Zack Snyder, the filmmaker behind “300” and “Watchmen,” is going to direct the new “Superman” movie.
Snyder has an interesting resume. He started off with commercials (natch) before moving to the big screen with 2004’s “Dawn of the Dead,” which was far better than it had any right to be. He hit it big with 2007’s “300,” an adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel that earned more than $450 million worldwide.
The most intriguing connection between filmmaker and genre is Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of “Watchmen.” The Alan Moore graphic novel, considered one of (if not the) masterworks in all of comics, was a bleak deconstruction of the superhero genre. Snyder made a faithful — probably too faithful — adaptation, which was largely notable for being a dark superhero work coming so soon after the mega-success of “The Dark Knight.”
Now, in one of those funny things that happens in life, Snyder is moving from superhero deconstruction to the archetypal superhero. The new film will be produced and shepherded by Christopher Nolan and written by David Goyer (the pair, obviously, contributed to the change in Warner Brothers’s fortunes with their “Batman” diptych).
Here’s the thing: I’m not sure there’s any director who could have instantaneously revved up my interest in a new “Superman” movie. The character is, quite frankly, among the dullest around. But he’s not just a superhero. He’s a global icon, an archetype, a touchstone and an image that transcends genre.
But with Nolan involved, there’s an instant level of trust and interest. Snyder just adds to that. He’s made some eclectic films (he just released “Legend of the Guardians” and has pop fever dream “Sucker Punch” due next March), but he knows his way around arresting visuals and big screen gravitas. I know, I know, the immediate joke: Will everything be in super-duper-slo-mo? I have faith that Snyder will bring a fitting style to the screen, and I also have faith in Nolan with this pick. And Snyder has experience with big budgets, big effects and big fanboy expectations. Not many filmmakers could reasonably tackle this with such a high upside.
Snyder confirmed the news via Twitter. According to one report, the film will feature General Zod. Snyder says they’re targeting a holiday 2012 release. And now the rest of the pre-release circus begins — casting rumors (Jon Hamm?), storyline rumors, et cetera. [Deadline]