stylish, different, almost unique, but it is also incredibly cold and impersonal: everything that Superman needs not to be if we want him to save the day.

What's your answer to The BIG Question?


  1. I am not really on board with Snyder here. I agree with most of the 'no' section, in that he does not create human connections in his characters very well. I am sure the action and the energy of Snyder's Superman will be top notch, but I have always felt cold towards his work. Humanity is a key element to Superman, and if Snyder has a flaw it is in creating human characters. Even if they would be an alien from Krypton.

  2. Yes, obviously I absolutely agree with what you're saying there. Snyder needs to up his dramatic skill if SUPERMAN is going to suceed. Also: good point on the Human/Alien relationship - perhaps that facet will help him to get it right!