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

Published 3 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.

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Why Man of Steel isn’t doomed (yet)…

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TAGS: sucker punch, superman, superman man of steel

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  1. Great article Kofi, I’ve been saying the some thing all along, though not in so many words ^_^

    • Same thing lol

  2. Nolan is not over seeing the writing and development of this any longer. Don’t you people understand what’s going on? Nolan was busy preparing for DKR. How could he and his people possibly have had enough time to properly prep Superman just so someone else could take over. Let’s be honest here. Don’t get sucker punched by the misleading information they conveniently leak out.

    • sucker punched : ) Dude, did they conveniently leak out this information over a year ago? Because thats when Chris Nolan and Goyer both said that it was Nolan’s idea for the new direction they were taking and that he was also helping craft the script. Sure, is he hand holding Snyder right now? No. Not like Snyder needs it. But, that doesn’t mean that Nolan doesn’t have his finger in the kool-aid. I understand Superman is a heated topic right now, but you shouldn’t be so condescending.

  3. Zack Snyder was always a poor choice to direct Superman. None of this previous films had any depth of character whatsoever. His films are all pretty, but soulless creations filled with cardboard cut-out characters. Will that change with Superman? I hope so, but as all his films have been like that, I don’t see that changing with Superman to be honest. I don’t think he has the talent to be making this film at this time.

    • agreed, except he is such a hack, he will never be a good filmmaker. everybody needs to remember, nolan has already left this project, and the movie moron snyder has already said the script needed alot of work. after all, the nolans and goyer probably can’t write something better than this idiot snyder, can they!?!?!?!?!! superman will suck more than batman and robin.

  4. At this present moment, THE MAN OF STEEL IS riding on the sheer brand value of the name,”CHRISTOPHER NOLAN”.

    • Harsh……

      • TRUE

  5. At least it’ll be the best looking Superman movie ever.

  6. Snyder achieved exactly what he set out to do with Sucker Punch, he directed a Heavy Metal style movie.
    He can only get better with a project of this scale, AND Nolan is involved? Are you kidding me??
    I have no doubt that he’s gonna rock Man of Steel.

  7. Just saw Sucker Punch, Snyder definately has my vote to make Superman: The man of Steel, at least it won’t play like a bloody soap opera like Superman Returns, can’t wait, although i do hope he casts a different villain than Lex Luthur.

    • Lol @ “a bloody soap opera like Superman Returns”. You summed it up perfectly.

    • Ai Superman Returns, Boring as hell it were, if Singer hadn’t have wasted his time he could have made another season of House, which is a lot more action packed. Pretty sure i dozed of at one point, its all about Superman stalking his ex missus…and thats it, about three decent action scenes in what felt like a 10 movie.

      I hope Snyder directs the hell out of Man of Steel (which he will). Directing a movie about an alien with limitless powers,its perfectly suited for him, and he doesn’t need Nolan or anyone keeping a leash on him, he has a style of filmaking which he is able to adapt to each movie, and it works every time.

      Sure his movies may not be economic successes, but each one of them (except owls which i haven’t seen) have acheived cult status.

      As for Amy Adams, i would knock the dust of her, anyone saying that she isn’t hot is just trying to spark what they would consider to be ‘an intellectual debate’ lol. Damn, I hope Superman uses his X Ray vision.

      Nolan is an excellent top class director, Inception is the best film i have seen recently, and i’m also glad it wasn’t overrated. The Batman flicks are equally brilliant, but Superman and Batman are completely different characters with no similarity in origin whatso-ever.

      Why is everyone so hellbent on having Nolan onboard to make it more realistic, Batman is human, Superman…he’s an alien, does everybody think that Nolan is gonna conjure up some rational bloody explanation for his ability to fly.

      Snyder can do this project with his eyes closed without the studio or Nolan holding his hand,he doesn’t need to be kept on a leash, he needs releasing from it, and if they let him work expect comic violence all the way when its released, can’t wait!

  8. People should reserve their opinions on Sucker Punch until after their fourth viewing or at least until the Blu-ray comes out. I know I’m going to be watching the hell out of that train scene.

    • Me too!!

  9. Snyder is the man for action films…sorry..I’d rather have him and Nolan team up than say the Wachowskis or Bay..Nolan being in charge of the production says alot of things about what type of film will be made and I guarantee if Nolan doesn’t like it-he isn’t one to release it to the public..Hopefully the next Dark Knight film isn’t going to be much of a distraction, considering that he’ll be directing one film and overseeing the other..Snyder has an eye for fantasy and sci-fi as well as comic book characters,as well as film pacing-he’s only getting better with every film..So what, the script/story of Sucker Punch blew-so does 90% of every martial arts flick on the planet.To crap on snyder’s first attempt at doing a whole film himself is more constructive critisism than anything..This director also did 300 not long after Dawn of the Dead-so he does excel when certain elements are there..Let’s all hope that the script for Superman is really good..cause that is Snyder’s biggest weakness like Kryptonite..

  10. Speaking from (what I consider) “Superfan” experience, if Zach Snyder sticks to what he says, which he obviously learned from Batman savior Christopher Nolan ["If you look at ‘Batman Begins’, there’s that structure, there’s the canon that we know about and respect but on other hand there’s this approach that pre-supposes that there haven’t been any other movies",], then I think we are on track for a fantastic reboot of the most iconic superhero of all time. I think what made and continues to makes this new Batman franchise so great, was Christopher Nolan’s ability to make us believe that Batman could possibly exist in the real world. I feel as though the key elements were removing the “comic[al]” and adding the real life perspective. It was almost as if they asked the questions: What if this guy really existed? What would his life be like? What would his real life problems be? What would having someone like this in society today do to society? @Zach Snyder – Stay with that…keep along those lines and this will be the best Superman franchise to date.

  11. I’ve just seen Sucker Punch and for me Zack Snyder did an excellent job in showing his skills in directing action-fantasy films. In my opinion, he really has great potential in creating a good superman movie. Let’s just hope for a good storyline.

  12. When will we see “Doomsday”?!? No one cares about a down to earth superman, he grew up on a farm, how much more down to earth can he get. Bring in Doomsday?! What happen to the Justice League?! Marvel is kicking DC’s A$$ when it comes to these movies. DOOMSDAY, DOOMSDAY, DOOMASDAY. Make that a 3 part series, Superman is killed and out comes the other 4 superman, and continue the story that way. Give us what we want, not what you want idiot

  13. People keep referring to 300 or Watchmen, but never refer to his highest critical success: Dawn of the Dead. Both 300 and Watchmen were his most visual films and very entertaining and faithful to the material, but Dawn of the Dead was his best and my favorite of his films. Sucker Punch was just a vision that went wrong.

  14. Dawn of the Dead was good, simply because unlike all other Zombie movies, the zombies in this film were track stars, change the entire element of the film when your gang tackled or ran down by zombie. 300 was good because it had the same look as sin city but with way more action, eye candy and blood shed. The only thing in my opinion that saved the watchmen film was Dr. Manhattan

    • Yeah the zombies running was something new for the Dead movies but, they stole that from Danny Boyle and 28 Days Later. Not a zombie movie but, a clear survival horror movie in the same spirit.

      • Not only was it the running, but how do you kill a mass of running zombies when the only way they can be killed is a shot to the head? 28 days later, those things could bleed out, or taken down with a massive injury.

  15. Sucker Punch was solid action film. So far Zack Snyder has done a good job with his films. I am looking forward to him directing the new Superman.

  16. I think all of the negative reactions from fanboys is justified. A Superman film has yet to be entertaining in our era.

    Another origin story is not what fanboys want, nor is it what the public needs to see in order to accept Superman – we all know where he came from & why he has powers.

    Lex Luthor is a Superman mainstay, but does that mean he has to be the only villain? Why must an alien superhero’s villains be grounded so firmly in humanity?

    When are we going to see Superman taken to the limits of his powers using today’s spectacular special effects? Acrobatic flying and weight lifting is not the Superman we want to see.

    Is Superman ever going to hit someone or be hit by someone? If we had a Batman movie where all he did was pull an Alex Cross and detect the whole movie we’d be all sorts of pissed too.

  17. Fool me once, Superman Returns, shame on you. Fool me twice, Superman: The Man of Steel, shame on me.

    • LOL

  18. I still really like Watchmen (I think I like it more every time I watch it). Snyder could do a good job with this as long as the editors keep him on a tight leash.

  19. I honestly think Snyder can pull this off. And whoever thinks Amy Adams isnt hot is just silly. The girl is fine. Now is she Lois Lane? We will see. She will not be any worse than Kate Bosworth, I am sure of that. I will hold off negative judgement till I see a trailer. To think that the studio is going with someone other than Snyder at this point is wishfull thinking. So, for now, Im on board.

  20. We all know that Superman is Super. I can fly fast, lift heavy stuff, reverse the rotation of the earth to reverse time and save his sweetie. But we want to see Superman fight. That was the one thing he can’t do. He cannot defend himself. We saw that in Superman 2 when he gave up his powers to be with Lois Lane not realizeing Lois didnt want a mere mortal, she wanted Superman. Where is Doomsday

  21. In an attempt to clear up the Nolan involvement stuff…

    I recently read a press release about Costner being cast and it said at the end of it that “Man of Steel is being produced by Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, etc…” this means that he’s still involved with the project in some capacity. If he had departed the movie completely his name would not be attached to those press releases. He’s still producing. He may not be heavily involved, but he’s still involved. Also, we know that the screenplay is based on a story Nolan & Goyer came up with. I don’t think we’re going to see a Sucker Punch type story with Man of Steel.

    About Nolan having to do Dark Knight Rises so he can’t concentrate on Superman as well. Filmmakers have double-dipped in the past. Spielberg directed Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in 1993. Then in 2002 he did Minority Report and Catch Me if You Can. So, it’s been done before. I’m not trying to compare Nolan with Spielberg, I’m just showing that there is a precedent for filmmakers being involved with two projects in the same year. It’s entirely possible for Nolan to direct Dark Knight Rises and then do his producer duties for Man of Steel.

    The bigger question here is does WB still roll with Snyder as the Man of Steel director? Judging from early box office returns, Sucker Punch will be another economic failure for Snyder after Watchmen and Legend of the Guardians. If people see the first trailer for Man of Steel and see “from the director of Watchmen and Sucker Punch” it might affect their decision to see it or not. I know Superman is Superman and it’s most likely going to do well at the box office, but people are now going to associate Snyder with style over substance and might go “I’ll skip that.” The goal of any movie is to make money, so I wonder if they’ll consider replacing him with a more prestigious director. I know this is highly unlikely given that the film comes out in about a year and a half but it’s just some food for thought.

  22. Zack has a few huge hurdles as far as I can see. First, Superman is not an over stylized character, which is exactly what Zack has a knack for. We’ll see how the whole “realistic” thing works out for him since the closest he’s done to that is Dawn of the Dead. Second, no one wants to see yet another film with Luthor or Zod. We want Darkseid or at least Brainiac and don’t act like that’s fanboys asking for too much. Third, this is said to be and needs to be a reboot without worrying about the origins so that’s a tall order for anyone. Lastly as far as I’m aware, Sucker Punch will be his third straight financial disappointment in a row. Does Warner have faith enough in the Superman brand to warrant a large budget despite all this? Only time will tell.

  23. I think from the article’s headline that it’s reading into things a bit much. Looking very much the critical and commercial flop, Sucker Punch will soon be forgotten about .Superman is too big a commodity as a character, as a product to be influenced by the failure of this film.

    Man Of Stell or whatever, will be sold on the reputation of 300 and Watchmen. Overall it’s Synder’s directing style that’s a concern for a lot of people, which is why there remains uch an eagerness for Nolan to be involved as much as possible even though I don’t think he will be.

    You can fully expect the studio to fully exploit Nolan’s name in anyway that they can for the marketing with tags such as ‘Produced by the director of The Dark Knight & Inception’

  24. Yes, it will largely be sold on Nolan’s name, but Nolan isn’t directing this, and with three flops in a row, I feel sure WB is now feeling very nervous about their choice of Snyder as the director of Superman.

    • That’s why I said that they might consider replacing him. It might be too late, but the movie’s still more than a year away. It’s possible that they could get someone else (Aronofsky maybe?) to take the helm.

      • ridiculous.

      • Aronofsky? No thanks. He had his shot at a comic legend (Wolverine) and I guarantee he wussed out because he couldn’t cope with the aftermath of the Japan quake. Your committed to a film for months and months and all of a sudden you realize movies take a long time to shoot and that’s too much of a burden?
        That’s probably too harsh, gotta give him props for getting Portman and Kunis together on screen.(yeah I’m that shallow, I own it)

        • he’s going through a divorce with rachael wise. spending a year + in japan is next to impossible during a divorce.

          • Or would it make things easier? I don’t even know what that means. Losing Rachel Weisz, that sucks. Problably dumping him cuz he’s wuss though:)

  25. I doubt WB would do that, but it has been done before (many times), and nothing is impossible in Hollywood.

  26. What bad movie are you talking about? The only bad movie Zack has made was Watchman, and that was that bad.

  27. Does anyone know if Snyder has responded to any of the negativity around SP? I’m curious if he tries to defend it publicly.

  28. I’m gonna stand up and go to bat for Snyder. Maybe it makes me a shallow consumer, but Snyder has yet to make a movie I didn’t like.
    His Dawn of the Dead revived Zombie movies.
    300 was huge and redefined bad-ass the way the original Predator did.
    Alan Moore fanboys can kiss my grits for this, but the movie tied things together way better than the Watchmen comic. (Giant octopus, really?)
    I took my kids to the Owl movie with low expectations and came away really impressed.
    Saw Sucker Punch opening weekend and loved it. I told my friend people are gonna trash this movie now and 10 years from now talk about how cool it truly was. I contend that if Sucker Punch had some artsy crap director like Kubric’s name attached to it, the exact same movie would right now be heralded as the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    I can’t wait to see a Superman with the Man of Steel actually doing things that make him the most powerful man on the planet. Besides just picking up heavy stuff and deflecting bullets.
    I’m there opening weekend.

    • I really do believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but calling Kubrick an “artsy crap director”?

      I personally haven’t seen SP yet so I can’t c,omment on that. I’m not a fan of Snyder’s prior work so I don’t expect much out of it (my wife wants to see SP so I’ll probably go this weekend).

      I’ll say one thing: I would love to see what Kubrick could have done with Watchmen (which I can’t stand Snyder’s crap – I’ll wait for the bombs on that statement, but it was 2/3 unwatchable for me).

      Despite their differences between Bay and Snyder (fast-paced vs. slo-mo) – and both are considered hacks – Bay has one up in my book because he doesn’t try to add alot of substance and just makes fun action movies (possible exeption with The Island), while Snyder wants to be deep but it’s obvious he doesn’t know how to get it across on screen IMO. From what I’ve heard of SP, it sounds like more of the same.

      Like, a shallow guy, like, trying to be, like, deep.

      • “Hey Panda Bear! We don’t take kindly to your types around here”

      • nice.

    • shallow indeed. only the mentally handicapped would speak ill of kubrick. what are you doing on a movie site? snyder is the worst filmmaker working today, if i hear bout’ his fast zombies 1 more time!?!?! danny boyle did it in 28 days later, couple years b4 snyder. revived nothing.

      • I really liked 28 Days Later. But Dawn of the Dead was better.
        I picked on Kubric cuz when I was watching SP(Spoiler Alert) the 1st 10 minutes is all visuals and music, kinda like another movie everyone loves called 2001 a Space Odyssey. What I’m saying is Snyder makes movies that make money (like Bay)so critics (failed film makers)hate him. If SP had been showcased at SunDance, uptight “artsy” critics would love it.

        PS. Anybody who’s truly honest with themselves knows the Kubric has only made about 40 minutes worth of a good movie. Once R. Lee Ermey got shot it was all down hill! Snoochie Boochies!

  29. defending zack, this was a fun movie, stop being so criticle fanboys….