Yes, Nolan’s influence has waned considerably since Man of Steel was first announced, but like Guillermo del Toro’s work on The Hobbit before handing that picture off to Peter Jackson, there will inevitably be traces of the Batman team’s stamp left imprinted on Man of Steel‘s DNA. The film is also going to be a major and important release for Warner Bros. next year – one that is going to be carefully developed and built, despite the tight production schedule (due in large part to ongoing legal issues with the Superman property rights).

This film will NOT be a Zack Snyder free-for-all, where the director is given a loose leash to realize Superman in whatever fashion he chooses (that mistake was already made with Bryan Singer). Even the cast of Man of Steel – despite fanboy nitpicks about things like Amy Adams not being hot enough to play Lois Lane (a silly notion if you know the character), or Diane Lane being too hot to play Ma Kent – is shaping up to be stronger than most of the other comic book movies DC/WB has put out (no Katie Holmes or Malin Ackermans to worry about yet).

I say all this to say – relax, people. One bad film does not poison a filmmaker’s entire future. Holding up Sucker Punch as evidence that naysayers were right all along about Zack Snyder being a poor choice for Man of Steel is simply specious reasoning. There is always room for a filmmaker to grow and mature (especially when working in collaboration with other great talents), and it’s equally important to make sure the baby stays in the tub, even when you’re dumping out all the bathwater. Say what you will about Sucker Punch – visually speaking, the film did pack a punch (sorry), as have most of Snyder’s films. In all fairness, Snyder has as much potential to make the most visually impressive Superman film to date, as he does to fumble the ball and drop it.

That potential alone is enough to keep me at least on even ground in regards to my early impressions about Man of Steel‘s development. Am I saying that the film is guaranteed to be awesome? Not at all. It’s been a long, long, time since I’ve been willing to invest blind faith in a Superman movie (with good reason). Yet, even in my skepticism I try to remain equally open to the idea that a Superman movie can be done right again, and Sucker Punch‘s failings have in no way extinguished that hope, let alone proven it to be invalid. For now, I echo the words of the zen master from that old Buddhist parable: “We shall see…”

How about you – after seeing Sucker Punch, do you think Man of Steel is a doomed project in Snyder’s hands?

Sucker Punch is currently in theaters.

Superman: Man of Steel will be in theaters in December 2012.

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