Zack Snyder has made some films that I enjoy repeated viewings of, and he’s made some films I thought were deeply flawed. But seriously, if you’re gonna spend half an interview with him making sure to let him know you disagree with his critics, maybe you should be working for a fansite, not Forbes. No, 300 does not sexualize the male Spartans, no matter how much their muscles are on display. So lets talk about Snyder talking about Wonder Woman and Superman!
The director is definitely a comics fan, and unlike most is in a position to see and control a lot of stuff that most of us don’t. And these days, it’s the costumes for Superman sequel, Batman reboot, and the first live action theatrical appearance of Wonder Woman. He tells Forbes:
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. It’s crazy. But it’s fun. I mean, I have the first photo, I’ve got it in my archive because I was like, “Okay, I better keep this, it’s gonna be worth something,” [laughs]!
…I’m actually staring at one [picture] right now in my office. And it’s just massive on my wall in my office and it’s epic, let me tell you! And I’m like, “God, I want to send this to the Internet immediately.” But I know I’m not allowed to [laughs]! I do value the sort of excitement of the way the film is [revealed]… the pieces that are released and sort of trickle out to everybody, and those reveals are exciting milestones for us… The one nice thing is that, the schedule is designed carefully so that I don’t know that [leaked photos of all three superheroes together] will be [a problem]– but who knows, these cats are pretty good at getting the drop on us with these photos. But, when we finally do show it, it’s gonna be real fun.
Since the film won’t be out for another two years, that’s a long time for Snyder to resist the temptation to Instagram, but I wish him luck with defending his shoot from eager fan photographers and paparazzi. I also wish him luck in defending his choices to have Superman kill in Man of Steel, which he attempts to do in this interview:
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…
There’s quite a bit to unpack there. For one, I think most of the folks really up in arms about Superman killing Zod or standing by while his father died in order to keep his powers a secret are citing the comics. With seventy five years of Superman comics, there are going to be some to support any argument, but there is a core version of the character that writers have striven to return to time and again, and I think most folks who are upset feel like they didn’t see that version of Superman in Man of Steel. For another, comparing Superman to Watchmen is a bit like comparing Lethal Weapon to The Wire. One of them was intended to be an ideal hero story, and the other was intended to stand as a stark condemnation of making regular people into “heroes.” Both of those narrative goals are equally useful. Not every story needs to be Watchmenized. Just look at Captain America: The First Avenger.
You can read the full interview here, in which the interviewer also tells Snyder that his version of Watchmen, adapted against the express wishes of its creator, was better than the original.