Why Zack Snyder’s Superman and Batman are not yours

Batman vs. Superman changesSnyder's Man of Steel
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Batman vs. SupermanThe more Miss than Hit, Zack Snyder gave an interview with the LA Times this week on his latest directorial outing, Batman vs. Superman, or Man Steel 2. He takes the time to address fan outcry about casting decisions and how that does, or does not affect creating the Batman/Superman universe. The answer is, it does not. Not one single bit.

Of course, this should not come as a surprise to anyone who saw 2009’s Watchmen where he miscast more than a handful of the memorable characters. Course, we are not debating the acting chops of the majority of actors in the film, only that Snyder casts on his own personal need to have only good looking, healthy people playing everyone like he’s running a weird clique in a high school. Example, of course, Patrick Wilson is a great actor giving us some wonderful performances but when you have a story where a sad, lonely, aging old man, who is close to giving up on life, but then cast a strong-jawed, sex symbol (yeah, I said it!) like Wilson in the role, you are already proving you have no idea how character appearance relates to character.

Fine, Snyder is not known for his directing of actors’ complex emotions. He’s an action director, and a damn fine one at that, but that bit between the slo-mo and the shaky cam and the complete obliteration of an entire town, you have this thing called acting. That acting is done by a character that one expects to be well rounded, and looks the part. So listening to the fans might help a bit— yes, Fandom has been wrong before. Michael Keaton anyone? Still the best Batman out there, for my dollar, so suck it.

Snyder says, “We know the material. Unfortunately, the fans don’t know the material. So, we’re casting according to what’s happening in the script.” Snyder is referring to the material of the script he is working from but, well, Mr. Snyder, the fans do know the material of the actual subjects involved. It’s called over 70 years of material where Superman and Batman and the whole collective tribe have been working with each other and against each other in hundreds and hundreds of stories. But I digress….

What Snyder is actually saying here is, he is creating his own alternate DC universe that happens to have a Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman hanging out in it. Rest assured this is not your Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent and Diana Prince, and perhaps that is how we must view these films. Consider that abomination Man of Steel as an Elseworlds without the icon gracing the poster. Perhaps, what we are really getting, is one man’s suped-up, hyper-kinetic, emotionless take on a group of characters that after this latest film we can stick in the same spot on the shelf as the Schumacher films.

On some level I feel relieved that I now know Snyder’s true intentions and can thus brace for impact instead of flooding the message boards with my displeasure for his decisions, and just watch the already assumed train wreck Batman vs. Superman like I am watching Tommy Wiseau’s The Room: Drunk, stoned, and laughing at it.

James C.

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About the Author

James C
James lives close enough to Vancouver, BC that he can say he is from there, but far enough that his property taxes are not as high. He's worked in film for 9 years. Worked as a VFX Coordinator by day and writes by night. He did go to film school but does not encourage anyone else to (Just make your own films- you will learn more)
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