Superman directed by Zack Snyder
An unusual choice indeed, but Zack Snyder is the man who will be directing the next Superman film, developed from an idea by Christopher Nolan and written by David Goyer, the new Superman is going to reboot the entire franchise drawing a line under both Christopher Reeves and Brandon Routh/Bryan Singer, because it was a such a “flop”.
One thing though, the way that Superman Returns is being viewed has given the studio the chance to restart it, reboot it as so many franchises are these days. Destroy the old Superman and create a new one in the modern superhero image. Flawed, not all-American, and affected by issues of humanity and the world about them. Will this be the new Snyder Superman?
“Flop” isn't really the right word for Superman Returns (Filmstalker review), after all it brought in US $391,081,192, with US $182,081,192 estimated return. Yes, that's a disaster in the eyes of Hollywood, over one hundred million return was not enough and that was goodbye to the Superman of the Christopher Reeves era, and with it the chance of Brandon Routh to be the next Superman figure through a running franchise.
It does strike me as odd that the studio didn't just pick themselves up, take the criticism for the first film, and try a second one that addressed the general audience concerns about the film. After all that's what we see all the time in franchises, one film isn't as good and so they pick themselves up and try another one.
Perhaps this is what the studio wanted, enough negativity towards the old style Superman to allow them to draw a line under it, distance the whole franchise and start again from scratch, after all we wanted it that way didn't we?
So now The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision tells us that Zack Snyder has been selected to direct the film, and there are a couple of things that stand him in good stead. He can create someone else's vision so well on film, see Watchmen (Filmstalker review), and with that carry out the seemingly impossible, as well as deliver stylish and ground breaking films or at least sequences, see Dawn of the Dead, 300 (Filmstalker review), Watchmen and undoubtedly Sucker Punch for just those things.
Snyder apparently wins out over a list of names that included Darren Aronofsky, Ben Affleck, Duncan Jones, Jonathan Liebesman, Matt Reeves, Tony Scott and Robert Zemeckis. I am surprised that Aronofsky wasn't picked up for it, but then I think he would have wanted his own vision far too much, Affleck, Jones, Reeves and Liebesman were probably not ready for this huge film, and in the cases of Affleck and Jones they have other films to deliver more relevant to them, Scott was too stylised and would have been too busy with the Alien prequels to deliver the film in time before Warner Bros. lost the rights, and I'm sure Zemeckis would have wanted to keep much of the style and vision of the originals.
One thing is interesting about Snyder though, he's one of the few names on there who have worked in 3D, although to be fair Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole was a CG 3D but Sucker Punch isn't CG so I wonder if we'll end up hearing that's a plan for the film? Hopefully not, and I doubt Christopher Nolan would want that for his vision.
The article also tells us that there's a rumour of General Zod appearing as the villain in the film, but that this might be the only connection to the old franchise. Indeed the Zod villain could be interesting, and considering what he achieved in his first appearance, I wonder if he might be responsible for the changes that bring Superman down to being Slightly-Great-With-Some-Flaws-Man?
That's an interesting point though, will Superman be Superman any more if he has the other superhero reboot rules applied, namely giving him more flaws, more grey tones and more rough edges? What are they going to do, bring him more in line with Batman? If they do they actually risk losing the power of the Superman moniker don't they? For he won't be that super any more.