Does ‘Sucker Punch’ Spell Doom For ‘Superman: Man of Steel’?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 23rd, 2013 at 3:20 pm,

Right now the Interwebs are all ablaze with debate over Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, which debuted this past weekend (read our review HERE). The film – previously heralded as one of the most anticipated films of 2011 – ultimately got KO’d as both a critical and financial dud.

That hard hit already has the fanboy community clogging website comment threads with prophecies of doom in regards to Snyder’s next film, the Superman reboot, Man of Steel.

Here at Screen Rant we’ve recently been critical of the fickle opinions of fanboys when it comes to comic book movies, and the reactions to each casting and/or development announcement  about Man of Steel have certainly proven some of our criticisms. Every single decision about this Superman movie seems to piss off a section of the fanboy nation: General Zod and Lex Luthor as possible villains; Henry Cavill as Superman; three-time Academy Award Nominee Amy Adams as Lois Lane; even Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Diane Lane as Martha Kent. Certain sections of fanboys have been crying that it is all “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” and that Superman is doomed before cameras even start rolling on his latest cinematic outing, which Snyder has promised will envision the character in a more grounded and realistic way (unlike many of his other films).

Zack Snyder being tapped as the director of Man of Steel was always a controversial choice among fanboys – surprising, really, considering that Snyder was heretofore known primarily as ‘the fanboys’ director,’ after delivering film adaptations of Frank Miller’s 300 and Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen that were both extremely faithful to their respective source material in terms of aesthetic and story. Heck, back at Comic Con ’09 I even saw Snyder hop into a boxing ring to accept the “Fans Award” for the loyalty he showed to comic book source material – how many directors get that much love from geeks?

Still, even with all the debate over Snyder helming Man of Steel, fans (for the most part) initially took solace in the fact that Chris Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer – the team behind both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight – would be overseeing the script and development of Superman’s next onscreen outing. As discussions in our comment threads progressed, the prevailing attitude was that a Snyder/Nolan pairing would be one of mutual benefit: Snyder’s knack for visuals and action would combine perfectly with the Batman team’s knack for unique and engaging storytelling, resulting in a Superman film that would explore the character in fresh and exciting ways, while still delivering the epic action people want to see from the most powerful superhero of them all.

Sucker Punch Emily Browning Does Sucker Punch Spell Doom For Superman: Man of Steel?

This is your brain after viewing ‘Sucker Punch’.

Now that Sucker Punch has…er, sucker punched even the most ardent Snyder fans with a story and film that is overly ambitious at best, exploitative and shallow at worst (you be the judge), it seems that people have forgotten all about the fact that the Nolans and Goyer tackled the initial job of crafting Man of Steel‘s development and script, despite Chris Nolan ultimately “handing off” the picture to Snyder in order to focus on his third Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. In the days since Sucker Punch has been released, I’ve personally read hundreds of comments on dozens of sites, all echoing the assertion that Zack Snyder’s apparent failure with the first film he both wrote and directed automatically spells doom for ‘his Superman movie.’

This is, of course, not at all the case.


Why Man of Steel isn’t doomed (yet)…

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  1. Sucker Punch was disastrously bad because Snyder, a brilliant visualist and nothing more, wrote it. Nolan’s got the Superman story on a tight leash; Snyder will provide an unrivaled visual element to compliment it.

    • It was hit or miss Goyer that wrote the script, and even if Nolan did contribute, it still needs good directing from Snyder. People keep prasing Snyder for 300 and Watchmen, but he’s already said that it won’t be based off a particular story like those two films.

      Anyway, I’m still hoping it will be good, but they seriously need to add a good villain. Zod and Luthor has already been done before, and we need someone else. Although, I think Luthor needs to be in the film in some fashion.

      • They need to do Darkside, would be a great way to kick off a new Superman movie.

        • I’m kind of tired of Darkseid for the moment. He’s the villain in Smallville now, and just recetnly with S/B:A.

  2. Wow Kofi, you really are poking the hornets nest :p
    Soulless was what I took from Sucker punch, great visuals but ultimately soulless. I would rather see Snyder direct a video game. Maybe in the realms of God of War or Onimusha.
    Anyways I’m Easy I’ll watch anything. Of course I’ll draw the line on any Uwe Boll movies.

  3. One movie has nothing to do with the other. Duh?

    • @Evengan – You would think it is a “duh” question (I know I agree with you) yet the reactions of some people make you think it’s the end of life as we know it or something :-D

      • Haha, I know right? Well, with each his own.

    • PS: Again, I find another typo about Amy Adams… “two-time Academy Award Nominee Amy Adams as Lois Lane”. Yeah, she received three nominations. :D

      • Right you are. I forgot about “Doubt”.

  4. Thanks for this article Kofi! I don’t get all the naysayers regarding Man of Steel. It’s packing an amazing cast, some great minds are behind the script!

    Hope a lot of people read this and learns to wait before jumping into conclusions. I for one think Snyder is great at translating a good story. He did so already with 300 and Watchmen (as you said), so I don’t see why this couldn’t turn out the same way???

  5. I’m getting a little tired of “fanboy” it DOES have a negative connotation. If there was one site that should take a stand against that term, I would’ve thought it was screenrant. I always thought that vic and company would be the first ones to say, “enough is enough.” It seems everytime i see the term on here lately it’s done with a ridiculing tone. Vic, are you guys working for fox or what? I’m kind of joking, but not really. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

    Here where some troll calls me fanboy.

    • I resent you using the term “Troll” – it has a negative connotation. :-D

      If you feel slighted, maybe you’re just a “fan” and not a “fanboy?” there is a definition for the latter term, and I feel I use it in the proper context of its definition.

      “Fans” are the hand that feed us – we try to appeal to movie fans who are die-hard enough to be considered “fanboys” AND movie fans who are just enthusiastic enough to be considered “fans”. The “fans” happen to be the wider audience.

      • I just saw your response Kofi, yeah I get you. I’m a fan, but my point was lately the term is somewhat ridiculing. Remember “Nerd” back in the 80′s, it was downright mean, then by the late 90′s it was a label of pride, seeing as those “nerds” were making millions on their computer knowledge.

        “fanboys unite!” that’s what I want to hear, but it seems like it’s simply used to show all the whining obsessive constant complainers. Sometimes I’d like to think I’m a fanboy, but not the way screenrant has been using the term of late… for the most part. I’d like to take back the term, and own it.

        And it was a good article, I just made an observation.

    • Man, fanboys are REAL, there’s nothing wrong with being one. Now a troll is quite a negative thing, and it’s precisely when fanboys act like trolls that they become a nuisance.

    • i have to agree with this.. fanboy is becoming a broad term for radicals in certain areas.. you cant just slap that on anything to do with comics and draw a line.
      theese people are using the most known man in the world.. people have grew up with comics they know all there is to know .. would we be having this discussion if they were filming a babe ruth movie and the fans were complaining because they want to cast nick cage as babe ruth and told him to put on about 100 lbs and started messing with the facts of his life?
      they need to quit messing with superman.. not once since the 80′s has there been an honest attempt to make a good superman movie .
      all they want to do is get a quick 300 mill on opening weekend with the name and thats all.
      untill they get real about the superman franchise we will continue to complain because you see.. we .. yes WE will be the people waiting in line at midnight to see the movies first.
      so yes i feel that we ..just the same as anyone who buys a product have a right to offer opinions on theese matters.
      one way to solve this.. listen to your fans.
      can anyone honestly tell me that if they let the smallville folks have a $200 million budget that we wouldnt have the greatest superman movie ever made?

  6. Now they make an article to discuss this, after it has already being talked to death on the SuckerPunch review. Now it can be talked to death yet again.
    I’m just teasing. :P

    • Let the bloodshed begin :P

  7. I always try to see comic book movies as just another series of my favorite characters, not just my favorite comic book put on the screen. The first and second X-Men movies were pretty good in my opinion, despite them being pretty far from the comic book “canon.” It’s nice to see characters you like in a different light with a different vision sometimes. Basically, if it’s a good movie, I’ll watch it.

  8. I went to see Sucker Punch this weekend in Imax and I for one can’nt see where everone is saying it is bad. Yes he could of fleshed out the story more, but at the same time he left it open for you to decide what was really going on in the real world. What I think was really going onwas that there was only one women and she had to become a differnt person to escape. So the other women was part of her personally she had to deal with to become who see needed to be. I think this will become a cult classic just like Fight club, everyone hated it too when it first came out.

  9. Maybe I am naive, but I can’t imagine that Warner Bros. really thought that this was going to do well after they signed Snyder for superman.

    Of course the studio was optimistic l when it was originally developed, but after seeing the first footage, it seemed incredibly far-fetched to think this would do well. I believe the first trailer came out last summer and he was signed on for Superman in October.

    This movie looked so incredibly horrible, but did show he has a very high level of visual capabilities whether it fits with one’s sensibilities or not.

    I don’t think this movie will affect Superman at all. As many others have stated, he is just directing and has Nolan to whip him into shape if he misbehaves. I am just surprised they kept pushing the marketing so hard for this one.

  10. Meh, it’s just another origin story, so it’s not like it ever had a hope in hell of being interesting to begin with.

    • Well as another poster pointed out to me in another thread Warner might be losing the rights to the Superman origin to the creators family at some point do to a lawsuit so they just might be trying to cash in.

      Like you said though it’s not like the general public isn’t familiar with the Superman story and unless they are going to try and do something so different it just blows people away, I don’t see what they want out of another film aside from it doing Avatar like numbers money-wise. And if they do so far into left field and it doesn’t do the massive box office they must want then people are just going to complain about it like they did the last movie.

  11. Like most movies there is lots of promise and little results.

  12. Great article Kofi, it’s everything I wish I could say about this whole fanboy(even if it does have a negative connotation, it still describes some very ignorant and mean statements so-called “fans” have to say about this movie, and others) backlash of the tidbits released of this movie so far. I don’t want to fantasize about Lois Lane giving me a BJ, I want an actress who can encompass her character, and I think Amy Adams is a fantastic choice for that reason. Who cares if Diane Lane and Costner are younger takes on their respective characters, I think they will be able to deliver a great parenting aspect that older actors, although faithful to the source material and past adaptations, couldn’t bring to the film. Snyder has a good track record of comic adaptations like you said and anyone who nitpicks a developing movie just needs to calm down, take a look at themselves and realize that these people involved are great at their craft and could very well deliver the Superman movie fans have been craving. Again Kofi, fantastic article.

  13. Well, you never know what you are going to get until it arrives. It may be Snyder delivers a great Superman.

    But given Snyders filmography (all we have to go on) he doesn’t seem like a fit. This cast doesn’t match a typical Snyder movie. It seems to call for something character driven taking place in the “real” world. It would have seemed more logical to pick a director used to working without green screens.

  14. If the next Superman film features only Luthor as the villain, I will simply avoid it.

  15. The people in charge of picking Snyder are probably the same execs who picked Singer. They’re choosing a director who they think is “hot” in the genre rather than bringing the content towards the real world using a director used to location shots and filming in the heart of America.

  16. I know Snyder’s work is pretty weak when compared to Nolan’s, but can we give the whole “It is going to be good because Nolan is involved” thing a rest? While Nolan has brought some good work to the big-screen, it tends to be a little over-rated, suffering from:


    In the end, the fans (or fanboys/girls alike) will have to wait for the final product to criticize and judge.

    Ursa and Non would be a good setup for Zod in a prequel. Having Luther in the background would be great for future match-ups against Supes.

  17. Negativity abound…

  18. Snyder can direct the hell out of a film as long as the source material/script comes from someone else.

    Give him a break for tying to come up with something that is all his own. Sure Sucker Punch was pretty dull despite the fantastic visuals…with Nolan in his corner I doubt he’ll avoid the descent that filmmakers like M. Night descent on.

    I didn’t hate Sucker Punch it just lacked any real weight and that’s the disappointing part. That said, I’m still a fan and I’m putting my faith in Nolan for Superman and not relying solely on Snyder for it.

  19. Personally, I thouroughly loved ‘Sucker Punch’. Even if the storyline was weak at time, it was still an enjoyable script and how can one not enjoy half-naked babe kickin’ serious bootang!?

  20. I’m not a big fan of Snyders, I’ve watched 3 of the 5 films hes made and so far they’ve all bored me senseless and im sure sucker punch will do the same even with all the half naked chicks in it looool, so that doesn’t give me great confidence on how he’ll deal with superman, fair enough the Nolans and Goyer have penned the script and will keep a watchful eye over the film but i sill think Snyder is the wrong choice to make a compelling superman film. i dont think he’s capable of making a film that isnt over the top and has some compelling substance to it. but hey i can be proven wrong and he makes a better superman film then that twat a few years ago loool

  21. I liked sucker punch. Through what I’ve heard Man of Steel is going to be awesome. Mix the Nolans script, Snyders action sequences, and this great cast that is coming together I expect good things.

  22. He might need to collaborate with Frank Miller! 300 was awesome!!!

  23. Sucker Punch was this year’s Clash of the Titans: Heavy on visuals, light on story. Still, I’d trade scantily-clad ladies for Sam Woodington any day…

  24. This was a well written article.

    I’ve still yet to see Suckerpunch since it doesn’t open in my country till Weds but I am excited being a Snyder fan. It has been panned by professional critics but the user reviews are way better. I have faith in him and working with the talent involved in the “Man Of Steel” could be a learning experience which could serve him well in the future.

  25. I like Zack, but i’ve felt he wasn’t the right man for the Superman project from the start. I would have liked to see someone like Duncan Jones tackle it.

    I don’t really get the seeming surprise of the poor critical reception Sucker Punch has recieved. I’ll be honest, I was expecting middling reviews, not nearly as bad as they have been though. That said, this was never gonna be one of the acclaimed popcorn flicks of the year.

    Snyder has always had and always will have his fair share detractors. I do think he has the potential to deliver a great Superman film though. Sucker Punch’s reception hasn’t really changed my hit and miss opinion on him

  26. As long as Christopher Nolan keeps his hand in as producer I don’t believe there is anything to fear. The script will have to pass muster with him and his films have great stories behind them. I doubt he will allow Superman to suffer from bad storytelling.

    • Even a good story can suffer if the director can’t tell it right. Nolan will be too busy with TDKR to hold Snyder’s hands while filming.

  27. Did you guys catch Friday’s episode on the Cartoon Network of ‘The Brave and the Bold’? It was a Batman VS Superman episode where Lex gave presents to Lois and Jimmy Olson containing Red Kryptonite. Superman is exposed when he gets close to Lois and Jimmy and then becomes a king of Metropolis. Batman uses some brains and a little mechanical brawn until the Red Kryptonite affects where off. If the next Superman movie could be like that, Nolan could have a two-part movie with Batman and Superman together. Think of it “What shall it be? All of this or nothing”.

  28. I liked all of Snyder’s movies, especially Sucker Punch. I saw the movie differently than what most people and critics are saying. to me the movie was well layered and the action scenes reflected mental instability with each theft. (but that’s another discussion.)

    I like each decision to this movie so far and cant wait to see it. (and just to through my 2 cents in, i want Lex Luther in the movie but not as a villain, he just has to be there doing something important. Doesn’t have to be relevant to the central story but he is the most important “Human” in Metropolis and not having him there is just stupid)

  29. “Snyder has promised will envision the character in a more grounded and realistic way”
    This is why this superman isn’t going to be great, not because of sucker punch. Making Batman realistic works, it will NEVER work for Supes.

    • Agreed. I was happy about Snyder directing because we would finally get a Superman movie that was on an eye-popping scale. A larger than life comic book, full of spectacle and wonder, and things we can’t even imagine. No more realism or Donnerism. So this news from Snyder crushes my hopes. Superman is not Batman! “Grounded and realistic” sounds horrible! Worse, IT IS BORING!

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