‘Man of Steel’ Passed Over for Visual Effects Oscar Nod; Producer Talks DC Movies

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man steel visual effects Man of Steel Passed Over for Visual Effects Oscar Nod; Producer Talks DC Movies

On a certain level, director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer’s vision of a brooding and conflicted Superman for the 21st century was an undeniable success, with their superhero blockbuster Man of Steel having grossed $663 million worldwide and given rise to a developing sequel (tentatively known as Batman vs. Superman) that will blow the doors open wide on a larger DC Cinematic Universe by introducing both a different Caped Crusader (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), as we learned earlier this week.

However, the fact of the matter remains: Man of Steel has also divided both professional critics and hardcore Superman fans, even more so than other recent superhero franchise reboots like The Amazing Spider-Man. That may change in the future, as a wave of DC movies come to shore over the forthcoming years; not to mention, as people revisit and (possibly) re-evaluate their initial thoughts on the subject.

Until then, Man of Steel remains a film that is far from universally acclaimed, so it doesn’t come as a huge shock to learn that it’s not on the Academy’s shortlist for a Best Visual Effects Oscar nod in 2014. The current lineup includes 10 contenders – Elysium, Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World, Pacific Rim and World War Z – but the roster will eventually be whittled down to five (though, if we’re being honest, we all know that this category is Gravity‘s to lose).

Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel Man of Steel Passed Over for Visual Effects Oscar Nod; Producer Talks DC Movies

Man of Steel producer Charles Roven was interviewed recently by Desde Hollywood (hat tip to CBM), when he talked about DC comic book adaptations like Christopher Nolan’s Batman/The Dark Knight trilogy and Snyder’s Superman reboot. He reiterated what a number of people have said before, with regard to how the DC superhero universe differs from Marvel.

Here is the exact quote from Roven:

“I can’t speak for the Marvel comics. I certainly believe that they have done a great job in being very successful in what they are doing so they should continue. One of the things that I like in terms of what they are doing vs. what we are doing is that the movies are different. When you see what Zack Snyder or Chris Nolan is making in this genre, one that I am producing with Emma Thomas or Deborah Snyder, we go for certain themes that are slightly more adult even though they are very universal.”

Like Roven said, Marvel and DC properties are different, not better or worse than one another. Snyder has called attention to those unique qualities of DC properties in the past, when he’s explained how characters like Superman, Wonder Woman and other members of the Justice League are mythological archetypes for the present-day; hence, the sheer amount of destruction and mayhem inflicted upon Metropolis in Man of Steel is an updated representation of the battles that are depicted in centuries-old myths about gods and demo-gods (with visuals befitting the post-9/11 era of storytelling).

Combine that with how films like The Dark Knight and Man of Steel treat their respective title characters – and the issues they face – very seriously, and it’s fair to say: those movies are, indeed, “more adult” than the light-weight and more campy, but fun Marvel Studios’ releases (that comes from someone who quite enjoyed Thor: The Dark World, no less).

Michael Shannon and Antje Traue in Man of Steel Man of Steel Passed Over for Visual Effects Oscar Nod; Producer Talks DC Movies

Personally, I was a fan of Man of Steel, especially when it came to how Snyder blended exhilarating action choreography with stunning imagery of a dying and war-torn Krypton landscape, among other effects-heavy sequences in the film. That the effects in a movie like World War Z made the initial cut over Man of Steel is kind of baffling, but as was indicated before, Snyder’s movie is splitting moviegoers too much to have actually secured an Oscar nod in a category like visual effects from the Academy (the same will likely prove true for The Lone Ranger).

That said, there’s a reasonable chance that Man of Steel will at least be nominated and/or recognized for a technical category that is considered less prestigious, like Best Sound Design (as well it should); assuming it doesn’t get completely shut-out, like what happened to The Dark Knight Rises.

Heck, even the Transformers movies get nominated for Academy Awards in the less buzzed-about technical fields…


Batman vs. Superman/Man of Steel 2 opens in theaters on July 17th, 2015.

Source: Desde Hollywood [via CBM]

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. It didn’t even deserve to be nominated. Some of the other films shouldn’t have been either.

    • Agreed.

      And now, with the announcement that Wonder Woman, in addition to Batman, is going to be in the next film, it appears that they don’t believe the original is worthy of a sequel, and they are going with a disguised Justice League movie.

      • AMEN.

    • Couldn’t agree more…

    • “Wonder Woman” Will be a shoe in for a nomination as Diana goes from an “A” cup to “WW”

  2. Pretty terrifying the force that is against this movie, when you understand the central theme was Free Choice vs Zionists.

    “The fact that you possess a sense of morality, and we do not, gives us an evolutionary advantage.”

    • …ah…ok.

      Isn’t it people’s free choice not to like the film?

      Please, don’t answer that, as we don’t need a dissertation on how you believe we are brainwashed.

      • Dude, of course it is free choice to not like something.

        From the article, Sandy wrote: “Until then, Man of Steel remains a film that is far from universally acclaimed, so it doesn’t come as a huge shock to learn that it’s not on the Academy’s shortlist for a Best Visual Effects Oscar nod in 2014.”

        You see, it does though. How a movie is “acclaimed” has absolutely nothing to do with it’s visual effects.

        Given this argument… shouldn’t Lone Ranger not be on that list as well?

        I digress…

        When I see the central theme of the movie… and how it’s visuals are being brushed away with a “yep, nothing to see here” kind of attitude, well…

        … let’s just say that can promote some curious thought, and we will leave it at that?

        • Athough as you know, I have many criticisms about MOS, I am a fan of Superman and am disappointed that the character is not being given his own sequel, if for anything else, to make some amends for the first film. I know you thought a lot of the first movie. Aren’t you at all disappointed that, in addition to sharing a story with Batman now, Wonder Woman is also going to appear in the next film? It just seems like they rushed right through Superman to get to the beginnings of Justice League…

          • The way I look at it, MoS was the catalyst for an ongoing story-line.

            Specifically, the DCCU story-line… meaning it was never going to have a direct sequel to it in the way Iron Man had a direct sequel. It is the beginning of the DCCU… which could mean all subsequent stories are not Superman stories, or Batman stories, or Wonder Woman stories, etc. Instead, they will be DCCU stories. There won’t be a ‘this solo film, that solo film’ type of formula.

            IMHO, the whole “origin story” thing has gotten beaten to death. You really don’t need an entire movie dedicated to one character to be able to adequately display what a character represents and where they come… depending on the quality in which it is presented.

            So no, I must say that I am very excited to see characters that I’ve always wanted to see presented in a way which could very well break the mold, as I have full confidence in the creative team and talent associated with this project.

            • First off, I really think MoS should have been nominated at the very least. Its effects were incredible. I was in awe through most of the movie in terms of sheer visual. That last fight with Zod in particular. Superheros flying around and fighting like that was just so cool to see.

              Now, having said that, I’m very excited for the sequel and I have not looked at from this perspective before. Having MoS just being the first piece of a greater puzzle like that really makes me even more excited. I agree that they have the potential to “break the mold” and take the superhero film genre, DC in particular, in an exciting new direction. Definitely stoked to see this universe pans out.

          • have to admit as a superman fan (who like MOS) I’m pretty salty about him not getting his own stand alone sequel. I want to see him share the screen with batman (and others) as much as anyone else I just think it’s a bit too soon. But, in 2015 if the movie delivers, I’ll be the first to eat my words.

  3. they didn’t like the di** shaped vessels!

    • Neither did I.

  4. Liked World War Z but very surprised it’s on the short list and Man of Steel isn’t.

  5. WWZ had some of the worst visual effects I’ve seen this year from a blockbuster movie.

  6. Award is not everything. It’s a proof of success, not the success itself. Man of Steel had achieved what it’s makers hoped for: reinventing Superman.

    That said, here is my nominees prediction:
    - Gravity (win!)
    - The Hobbits
    - Thor 2
    - Pacific Rim
    - Elysium

    • Elysium was SO overrated in every single area… And it didn’t even have top 5 special effects.

      Oblivion’s special effects were better… And Man of Steel’s FX were definitely better than Iron Man 3.

      These awards have gotten too political.

  7. Gravity will win.

  8. What a snub

    • The movie was mostly collapsing CGI buildings. Why is it a snub exactly?

      • JimBond, you read my mind. Destroying buildings and a rather uninspired Krypton didn’t really impress me.

  9. I was looking forward to seeing “Man of Steel” but was very disappointed after I did see it. I found the movie disjointed, somewhat boring, and a visual morass of unrelenting destruction.

    Why so many felt that the previous Brandon Routh movie was so bad is beyond me as I thought it was the best of all the Superman films. It had a good story-line complimented with good acting that did not do overdo the super-powers aspect of the film’s hero. But people didn’t like it so we got this mess in “Man of Steel”.

    So far the only super-hero movies I truly enjoyed have been the Batman Trilogy and Thor. The rest appear to have been nothing but rehashes of poor plots with bad scripts and directing.

    I guess I should expect to be “flamed”… :-(

    • The problem I had with it is that beyond the plane scene Brandon moved pretty slow stopping all those other disasters it was practically boring, then there’s Lex Luthor’s nearly the same plan from the first one and Superman being a deadbeat dad and letting cyclops from the x-men raise his kid. Man of Steel on the other hand had a better story but a weaker script, especially AFTER Superman cried when he defeated Zod with a weak conclusion. Now did you enjoy Dredd and the Hellboy movies?

    • I will always fight the corner for ‘Superman Returns’.

      Flame on.

  10. Gravity deserves the win. Wasn’t crazy about MoS’s effects.

  11. The Lone Ranger lol really.

    • The movie might suck, but you gotta hand it to them for avoiding CG and used practical effects instead. Those were shot in real trains yo!

  12. Of course they snub this film. The Academy is so predictable.

    And, as it has been said, Gravity will win.

  13. I mean I think they’re right this vision for DC movies is looking whey more interesting then marvels boring childish Cinematic plan

    • The person who can’t differentiate between “whey” and “way” or “then” and “than” calling something childish? That’s rich.

  14. I honestly don’t get the hatred for Man of Steel, it wasn’t horrendously bad (that distinction goes to Superman Returns). It had it’s problems but come on people it was a new take on an old favorite. In time people will revisit this film and see it’s merits.

    • MOS turned sour for me when Clark stood by to watch his father die. What better way to reveal yourself to the world than to save the life of your own Dad.

      If MOS is not willing to risk everything to save the ones he loves, what hope do the rest of us have??

      Oh that’s right mass destruction and chaos.

      • Well said. In my many criticisms of the film, I did not even consider that.

      • Wow…. you missed the point and importance of that completely in the movie. It showed the influence father Kent had on him, and how living through those experiences made him more human, and taught him about loss. Those experiences are what insure his character and humility in the future, and keep him one of the good guys who we can depend on, even after he discovers the full limits of his power and uniqueness.

        It was an extremely important part of the movie, and a defining moment in Clark’s history.

        • Beautifully stated.

        • Right, but y’know… lets make sure it continuously gets taken out of context as a reason to cite why the movie is so “bad.”

          It is both directly and indirectly applied in the narrative what the reasoning was behind this bold story telling element.

          Pa Kent: “One day you are going to have to make a decision, whether you will stand by the human race or not.”

          Clark: “I let my father die, because I trusted him… because he was CONVINCED the world wasn’t ready”

          Perry: “Whatever your reasons are for dropping this, I think you are doing the right thing.”

          Lois: “Why?”

          Perry: “Could you imagine how people on this planet would react, if they new that someone like THIS existed?”

        • Clark was doing just fine learning what it meant to be human and dealing with loss on his own by saving that bus load of children. He learned Humility by not destroying the bully that was picking on him.

          After he allowed his father to die what did we get??

          A MOS who easily flexes his powers to trash a truckers rig in the most conspicuous way possible just for being picked on.

          So much for humility.

          • ^^ Further conveying the point that he wasn’t mature enough yet or prepared to let his shoulders carry they weight. It was the arrival of the Zionists, I mean Kryptonians, which directly led him to becoming Superman.

            • I still don’t think he has become Superman yet. To me he is MOS still.

              I think he will only become Superman After Batman beats him. Then and only then will MOS learn Humility.

              • I hope this is exactly what happens.

                I’ve been waiting to see Batman kick Superman’s ass on film for a VERY long time.

      • But, but, Superman finally punches people, which makes it the best superhero movie ever.

        • Well, yeah actually. Who gives a sh*t about Iron Man punching something, or Hawkeye punching something, or Black Widow punching something, or even Batman punching something.

          The man who has the most effect when he punches something is Superman, so you have done a fine job in regards to this argument.

          • Thor has/is magic and would therefore kick Superman’s ass.

            • Not necessarily. Either could beat the other to pulp, relatively speaking.

  15. man of steels downfall was the overuse of action scenes. the excellent pacing and story of the first half is completely killed by 30 minutes of boring action.

    • Actually it was a bit of both. Too much exposition in the first half and too much action in the second half. IMO it was the editing. In itself it was very good, but the way it was shot felt like I was watching two different movies at times. The middle act was the best structured part because the arrival of Zod built up the the battle at Smallville. the first and final acts were saturated with either too much action or exposition. Still my favorite movie of the year.

  16. Oh give me a break. Man of Steel should be a contender. My predcitions for the nominess are: Iron Man 3, Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Pacific Rim. My picks are the ones I mentioned except for Gravity (I want Thor: The Dark World).

  17. MOS was awesome, I couldn’t give a monkeys if it wins oscars or not, the best films usually don’t, in terms of visual effects tho Gravity blows them all away..

  18. Well, there’s no need to worry. With the new Batfleck film, at least they will secure a place at the Razzies.

    • …as brittle as old, dry paper. Never seems to go away completely….

  19. I thought the film was terrific with one major problem: the denouement. They go from a mind-blowing level of annihilation in Metropolis alone, who knows how bad on the other side of the planet, and then someone made the editing decision to just skip way ahead in time to where Superman is chucking that spy drone into the road, then skip ahead again to him biking through Metropolis w/out any sense of what kind of shape Metropolis is in. Couple that with the business as usual feel to the newsroom at the Daily Planet, and it just wasn’t a smart way to end the movie, in my opinion. I’m trusting that they’ll address all that in movie numero two-o, but critics want these kinds of things to be more artfully dealt with than was done, imho.

    • + 1

      Seriously, I went, “Wha…? Just like that?” when the credits rolled. Still, even before I warmed up a bit about MOS, I loved some “Welcome to the planet.”

      • Glad to be here, Marl.

    • I also concur. Although I enjoyed some elements of the film, specifically Cavill as Superman and the serious tone of the movie, the ending was completely ridiculous and utterly absurd in how it completely skipped over all of the destruction that occurred, and the likely thousands of people who died. After Clark strolled into the Daily Planet with a new job, I was like “WHAT?!”

      • Yeah, kind of makes you wonder how Synder and company dropped the ball so badly there. An extra five or ten minutes could’ve gone a long way and probably boosted critical reception. Five or ten minutes, in this case = money well spent. ;)

        BTW, I also enjoyed movie otherwise.

    • The “business as usual” theme at the end didn’t bother me as much as the most glaring problem in the way Jenny shrugs off the very person who didn’t abandon her and risked his own life attempting to save hers.

      I have watched this movie countless times… and at that part every time I can’t help but shout “Seriously!?!? You (expletive)”

      It’s weird though, because even with this cringe part you have Amy Adams reaction to seeing Clark which I thought was absolutely price-less.

      • Hey! You’re right, I never thought about that! That is quite a glaring editing error. They must have shot that scene before deciding where it should go in the movie, maybe before the script was totally settled. Or maybe they hadn’t shot her scene getting saved by that guy yet…?

        • Yeah, something along those lines I’m thinking. Whoopsie-doopsis.

          Poor Lombard.

    • Yup. That was the tipping point for people’s criticisms and made lots discredit the rest of the film.

  20. MOS for me was a breath of fresh air compared to Marvels movies, and that was hard for me since i’m a hardcore Iron Man fan.

  21. Mos was great to me. I don’t see how anyone can complain about a Superman movie having too much action. Superman returns was terrible and boring, come on Superman (Routh) got beat up by Kumar, and stalking Lois Lane is that the Superman you want? And Lex scheming a land deal again.

    Mos was far better, and they are adding new heroes to the sequel so we don’t have to wait till 2025 to see a Justice League movie IMO.

    • A good 15-20 minutes of that action just devolved into motion and noise. They should have devoted about 10 of those minutes to showing the aftermath of Zod’s attack and battle with Supes.

  22. “Until then, Man of Steel remains a film that is far from universally acclaimed, so it doesn’t come as a huge shock to learn that it’s not on the Academy’s shortlist for a Best Visual Effects Oscar nod in 2014.”

    This statement…makes no sense whatsoever. Since when does supposed “hatred” towards a movie disqualify it from a VFX Oscar nod? All the Transformers movies were up for it, and people at least claim to “hate” those too. Man of Steel was absolutely breathtaking, and if it weren’t for Gravity (and possibly The Hobbit, which I obviously haven’t seen it), it would be my top pick for the win! What an insane snub this was. :(

    • Yeah, you caught that too huh? I just finished mentioning that in a reply above.

  23. Gravity, Oblivion and Elysium are my favourites this year, as far as the visual effects are concerned. Other movies like Man of Steel or Iron Man 3 looked a bit rough around the edges here and there. For example, I absolutely didn’t like the physics of the aircraft in Man of Steel. They moved way too fast and lacked a proper feel of intertia and general aerdodynamical physics. Sure, the looked pretty, but there is a little more to making them really convincing and not as if a kid is going “pssssssssseeeeeeeeoooooooowww” with a toy in his hand. :D

    • p.s.: Twister from 1997 had more convincing tornadoes tnan Man of Steel 16 years later.

      • *inertia

  24. These nominations are a joke. World War Z over Man of Steel in visual effects? Visual Effects have nothing to do with the quality of the story and/or characters (which is what people complained about the most). I’m not a huge Man of Steel fan but that is just twisted. And I agree with you Sandy, Gravity is the one to beat in this category and if there is that could beat it, it would be Oblivion. Some of the most beautifully striking visual effects AND sound.

    P.S. Screenrant should do like a prediction contest for the Oscars. Just the more important categories so it’s easy to keep track of. Best Picture, Best Director, Visual Effects, Best Actor and Actress. It could be fun.

    • Though I’m confused to why it’s included as well, I think it’s the star power that helped World War Z. Even Lone Ranger was better/different because it tried to use practical visual effects (real train and settings) rather than CGI.

      • True. World War Z had unimpressive CGI zombies and the scenes where they were running and tumbling and tripping and biting and transforming and climbing over huge walls that were made to keep them out and get into a plane God knows how and always chasing the crowd where the Brad Pitt character found himself in and ramming into a bus and completely flipping it over on its side and ………………..well, you get it. And Iron Man 3 did not have better visual effects than Man of Steel.

  25. Gravity sucked!!

  26. MoS wasn’t very good. Wildly uneven. Ridiculous amounts of destruction. And Supes becomes Dirty Harry at the end…destroying the image of the character in a single snap.

    You may say Marvel movies are more “campy” but their formula seems to work. Thor, a second-tier character, has already earned $600mm worldwide and will likely pass Man of Steel. Why? Maybe because Marvel doesn’t take themselves too seriously and treats the source material with reverence. And maybe people are getting tired of the whole dark/realistic Nolan approach to spandex. (What works for Batman doesn’t mean it will work for Superman.)

    These are live-action comic books. Who reads comics to be reminded of how harsh and ugly the real world can be? Not me. I want some escapist fun. Same thing when it comes to the movie versions.

    • I’m with you on this… :)

    • I disagree with virtually everything you said…but to each, his own.

  27. My guess of why they got in the list…

    Elysium, Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim: No brainer… those are solid CGI goodness

    Iron Man 3: the Air Force One scene as well as the final battle, plus we got RDJ Oscar-star power there
    The Lone Ranger: The train scene, as well as the whole Western vibe, plus we got Depp Oscar-star power
    Thor: The Dark World: Asgard, along with the cross realm battle, plus there’s Portman & Hopkins Oscar-star power
    World War Z: The zombie attack? Oh, and of course Pitt’s Oscar-star power

    For the reason why Man of Steel is not included… was it any different than Avatar, or 2012? I didn’t think it showed any breakthrough apart from destroying stuffs. It does have an Oscar-star power in Russel Crowe and Kevin Costner, but the main star is basically a noob, so that explains it… (remember what happened to Batman movies before Christian Bale became an Oscar-star?)

  28. Man of Steel was very good in the theatre, but since then I have watched the DVD 3 times and it keeps getting better and better. Any movie that I can watch again and again is a great movie. It is a very short list.

    • I wholly agree. :)

      • Oh dude I got you beat, wait until the 5th time!

  29. Personally, I haven’t really cared about the Academy Awards for the past few years.

    • The Oscars is nothing more that rich d-bags congratulating each other on how great they are. It’s self-serving narcissism.