ZACK SNYDER on Seeing SUPERMAN, BATMAN & WW Together, Fans Clinging to the Chris Reeve SUPERMAN

Icons by Jim Lee
Credit: DC Comics

In a new interview with Forbes magazine, director Zack Snyder answers questions at length about some of his earlier work – like Watchmen, 300 and Sucker Punch. But of course what comic book fans really want to hear about in 2014 is 2016’s Man of Steel sequel, which begins shooting soon in Detroit. MI. The director shared some thoughts on the seeing DC’s ‘Holy Trinity’ (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) together for the first time, how Man of Steel shared qualities with Watchmen, and level of competitiveness between Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. over superhero movies.

Said Snyder of that moment: “The thing also that’s really fascinating for me is that, even just in the tests we’ve been doing, the costumes, right? You basically have Batman and Superman — and this is without Ben [Affleck] and Henry [Cavill] in the costumes, but just like the stand-ins, just testing to see what the costumes look like. And you have them standing there and they’re standing in the same shot — and then we have Wonder Woman, you know, all three of them in the same shot. Even just for a test, you really have to go, ‘Wow, that’s crazy!’ Not only is it the first time that I’m seeing them, it’s the first time they’ve ever existed together on screen in a movie. And that’s kind of a huge deal. Even just Batman and Superman standing next to each other… [I]t’s kind of epic. You do sort of sense the weight of the pop culture iconography jumping out of its skin when you’re standing there looking at the two of them and Wonder Woman.”

Later, asked by the interviewer about the first Man of Steel sharing similar sensibilities Watchmen, Snyder responded: “I think with Superman we have this opportunity to place this icon within the sort of real world we live in. And I think that, honestly, the thing I was surprised about in response to Superman was how everyone clings to the Christopher Reeve version of Superman, you know? How tightly they cling to those ideas, not really the comic book version but more the movie version… If you really analyze the comic book version of Superman, he’s killed, he’s done all the things– I guess the rules that people associate with Superman in the movie world are not the rules that really apply to him in the comic book world, because those rules are different. He’s done all the things and more that we’ve shown him doing, right? It’s just funny to see people really taking it personally… because I made him real, you know, I made him feel, or made consequences [in] the world. I felt like, it was the same thing in Watchmen. We really wanted to show it wasn’t just like they thought, like the PG-13 version where everyone just gets up and they’re fine. I really wanted to show the violence is real, people get killed or get hurt, and it’s not fun or funny. And I guess for me, it was like I wanted a hero in Superman that was a real hero and sort of reflected the world we live in now…”

Later, the director addresses the perceived level of competitiveness between Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. (topical because of Man of Steel 2 and Captain America 3’s currently-shared 2016 release date) and notion that while there is competitiveness, shared success is good for all parties and neither studio wants the other’s films to fail.

Said Snyder: “I think that’s 100% true. Look, I’m a fan of the Marvel movies… and the thing that’s awesome is, we make a different movie. We have a different product than them, although they both exist in sort of the superhero world, which is great. I think that those are the opportunities. That’s what you get at the movies, you get a chance to go to all these different worlds. And I’m as interested in going to the Marvel Universe as anybody. So, I personally don’t think that there’s any, from my point of view, we definitely don’t have any animosity or anything of that nature. We’re all in this big business together, and we hope people are interested in the adventures that we put up on screen. And I do believe it’s infectious, and the next weekend you’re like, ‘You know what? Let’s go do that again, that was awesome. We saw a cool movie, maybe we’ll get another cool movie.’”

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