Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Nerd News - MAN OF STEEL has a Director

Nerd news has been on a bit of a hiatus, but some truly important headlines have surfaced recently and forced a return.

Let's start this one off with a bang:

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a director! Zach Snyder will be taking on the next Superman feature, tentatively titled THE MAN OF STEEL. -

I broke this down in my recent post "Rebuilding the Man of Steel". I knew Snyder was one of the directors in talks for the film, but he wasn't one of my favorites. This was especially so when it was announced late last week that BLACK SWAN's Darren Aronofsky was also in the running for the project. Apparently, this incredibly heavy burden has been placed on the shoulders of the WATCHMEN director. This will be Snyder's third film derived from the comic book medium (300 being his first). I'm still not behind the idea entirely, but I'm optimistic about the what the end result might be.

Having Nolan, Goyer and Snyder all working on the same project is a pretty big deal as they all have had a fair amount of success in the comic book genre (if you can call it that). I feel that in handling Superman, perhaps the biggest superhero icon, Snyder is going to have to make some stylistic concessions. His films rely on certain tricks: heavy CG, graphic violence and a lot of slow motion, all of which will have to be toned down or altered for THE MAN OF STEEL. Some of these elements might very well be in play, but if Snyder doesn't want to call down the collective ire of the fanboy universe, he'll have to watch the use of his signature moves. Metropolis will have to feel like a real city. Superman's fights can't go overboard in brutality and there's really no need to slow down the man who's billed as being 'fast as a speeding bullet'. There's no room for messing around with Superman, not when his future as a successful film property is at stake. With Nolan on hand as this film's "godfather", Snyder will likely have more filters than he is used to, which can only be good in this case.

Not everyone is a fan of Snyder, a lot of people downright hate him, but they shouldn't write off this picture before the dust settles. Snyder's presence does indicate that the film is going to be steeped in the kind of rock and roll action and drama that has been present thus far in all of his films. Warner Brothers and DC are hoping to breathe new life into Superman as a blockbuster franchise, they want to get away from what has rendered most of the films in the series unsuccessful; I don't think Snyder could make a traditional Superman film if he tried, whatever he brings to the table will move Big Blue in a new direction. Whether that direction is up or down remains to be seen and, unfortunately, will remain that way for another two years at least.

I know everyone feels differently about Snyder's WATCHMEN, personally I find it to be a very mixed bag, but the most positive part in said bag might be his handling of the omni-powerful Dr. Manhattan. There are a lot of similarities between him and Superman and I feel if he's able to bring some of that magic to THE MAN OF STEEL, we might end up with a very unique and exciting Superman film indeed.

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