So. Zack Snyder.
Honestly, he wasn’t at the top of my wish list, but as I learned a long time ago, you can wish in one hand…
Zack Snyder is absolutely brilliant when it comes to visual style He’s got a keen eye for the genre, he’s great at stunning effects. His body of work, be it Watchmen or 300, consists of some incredible visuals. Unfortunately, his movies also feel kind of hollow I know there are a number of you who loved Watchmen — in fact, I was routinely derided for leaving it off of my list of Best Comic Book Movies Of The Aughts. Yeah, well, I left it off because I was totally unmoved by it. Visually it was a feast. It also felt totally empty and bereft of any kind of… I dunno… soul. I’ve watched it a second and third time, and it actually gets dumber with each successive viewing. Clearly, your mileage may vary Clearly, you’re also idiots.
Anyway, it’s a done deal, according to Deadline. Snyder’s last effort, the cumbersomely titled Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole was apparently similarly impressive yet dull, and while the trailers for his next film, Sucker Punch, look like an orgy of eye candy, nothing has led me to think he’s managed to learn how to tell an engaging story yet. So the news regarding him getting the Superman gig doesn’t exactly inspire me with confidence.
It’s a bitch of a property, I realize that. A lot of people absolutely adore the character. A lot of other people think he’s boring as shit. Snyder will no doubt make a boffo action movie out of it, and will hopefully come up with a new villain beyond Lex Luthor. That one’s been officially played out. Sure, bring back Spacey in the role and an ancillary villain, but we need something more than that. I love the Brainiac idea. Hell, use Doomsday if you really want to fuck shit up. But Superman needs a foe, someone to actually fight, instead of just another “weakened by Kryptonite, woe is me” story. Because between “Smallville” and Superman Returns, that trope has officially lost its luster.
So in that sense, Snyder may work. He may bring the desperately needed action to the franchise, because while I enjoyed Returns, it was a little on the slow side, and to get people into the character, it’s going to need a bit more action. And that is something that Snyder does quite well (just lay off the fucking slow-motion, for the love of Darkseid). Get a decent writer — and having Christopher Nolan as the overseer adds a little more potential to that part — and mix in some good action pieces, and we might have ourselves a movie.
I’m actually quite pleased with this one. General Zod is a fantastic character, both in Donner’s Superman II as well as in the comics. Most importantly, he’s a legitimate physical threat to Superman, so it answers my concerns mentioned above. Get ready for some serious destruction, folks, because I’m guessing Snyder will have them beat the hell out of each other and take down everything around them. As long as he doesn’t just try to recreate Superman II’s story, that is. Casting will be interesting for Zod — Terrence Stamp’s portrayal is pretty damn iconic, so it’s a big pair of shoes to fill.