Zack Snyder Is Directing the Superman Reboot [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 10th, 2013 at 12:04 am,

Hero Complex has just dropped a bombshell – Watchmen director Zack Snyder will direct the Superman reboot, which is tentatively titled The Man of Steel.

This will partner Snyder with producers Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas, as well as screenwriters David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan (the latter of whom was rumored for the director’s chair himself).

[Update: THR is reporting that Zod will be the villain of The Man of Steel and that Snyder says to Variety that Brandon Routh will not likely return]

Is this a match made in comic book movie heaven? Or a mismatch that will lead to Superman movie hell?

Snyder comes with an impressive resume – His work on 300 and Watchmen has made him a beloved favorite among the fanboy nation (I even saw him win an award for it during a party at the 2009 Comic-Con). In addition to having earned the adoration of the comic geek crowd, Snyder is also a genuinely impressive filmmaker, one who may even be worthy of the title “auteur” given his signature style of cinematic storytelling, which has already redefined conventional film genres like the sword-and-sandals epic (300), or even children’s animated adventures, as our own Vic Holtreman acknowledged in his review of Snyder’s most recent film, Legend of the Guardians.

(And by the way, if you didn’t know, our own Rob Keyes pointed out all of these redeeming qualities just a few weeks ago when he picked Zack Snyder as the top choice amongst Warner Bros.’ shortlist of Superman reboot directors. We need to give that man his own crystal ball!)

darren aronofsky directing superman man of steel Zack Snyder Is Directing the Superman Reboot [Updated]

However, as is the case with any comic book movie, there are going to be fans who claim that Snyder is all wrong for this Superman movie. There will be those who say that Snyder’s slow-motion action sequences, or slavish loyalty to his comic book source material are going to bog down this Superman movie rather than enhance it – and those are fair concerns to raise, truthfully speaking. However, this is going to be Zack Snyder working under the supervision of Christopher Nolan – a pairing that I don’t think anybody would’ve seen coming a year ago. Having two of film’s most visionary and talented directors putting their heads together to bring a new vision of the most iconic comic book character there is to the big screen is one experiment that I think most of us can admit at least piques our interests, no?

Now that we know who will be sitting in the director’s chair, I guess we can watch the debate unfold about how good or bad this decision is. Once we’ve exhausted that argument discussion, we’ll move on to the other big points of contention, such as who should play Superman, What story this reboot should focus on and which villains should be included in it (to Lex or not to Lex, that is the question…)

Sound off about this epic decision in the comments below.

[poll id=”79″]

Source: Hero Complex

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  1. OMG!!! I was hoping that Zach Snyder would nail the job and he did! His style of filmmaking is obviously perfect for this film! This has the potential to be one of the best comic book films of all time! I’m so exited now!

    The only disappointment I felt though was when I read that Zod is set to be the villain… Seriously? Zod? Again? That’s too obvious of a choice, especially since he was the only super-powered villain that anyone cares to remember in the Reeve’s films. They should’ve had Braniac. It would have been a much better start to the franchise.

    Thank the good Lord for not letting them bring back Routh! He was terrible and must stay far, far away from The Man of Steel! Can’t wait to start hearing about casting rumors and choices! Finally, news I have been waiting for for so many long years!!! *tear* :_]

    • Braniac will be Zod’s final gift to the people of Earth and Superman before Superman banishes Zod to the Twilight …Phantom Zone..This will setup Braniac nicely for a sequel…

      • Oh okay… sounds good i guess. If they decide to go that route. They could’ve done something different with that story arc but it works for me. As long as we get a great cast and a great film I don’t care. I am definitely excited for this!

  2. Snyder should cast Dwayne Johnson as Clark Kent/Superman, and Ed O’Neil as Perry White. I’d like to see Smith Cho as Lois Lane, and John Cena as Zod.

    • lol… I’ll take that as a joke. I hope you are joking.

    • too much peyote there Suiox?

    • That is such horrible casting that you must not be a Supes fan.

  3. Love the creative team, HATE the character. I`m torn.

  4. Awesuuuum!!!
    Now get Jon Hamm wear the S…..a big S, not the tiny bumper sticker from SR

  5. Snyder will ruin this. Gauranteed. I”m out as of 10/5/2010

    • I’m with you man. Screw Snyder. Ruined Watchmen.

  6. Why do ppl hate slow mo so damn much?

    • Apparently because actually seeing what you paid thirty bucks to see is silly…

      • lol…. I like see some (not alot) of slow mo in a ilm.

      • spot on, i much more prefer a movie with shakey cam action scenes, and cuts so quick i dont even know what happened =P snyder’s slo mo is awesome, if anyone dissagree’s well…their just wrong.

        • A friend of mine likes to rant that shakey cam fight scenes are like “strapping a camera onto a 3-legged armadillo, slapping it on the arse, and throwing into a brawl.” The Bourne movies are the worst. I think this stuff started about with Stallone’s Get Carter, and in that it was an interesting departure, but I damn near vomited during Clover-barf-field.

  7. I’ve added a poll so you can vote and we can get a feel for the consensus on where folks stand on Synder directing Superman.


    • aww crap Vic lol why, it’ll cause more chaos ha ha

    • Yes thanks for that im in the minority lol

  8. snyder confirmed on his twitter

  9. Denis Menochet for Superman!

  10. Now that they have a director ,They can concentrate on who the next Superman is going to be.

  11. I was on the fence until I saw the update, Zod? Really? Well, they’ve dome that for one reason. Giant stupid over the top battle scenes.
    There’s nothing wrong with slow motion for Superman by the way, he moves faster than a speeding bullet, the entire world slows down for him,
    I also think Snyder might consider Welling.

    • I’d love to see Welling on the big screen as Superman.

      • I think a lot of people would. He’s certainly earned the right to at least be considered. He’s played Clark Kent (contiunously) longer than anyone else.

        • I don’t think it’s a matter of Welling being worthy of consideration. No one has convinced me he wants to do it! All I’ve seen is allot of fans wanting it to happen. Personally I feel confident whoever they choose will perform fine. It might smack plenty of fans as going against their grain of personal choice, but that’s a given no matter who they would choose. Give me a company of serviceable actors and a Great Story and I’ll buy it. I don’t think the great controversial Zack Snyder could mess that up…

          • old man,

            That’s a great point. I don’t think Welling has ever expressed any desire publicly to play Superman on the big screen.


  12. Anthony I assume he will be Zack Snyder. He’s always over stylized he can’t make a movie with out a lot of useless flash and he over uses blood in every thing have you seen 300 and watchmen? His visuals are pretty over the top. He can let a story speak for it’s self he has to add a bunch of flash to it to distract from the fact that he is only a mediocre director. Watchmen was good but 300 was a crappy shallow gore fest with no substance and Sucker Punch just looks awful.

    • im betting that nolan wont let him get gory, or too much over the top. i loved both 300, and i’ll admit i wqas surprised with what he did with Watchmen, his zombie flick, ehh not so much lol.

    • you could not be more wrong….go see “Legends” to realize the scope this guy has. This is a brilliant choice!

      • Are you serious that’s your example legends?

        I think you mean to say “I couldn’t disagree with you more”

        Lets face it Legends has been pretty universally panned for a reason.

        Because I’m not wrong you just don’t agree with me.

        One of Snyder’s biggest failures is that he tries way to hard to be epic and it always shows.

        Snyder has a certain style and he sticks with it it’s even apparent in Legends. It’s not as gory as his other films of course because it’s more kid friendly, but it’s still considered to be way to violent for children and it’s one of the major criticisms being thrown at the film. It still has his over the top stylistic approach and is not something at all fitting to Superman. The only chance this film has is if Snyder was hired just to pretend to direct while Nolan steps in and actually does the work.

        At the end of the day Snyder is more flash than substance and relies to much on visuals because he knows that his films can’t deliver much else. If it were not for his special effects no one would like him because he isn’t good at anything else. Sounds like Micheal Bay to me.

        • I can’t believe I am going to agree with you, but I am. I couldn’t have thought of a worse direction to take this film unless Snyder is willing to alter his current director style by quite a bit.

          If we see blood splattering, quick random one liners and over the top special effects and screaming this will be the end of Superman on the big screen for another twenty years.

          I sure hope Nolan has his hand in the cookie jar 24-7, otherwise what a let down.

          • This isn’t going to be an R-rated Superman movie. It’s going to be PG-13. There won’t be a lot of blood. I love how you can bash a movie before it’s even in pre-production. Goodness!

    • @Daniel f

      I imagine that some people will agree with you, but I admit that I think you’re limiting yourself on the possibilities this choice opens up. I thought both “Watchmen” and “300” were great films (not classics of cinema great, but entertaining, worthwhile great). You’re right that Snyder is not the go-to guy for cerebral films. Nolan, however, will be overseeing the production, and the two of them, together, should be able to create a fantastic, epic reboot of Superman. “Watchmen” and “300” were very specifically different films from what Superman should be (and has been), and Snyder caught the visual aspects of both quite accurately…now, whether or not you think he succeeded as well with the conceptual aspects is another issue, but that’s why Nolan’s presence will, hopefully, reassure you…at least from a quality perspective. Also, Snyder has proven that he appreciates the material he covers, so that encourages me that he will be careful about his treatment of the film.
      A Snyder(/Nolan) Superman film CAN be a great project; I believe it WILL be.

      • Oh, and as for “Legends of the Guardians”, I’ve heard as many families LIKED it and did not think it was too violent (I loved it…and thought the incinerator scene in “Toy Story 3″ was MUCH more frightening than even the climactic battle of the brothers in the forest fire in “Legends”)…

        • YOU are correct Archaeon! I saw “Legends” opening night, and as much as we did not want to go in a theatre packed with kids, there were no kids freaking out or crying. ( like TS3) They were awed by the spectacle. As usual, people who pan this film did not see it, or do not like anytrhing to do with a PG film. The critics who had a problem with “Legends” are the same who had much distain for TS3. Snyder proved his range with this one with out question. With this team how can anyone doubt this new take on Superman will fail. We are no experts here, but Mr. Nolan and Mr. Snyder can and KNOW their own weakness, the other team member can pick up the slack so to speak. That is what a great production team does.

          • Taco
            “The critics who had a problem with “Legends” are the same who had much distain for TS3.”

            Really? Cause I just looked up 20 critics who bashed Legends and they all loved TS3. I’m sure there are more especially considering 99% of critics loved TS3 and only about 49% liked Legends and half of the positive are only just barely positive.

            Maybe your thinking of another film or maybe you just made a blanket statement with out any actual research.

      • I agree with Daniel F here,

        Like you just, Snyder captures visual aspects very well indeed, but Superman needs more than a visual director. His films have no heart, and Nolan isnt well known for injecting that warm sense either. Superman needs that.

        • @DrSamBeckett

          I do not have the same concern for the emotional content of Nolan’s films (I’ve been quite satisfied with his character portrayals, interactions, and progressions in his various films) that you do, but I agree that warmth and compassion are essential to the character of Superman…those, MUCH more than his vaunted strength, make him the hero he is. Again, I say that these two SHOULD be a good combination, only because I believe that they, together, can be better than the sum of their individual strengths.
          I simply must hope…I miss Superman on the big screen…

      • Arch we have no idea how much Nolan will actually have to do with it especially consider Batman is being shot at almost the same time.

        Snyders films being shallow and soulless are a problem but not the biggest I’m far more concerned with his visual style. He’s proven he is a one trick pony since all his films style wise are almost exactly the same that style is horrible for Superman. Anyone who has read a Supes comic, Seen a supes cartoon or seen a previous film should know this is an awful choice. Even if Nolan adds substance to the film it won’t matter as long as Snyder is snyder and uses his ugly style of filmmaking that’s totally unfitting for superman the film will be awful. I’m sure it will be a success because Snyder is trendy despite not being talented. Superman is going to have a bunch of retarded looking slow mo action scenes and a funky color scheme and rocking out to music that’s not at all fitting to him. The new superman theme is Bad Moon Rising i bet at least if snyder gets his way. Is it a great song? Yes does it fit supes no?No. Does Snyder have respect for source material ? Not that I’ve scene and he certainly doesn’t have taste or know what’s appropriate for certain characters and situations.

        Look for Supes to bang lois on the daily planets planet and just as he finishes fire works will go off because Snyders a classy fella.

  13. Am I the only one who realises this hangs in Goyer’s script? He doesn’t have a great track record…

    • im with you there DSB…but with regards to Wekking, i dont think nolan would allow him to be cast, him or routh mainly because of thier previous ties, well in this case wellings current ties with the character. thats about as unlikely to happen as Stamp being recast as Zod

      • I know its just wishful thinking, just the way Smallville has been going, I can really picture Welling in the big budget version.
        Imagine if he doesn’t wear the suit in the show! There’d be a riot!

        I was hoping they would do a villain we haven’t seen in a Superman film before.
        Jude Law for Zod by the way.

        • i think an actual Smallville film would be a good idea.yeah if they dont show him flying with the suit on that’ll be a big let down for this final season

          • You know what else, no film or tv show has gotten the suit right yet. Smallville is using the Returns suit but with a new cape.
            The no flight no tights rule was due to the movie franchise, but since there hasn’t been one, Smallville has has free reign over Superman for years, I hope this new film doesn’t affect Smallville getting the end it deserves.

            • I think the final season of Smallville is going to whet the appetite of the audience for a big screen Superman film.

        • Drsam you know I like you man but Tom Welling in a real film? Come on I can’t stand smallville but I won’t bash it here because as much as I dislike the writing the absolute worst part of the show is Tom Welling. I would actually probably watch it on a regular basis despite the writing just cause it’s superman if it were not for Wellings acting. Not only can I not picture him in a Superman movie but I can’t picture him in a real film. I don’t count cheaper by the dozen or the fog as real films one was more like an after school special and the other was a b movie.

          • I know we are never going to agree on this, but I really do think Welling would do a good job. At this point though, I’m certainly not convinced about Snyder directing or Goyer writing.

            • i agree, i think Welling could do good. i mean hes really been stepping up his game on smallville. his acting was horrible during the first seasons but it has gotten much better. im not sure with snyder or goyer either.. i mean with snyder we might see some cool/better action and slow mo bullet fights but i dont know what else. goyer is just bad in my eyes lol :)

              • I’m no fan of Goyer either, he is a bigger concern than Snyder to me.

            • My understanding was that Goyer wrote it with Nolan. Goyer is fine when working with the Nolans it’s only away from them that he sucks. Nolan had a hand in the writing and had to approve the script so I’m not so worried about that.

              Yea we can’t agree on Welling, but at least we agree on Snyder.

              • Well, if thats true then I am less concerned I’ll admit. And I’m not saying Welling has to do this film, but I feel he deserves consideration.
                Although I havent seen him in anything, John Hamm certainly looks the part.

                • Drsam you’ve never seen Hamm in anything? I thought you saw him in The Town ?

                  You really must see Mad Men it’s a fantastic show.

                  • Oh god yeah, I didnt realise that was him until you just said it! Damn that was good movie.

           ordered season 1 of Mad Men.

                    • Lol yea he was the FBI guy.

                      Yea I love Mad Men it’s a great show and I’m not completely caught up but so I’m happy to see that they never do cliff hangers it’s nice for a show. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy cliff hangers but it’s refreshing for a show that just tells a story and doesn’t try to hard to make you go “omg what happens next” they rely completely on the quality of the show to bring you back.

                • I actually think that John Hamm would be better as Zod than as Superman.

        • You know, I actually thought of the same actor for Zod. You didn’t use that quantum thing-a-ma-jig to steal my thoughts, did you? :-)

          • Thats how I get all my best ideas!

  14. I don’t read many comic books but I like watching the movie (weird I know)… So could some tell me type of villain / character Zod is?

    • General Zod is a kryptonian who frequently clashes with Jor-El, in some incarnation Zod was responsible for the destruction of Krypton.
      He caused a civil war.

      • thanks… I would like that plot of Zod destorying Krypton in the movie.

        • I’m not sure they will be able to show that, if I remember correctly there was some sort of legal issue with using parts of the back story. Although it would work well if we saw Krypton in flashbacks only, saw Zod’s destructive tendancies.

      • I thought the red giant going supernova was the reason Krypton was destroyed?

        • Not every time, there are different versions.

  15. I just had a weird moment, walking to work, John Williams Superman theme came on, I pictured in my head opening credits;

    Chris Nolan Presents

    A Zack Snyder film

    The Man Of Steel.

    It just sounds fundamentally wrong.

    • Hahaha!!!

      Chris Nolan Presents

      A Zack Snyder film

      The Man Of Steel

      Johnny Depp

      Angelina Jolie

      Philip Seymor Hoffman

      So Snyder is taking over Superman instead of Batman? Or Is Nolan just watching him so if he’s good enough then he’ll let Snyder touch his Bat

      • Thats an even more worrying thought, a Snyder directed Batman would be hideous.

  16. Also, is everybody agreed on this? No origin story! It’s like telling the backstory of Jesus, everyone already knows.

    • A less then 5 min gloss over should suffice. Or make it during the credits.

      • Over the credits would be fine, but anything more than that is just a waste of scree time. If youre going to see a Superman movie, you know the story.

  17. Just been readin some stuff Snyder said yesterday, about re envisioning the character for the modern day. Sorry, but he has completely missed the point if he thinks the character needs updating, its Superman the character is timeless, the world around him should change but he shouldnt.

    • @DrSamBeckett

      I’m hoping that’s what Snyder meant–that the world around Kal-El can be modernized. I don’t think you can fundamentally change the deeper nature of Superman without removing the NAME Superman from the character. Even when he turned blue and electrical (which many, MANY people hated), he retained his strong-willed, compassionate nobility, so he was (basically) still Superman.
      There is a hardcover graphic novel coming out soon that posits that very idea: What if Superman debuted now, in the 21st century? It looks like it will be a great read and a great take on the legend. I’m hoping THAT is what Snyder meant…

      • Well from what I read, it seemed quite certain he was talking about Superman himself. Which

  18. Joe Manganiello for Supes!!

    He’s 6’5”
    Perfect look,
    He can act,
    He’s ripped,
    He’s 33 (which is perfect age in my opinion)
    He loves Superman and is interested in taking the role.

    This movie is gonna be so fukkin incredible!

    • He is a good choice actually.

      • Flash Thompson?

    • Too bad Superman is 6’4″ :p lol

    • I just looked that guy up. He would be a perfect choice.

    • Wow, VERY good pick Ken! I think he’d be fantastic as Supes!!!

      • I know right? The guy is ideal in every sense, he’s not too famous so it’d be easy to accept him in the role, but he has a fanbase so it’d draw people.

        I’m just afraid of Jon Hamm getting it because he’s in Sucker Punch and Nolan may suggest Snyder re-use him

  19. I’m okay with this, but…why Zod? We’ll have a completely new reboot complete with a big budget, and we show a villain that’s already been done??? The entire internet has been screaming Brainiac for years, and the studios apparently don’t seem to care. My only hope is that Nolan is doing what he did with Batman Begins and is using a moderately popular villain to help establish the character in the first film, and then use the more popular one in the sequel.

  20. I’m optimistic, but cautious.

    I haven’t seen Guardians so that may provide an exception to the case, but the work Snyder has done before that are generally quite dark and angsty. I’m fine with dark and angsty if done well, and Snyder has done it well. My problem is that Superman isn’t a dark and angsty character in my opinion. He’s a symbol of truth and justice and the American ideals. Dark and angsty might be fine in small doses, but not Watchmen doses.

    On the other hand he is a very good film maker and of course he’s working with the cinematic equivilent of the A-Team, so this does all look very good. As I’ve said before, I’m optimistic, but cautious.

  21. after reading about marvel and the plans for complete world domination upto 2017, i cant help but think warner brothers/dc actually know what they´re doing as opposed to marvel and almost scattergun approach. I wasnt massively interested in a superman film, but the creative team in place now does look pretty slick

  22. Here’s a curious thought, Affleck met with Nolan and turned down the job, that suggests he was offered it. I’d rather have seen his vision as he has a real talent for directing.

  23. Ok, here’s my first casting suggestion.

    John Hamm-Clark Kent

    Rachel Mcadams-Lois Lane

    Jude Law-Zod

    Billy Zane-Lex Luthor

    Not sure about Jimmy and Perry yet.

      • I could just picture Zane bald as Lex, not in a huge role though, and take the character back to his scientist roots.

        • I could see that. Maybe give him enough of a role to make the audience question his involvement in a bigger story. Could be fun, like the moment at the end of Batman Begins when Gordon mentions the next rogue.

          • Oh something like that, I just think Billy Zane is a good actor and he could be good as Lex in future films and just have a small part in the first one.
            And, imagine Jude Law with the Zod goatee! It’s perfect!

            • We’re on the same page there, Sam. Now, you just have to convince Christopher Nolan. :) Hopefully Mark Strong won’t be cast as Lex.

              • hopefully there wont be a Lex at all

                • I disagree, Lex needs to be there in some capacity. Maybe have him as President, oh yes that could work.

                  • That would certainly give the film an edge! Though, it might be more like a remake of a past film. :)

                  • Agreed, Lex is a major part of Superman’s character. He needs to be in the film in a minor role.

              • He can’t be, he’s Sinestro! Not that it matters these days,

                • Mark Strong ia great though really

                  • No denying that mate. He kills in everything, shame they didnt have him as Moriarty in Holmes instead of Blackwood

                    • now THAT woulda been AWESOME

                    • He was the best part of Sunshine, too. A great actor, just seems to be getting cast as ever baddie these days.

    • I like,b ut I just don’t see Hamm as Superman. I can see him as Clark, but not Superman.

  24. I’m at least curious to see Snyder and Nolan working together.

    Snyder’s weak point is over the top action and gore and flashy F/X. His strength is movement and action and unique visualization.

    Nolan’s weakness is movement and action. His strength is in good editing and practical effects.

    It’s a good balance, me thinks.

    Goyer working with the Nolans has been good so far. If Goyer writes the story and the Nolans do the actual screenplay I’m not worried.

    As for the villain: It seems they are going to be exploring Superman as a Kryptonian, rather than just “Earth’s protector,” which is admittedly an angle that the Reeve films didn’t go too deep into (except or Supes II).

    If you start with Zod and Superman having to relate to another Kryptonian and his heritage, you can move on to other relics of Krypton, namely Braniac, Kandor, and even Supergirl, should you wish. By going extraterrestrial you can also explore an epic story like Darkseid/Apokolips once you have a bigger budget for a sequel.

    No alarm bells for me just yet – Not until we get to the casting stage 😉

    I’m still team Hamm, BTW.

    • I thought Goyer had actually written the script?….

      • Goyer did already write a first draft with the supervision of of Nolan.

        I would disagree on what Nolans weak points are I think he does action very well. His fight scene with JGL in Inception was one of the greatest I had ever seen. Honestly I don’t see much weakness in the guy, but if I had to pinpoint something it would be human emotion. His films at times can be a bit cold. Almost to well thought out to cold and calculated.

        • I keep picturing Goyer sitting there like a schoolboy with Nolan standing over him!

          • I think we all would feel like schoolboys if Nolan were standing over us. :) I’ve often felt that he is the Hitchcock of this generation.

  25. I want BIZARRO! The Bizarro world, a parallel dimension storyline. I’m going to cross my fingers and watch old episodes of bizarre!

  26. This is perfect. A brilliant match, how anyone cannot understand that Mr. Nolan wanted Mr. Snyder for his vision is just thinking about the scale of this project. And the fact ZOD will be featured is beyond most expectations of most fans, but considering the creative team, it makes perfect sense and I am so blown away by this news. Freak’n fantastic!!!!!

  27. While I would have much rather have seen Yates (also in contention for another hero franchise?) I’m not ticked over the picking in Snyder in the least. I think all names on the short list were good selections.

    But what troubles me is ZOD.
    It’s not that I don’t mind having a foe that Supey could fight on equal ground; and that I expect Lex Luthor to be honorably mentioned like The Joker in Batman Begins or Moriaty in Sherlock Holmes…

    However, ZOD…I’m yawning right now. Can’t you tell…? I would rather see other Superman foes that old standbys.

    On Brandon Routh not returning…? I’m sure we’ll see his name being talked about even if the answer is no.

  28. Well, at least I know exactly what to expect from this movie since all of his movies are pretty much the same. Yay!

    • The only thing they’ve had in common was the AWESOME!!!

  29. At least now I know to bring my seatbelt.