‘Batman V Superman’ sets the stage for Warner Brothers’ high-stakes DC cinematic universe, but let’s not forget that this is actually the second movie in this unfurling franchise. The ball started rolling in 2013, when Zack Snyder delivered his first DC Comics-based film, the Superman re-imagining ‘Man of Steel’, the ramifications of which factor heavily into the new movie.
Unfortunately, ‘Man of Steel’ is very likely the most divisive superhero film ever. No other movie in the genre has garnered such extreme reactions, both love and hate. And for the haters, a lot of that stemmed from what they saw as a complete deviation from the things that made Superman the iconic symbol he is, namely hope and optimism.
Obviously, Snyder stands by his earlier film and at long last, opens up about the film’s controversial reaction.
“I was pretty ready for it because I knew that we were really updating a character, a beloved character. And I don’t think changing him…you know people are always like ‘you changed Superman’ and I’m like, 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. But you know that’s the difference. You know I’m a bit of a comic book fan and I always default to the true canon. Not the sort of cinematic canon that in my opinion, where they play slightly fast and loose with the rules. And so, I feel like I tried to create a Superman that would set a tone for the world.”
Snyder’s statement was made when he appeared on a podcast to promote ‘Batman V Superman’ so keep in mind this isn’t a prepared statement and he was speaking off the cuff. (Although he’s surely had time to dwell on the matter.)
As a “comic book fan,” as he puts it, I sort of find his statement nonsensical. I’m not sure what he’s referring to when he says “canon.” Canon means part of continuity and that’s a relative term. In current DC Comics canon, nothing printed before 2011 counts.
I’m assuming he is talking about having Superman kill Zod, which outraged a lot of people, but as I said back when the movie came out, Superman DID kill Zod in a comic story. So that didn’t bother me the way it did some people. So if that is what he means by the canon, then I suppose he’d be right.
He could have worded it better, because it does come across a bit like “My Superman was great! If you didn’t like it, it’s because you don’t understand.” But like I said, it wasn’t a prepared statement.
But the idea that if one is a comic book fan, they get it… I know plenty of comic book fans, Superman fans– including comic book professionals who have worked on Superman comics– that didn’t like the movie, and it has nothing to do with lack of knowledge of the source material.
Oh well, motivations aside, both movies are now done. ‘Man of Steel’ came out three years ago and ‘Batman V Superman’ arrives in a little over a month.
What do you make of Snyder’s comments? Did he change Superman? Or is this just another take on the character that’s no more or less legitimate than any other?