Zack Snyder is directing “Superman.” Not Matt Reeves or Duncan Jones. Zack Snyder. And we’re going to have to start to get used to that. We’ve gone through shock, anger and denial, so acceptance can only be a matter of time, right? We mean, Warner Bros. and producer Christopher Nolan have had some time to pick the right guy, and some heavy hitters, from Robert Zemeckis to Darren Aronofsky, were in the mix. So, despite our dislike for Snyder’s body of work (and to be fair, we enjoyed “Dawn of the Dead” very much), he must have come in with a pitch that blew everyone away, a take on the film that’ll live up to Nolan’s Batman movies. Right?
Maybe not. Vulture is reporting that Snyder wasn’t Warner’s first choice for the gig — as previously reported, Ben Affleck turned it down, and possibly others. The issue, once again, is that the rights revert to the estates of the character’s creators in 2013, and a film has to be in production by next year or the studio could face more lawsuits so time was of the essence in terms of appointing a helmer. “Knowledgeable insiders” say that David Goyer’s script was “rushed” and “is still a bit of a mess,” and that Warner Bros. wanted someone who would get the film done on time, rather than an auteur, someone like Aronofsky (who was apparently pursuing the project), who would wait for the script to be right.
This isn’t exactly a huge validation of the pick of Snyder, and even he is said to have confided that the script needs work. To be fair, with Snyder finishing up “Sucker Punch” until the spring, the film likely won’t shoot before next summer, so there’s still time to get it right, but the short time frame and the Snyder/Goyer combo isn’t filling us with confidence.
And what of that script? Details are still thin on exactly what the Man of Steel will be up to, but Vulture suggest that the story, by Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, features the hero as “a journalist traveling the world trying to decide if he should, in fact, even become Superman;” a sort of “Eat, Pray, Leap Tall Buildings In A Single Bound,” if you will.
Vulture’s a great site, and very rarely not on the money, but some of this doesn’t quite add up. The rumor on Monday that General Zod would be the villain, for instance, doesn’t gel with the logline, nor the pick of Snyder for what sounds like a rather meditative take on the character — you don’t hire the director of “300” for “Superman Takes A Year Off After College To Work Out What He Really Wants To Do With His Life And Meets Some, Like, Really Amazing People On A Beach In Goa.”
Our best guess is that Goyer and Nolan have essentially recycled the structure of “Batman Begins” — a jet-setting first act, with our hero traveling the world to work out whether humanity is worth protecting — before returning to Metropolis for action-packed second and third acts. Drew McWeeny at HitFix hints at a possible immigration subtext (one that sounds a little reactionary, if we’re being honest, although with some of the political moments in “The Dark Knight,” that wouldn’t be a huge surprise), but it’s very unclear how much of a reality this might be. We’re still a few years away from seeing it on the big screen, and things may even change between now and the start of filming, but we’re sure more details will emerge sooner rather than later.