Zack Snyder Talks Justice League Cameos, Man of Steel Criticism, and Separation of TV and Movie Universes

Thursday, 04 February 2016 - 8:49PM
DC Comics
Batman v Superman
Justice League
Thursday, 04 February 2016 - 8:49PM
Zack Snyder Talks Justice League Cameos, Man of Steel Criticism, and Separation of TV and Movie Universes
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is on the horizon, and it's something that a whole lot of fans have waited an awful long time to see. Now that the 50 day mark has finally been breached, the hype simply continues to grow.

Zack Snyder, director of Batman v Superman, has been quite a divisive director of comic book movies, having been the man behind films such as Watchmen, Man of Steel, and 300. Some praise him as a true comic fan with a vision while others believe that he misses the mark entirely, misconstruing not only characterization in these films, but also tone. No matter what one thinks of him, however, he is on the front line of this new cinematic universe and is poised to be one of the men behind the first gargantuan superhero team up of DC's Justice League.    

Snyder was recently featured on the Hall of Justice podcast, and he had a lot to say on quite a number of hot topics among fans of comic book movies. He not only addresses the criticism of some individuals on the first installation in DC's cinematic universe, Man of Steel, but also goes on to talk about what role the other members of the Justice League are going to play in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Likewise, he speaks briefly about the separation of the TV and movie universes and why he believes it to be a benefit.

Snyder first answered a question from the podcast host about the criticism that Man of Steel received:  

Opening quote
We were really updating the character…If you're a comic book fan, you know I didn't change Superman. If you know the true canon, you know that I didn't change Superman. If you're a fan of the old movies, yeah, I changed him a bit. Yeah, that's the difference. I'm a bit of a comic book fan, and I always default to the true canon, not the sort of cinematic canon, that they, in my opinion play sort of fast and loose with the rules. I feel like I tried to create a Superman that set a tone for the world.
Closing quote


That's definitely hard to argue with. If one were to ask "what did Superman do in Man of Steel that he's never done or would do in the comics?" they would likely be forced to answer "nothing." Superman's killed in the comics (though he generally holds to a no-kill policy) and has been involved in fights that have no doubt resulted in the deaths of civilians. Those are often the most common complaints with Snyder's characterization of the superhero, and it seems that many of them stem from people comparing the film to Donner's amazing but extremely lighthearted cinematic Superman of the 70's.  

Snyder was then asked about whether or not he would take liberties with his renditions of the other Justice League characters as he did in Man of Steel, to which he answered:

Opening quote
My point is that we don't take liberties. My point is that if you know anything about the actual characters, you'll see that what we've done is create a universe where these characters can really be the mythological characters as they're designed in the comic books. If you were a fan of them in the comic books, you'll get a great opportunity to see what they look like and how they move and are real.
Closing quote


Concerning the role the other members of the Justice League will play in Batman v Superman, Snyder answered this by confirming what most already knew to be true. The film would really focus on Batman and Superman, as well as Wonder Woman to a slighter degree. The others would just be cameos, planting the seeds for the big team up yet to come.  

Opening quote
As far as the other Justice League characters go, its really a very small role. It's really that there's a whisper that they exist - except for Wonder Woman, we see her pretty well. Really, the movie is about Batman and Superman and we really do take time with them and we really do throw down on the 'why' of them and what they stand for and their beliefs and them as characters. That's pretty much the 'why' of the movie. Then again, it does begin the conversation that these guys are out there.
Closing quote


Snyder also discussed the decision to keep the TV and cinematic universes separate, but also called their collective a "multi-universe." There's been hints ever since Barry Allen opened a portal to a different universe at the start of The Flash season 2 that the first ever "cinematic multiverse" might be coming in which each of DC's films and TV shows exist. This would allow each medium to be completely unrestricted in their storytelling but ultimately offers the potential for inter-universal crossovers in the future instead of the in universe crossovers that other companies, such as Marvel, have opted for.  

Opening quote
As opposed to trying to shoehorn all these characters and storylines into a single universe, we let the characters exist in multi-universe, and therefore it's a lot more fun and a lot more value for the audience. They get to see there favorite and most beloved characters on different adventures at the same time in different universes and it really makes the meal a lot richer and a lot more fun.
Closing quote


In the end, Snyder has had quite a decent track record with making comic book movies. 300 and Watchmen were critically acclaimed hits though they may not be quite as popular among some individual comic fans, and Man of Steel, a movie which so many love to hate, was given equal or better scores than the Marvel films Thor, Thor 2, Hulk, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, and Captain America by critics such as IGN, Roger Ebert, and others (that's not to say some critics don't rate MOS lower than these films). All of that is simply meant to demonstrate that Snyder's track record with comic book movies, while not spotless, proves that he has the potential to take his part of DC's cinematic universe to some pretty amazing heights. Here's to hoping he does just that.
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Batman v Superman
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