Zack Snyder’s reputation in the geek culture community is teetering on the edge of a knife right now. Early on in his career, things looked promising for the visually dynamic director, with a well-received remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, and a spectacular, blood-pumping adaptation of Frank Millar’s graphic novel 300. Things then seemed to take a turn for the worse in 2009, when Snyder brought the “unfilmable” Alan Moore comic book series Watchmen to the big screen. The film was highly polarizing, with many fans of the source material bemoaning the lack of depth and true understanding of the story’s message, despite Snyder perfectly capturing the visual aesthetic of the series. Then of course, came the unmitigated disaster of Sucker Punch in 2011.
Now, everything rests on Man of Steel, the reboot of the Superman film franchise spearheaded by Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan. There is no question that trailers for the film have been filled with sumptuous cinematography and glimpses of dynamic action sequences, but whether or not the film has heart, “gets” Superman as a character, and delivers an action spectacle worthy of the last son of Krytpon remains to be seen. If Snyder succeeds in winning over the hearts and minds of nerds everywhere, he’ll also win the support of the Warner Brothers execs, who — according to EMPIRE magazine — will likely offer him the gig helming their ultimate endgame: the Justice League movie.
“Warner Bros.’ long-term view has been revised to embrace this new vision, just as the ‘Dark Knight’ films resisted the commodification of Marvel. Whether we get a ‘Justice League,’ they say, depends on ‘Man of Steel’. If we do, they say, Zack Snyder will be asked to direct.”
*sigh* Well, I suppose things could always be worse…the WB brass could get Michael Bay or Brett Ratner. Snyder is a very safe, logical choice for the Warner Brothers suits. As I said before, Man of Steel looks epic and amazing — Snyder certainly has no problem handling big-budget action pictures, and he’ll already have a working relationship with Henry Cavill, who will be the centerpiece of the Justice League film (along with whoever plays Batman).
Still, I can’t help but feel it’s a mistake, that Warner Brothers should bring a Joss Whedon of their own into the fold to shepherd along their DC properties. In a perfect world, they’d get Brad Bird to direct the Justice League film, and form a writing partnership with Paul Dini and Bruce Timm to oversee the development of the rest of the DC stable like Wonder Woman and The Flash.