The Snyders of Superman
Director Zack Snyder proves his mettle with “Steel”
Zack Snyder’s past movies are known for their extensive use of slow motion and close-ups and exquisite incorporation of CGI settings.
But, when it came to rebooting Superman in “Man of Steel,” Snyder, 47, throws out all of his usual directing quirks in favor of long, normal-speed shots on location.
For the director, it was simple and a needed change to his style, because he didn’t want to mess with the “S.”
“For me, it was like I know I had to create a Superman propaganda movie,” he jokes. “I was trying to create a mythology that you believed in.”
The “Watchmen” and “300” director recalled how he and the film’s crew spent months justifying every aspect of Superman’s world.
Snyder says a lot of the character’s 75-year mythology resonates today, such as Clark Kent’s struggle to accept his origins.
“I felt like the work we did was to put a why on every single thing,” he says.
But that doesn’t mean Snyder and his crew didn’t put their own take on Superman’s origin story.
Aside from removing the red shorts from Superman’s costume, there are several new twists to the canon in the movie, including one during the finale that is bound to turn some heads among die-hard fans.
Snyder said he was adamant about that change because it gives more substance to Superman’s honorable attitude to fighting crime.
“That morality is never explained,” Snyder says. If we have an event where we can hang that on … then you understand why [Superman] goes, ‘I cannot do something like that.’”
Snyder wasn’t the only one who was excited to add his own flavor to the Superman mythology
Snyder says it wasn’t hard to cast the supporting roles with stars Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner and Michael Shannon, because they were also fans.
“Everyone brings their best game,” he says. “That’s the power of Superman.”
Writer Scott Syner gets “Unchained” for new Superman comic
There’s another Snyder about to make his mark on Superman.
Comic book writer Scott Snyder — no relation to “Man of Steel” director Zack — has made a serious impact on Batman and, starting today with the release of the first issue of “Superman Unchained,” he’ll help chart the course of the Last Son of Krypton, too.
“It’s a story that, in a lot of ways, is the story that I would do if I only got one chance to write the character,” Snyder says. “So it’s ‘Unchained,’ I guess, in the way that I’m trying to bring the en
ergy to it that we try and bring to Batman, where we do the riskiest stories that we believe are the best that we could possibly do.”
Snyder says the comic, which is drawn by legendary artist Jim Lee, builds the hero’s mythology while keeping all the familiar cast, including Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White and Lex Luthor.
“You’ll get to see the cast that you love,” he says, “and yet hopefully there’ll be some sur
prises about new elements, both in terms of the villains but also in terms of things — without giving too much away — you associate with Superman that will be done in new ways.”
Recommended ‘Super’ reading
Scott Snyder’s picks
‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns’
I love Superman’s portrayal in “The Dark Knight Returns.” It’s one of my favorite portrayals of him both as somebody who’s flawed and someone who’s incredibly heroic.
I love “All-Star Superman.” It’s probably just the greatest Superman masterpiece, quite frankly.
Ivan Pereira’s picks
From the smart reasoning behind pretty much every fantastical element of the mythos to the beautiful artwork, it’s the one comic I can recommend to all my non-geek friends.
‘What’s So Funny about Truth, Justice and the American Way’
This story from Action Comics No. 775 gives readers a glimpse of a time when the Man of Steel doesn’t hold back, while at the same time teaching a lesson about anti-violence that holds true to this day.
Scott A. Rosenberg’s picks
‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow’
Alan Moore and longtime Superman artist Curt Swan create this loving tribute to the Man of Steel and even offer up a heartfelt happily ever after. It’s an imaginary story set in Superman’s final days, and I dare you not to shed a tear.
‘Superman: Red Son’
This alternate reality “Elseworlds” story looks at what would happen if the rocket carrying baby Superman to Earth landed in the Soviet Union instead of Smallville.