Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Zack Snyder gets the job to direct Chris Nolan's Superman.

I made a comment a couple weeks ago regarding the soft opening for Legends of the Guardians, basically saying that if Sucker Punch faltered next Spring that Zack Snyder would have to take a paycheck 'one for them' gig, jesting that there was an opening to direct Chris Nolan's Superman project. To those who scolded me for even suggesting such a thing, fearing that my offhand comment would get the executives thinking... Sorry. I'm a bit late to the show, but as most of you know by now, Zack Snyder has been chosen to helm the Chris Nolan-produced and David Goyer-written Superman reboot for Warner Bros. Yet more proof that David S. Goyer reads this site on a regular basis...

If nothing else, this means that Warner Bros. is impressed with what it's seen so far in Sucker Punch (the film was actually test-screened at two different showtimes last night at the Pacific Winnetka). Warner Bros. obviously has a solid working relationship with Snyder, having produced every Snyder picture except his first, Universal's Dawn of the Dead remake back in 2004. As for cost issues, Box Office Mojo now lists the budget of Legend of the Guardians at $80 million, so I may have been duped when I read (in several places) that the owl cartoon cost $150 million. And while Watchmen may have cost too much (allegedly $125 million), the film DID open with a mammoth $55 million on its debut weekend, bigger than any DC Comics adaptation aside from The Dark Knight (and bigger than all Marvel adaptations save the three X-Men sequels, the three Spider-Man films, the two Iron Man films, the two Hulk films and the two Fantastic Four pictures). Point being, the guy generally opens films within reasonable expectations, if not far above them (re - the $70 million debut of 300).

Artistically speaking, he is an interesting choice. I've defended him before of charges that he's 'all style-no substance', and I'll defend his character-driven Dawn of the Dead remake any day of the week. 300 is all about style, but Watchmen remains at heart a character study dressed up in capes (yes, there was slow-motion razzle dazzle, but I'd argue only enough to put in a trailer or two). It's obvious that Warner was looking for someone with a style of their own, but not too egocentric to take orders from Chris Nolan and company. It's already been more or less confirmed that General Zod will be the villain this time around, which is a bit of a disappointment. After Bryan Singer's Superman Returns relied far too much on the 1978 Donner picture for relevance, there is little need to rehash the villains of Superman II (if they want a planet-killing super-villain, why not go with Darkseid?).

Still, the hiring of Zack Snyder gives hope to those who dream of seeing Jon Hamm suit up as Clark Kent, as the two of them worked together on Sucker Punch. Next up comes the casting for Superman, Lois Lane (Jennifer Connelly?), and General Zod. They could do worse than bringing Brandon Routh back into the fold (however unlikely), as he hopefully won't be restrained by the Christopher Reeve impression this time around. Come what may, it will be nice to see a Clark Kent that stands apart from that iconic 1978-1987 portrayal. Say what you will about Dean Cain, but he gave us a unique and interesting Clark Kent to go along with his amusingly obnoxious Superman. Come what may, Zack Snyder is an interesting director who assembles top-notch casts (Sarah Polley in Dawn of the Dead, Patrick Wilson in Watchmen, etc) and knows when to direct them and when to get out of there way. I'm still not sure the world really needs another Superman movie, but Warner Bros. seems to be genuinely trying to make a good one.

Scott Mendelson

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails