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. I always thought it was doomed in his hands

  2. I’ll say this about Snyder, at least he sticks as close as he can to the source material, not only to remain as faithful as possible to respect the original story, but also because he also a ‘fanboy’.

    Usually people watch a trailer for a film before seeing it at the cinema, so nobody can tell me they didn’t go to see Sucker Punch and not expect the fantasy, action flick filled with hot women.

    Or his gore filled, comic book aproach to Dawn of the Dead, his entire aproach to directing maintains the elements needed to adapt a comic book to the big screen. He knows the types of films he wants to direct and nails them, look at WatchMen.

    With a Snyder flick you get what you pay for, as long as your not expecting some long drawn attempt make it as beleivable as possible.

    The Man Steel is gonna be excellent

  3. “This is your brian after viewing ‘Sucker Punch’.”

    Really? My brian?

  4. CAN WE PLEASE SEE DIFFERENT VILLAINS BESIDES ZOD AND LUTHOR!!! they act like they are the only people suppy can fight in the movies!!!

    • Agreed, Bring Mongol, or for the love of all things holy, introduce Darkseid! He represents a physical, intellectual and moral threat to Superman.

  5. I’m one of those who have had criticisms of Snyders casting decisions but only for the casting of Clark Kent and how (based on comments hes made) seemingly there were no other choices in his mind including Tom Welling whom he has yet to comment on/about as far as I can tell.

    That said… I LIKED SUCKER PUNCH, and I liked it a lot.

    I really don;t get what it is that so many found disappointing. Perhaps I had better expectations going in to the movie. I do agree with the reviewer that of the 5 fantasia world the SAMURAI one was the best

    • Yeah, when I was watching that first fantasy, I started thinking about how totally sweet it would be to finally see some kickass Superman action. Sups fighting some giant robot or somebody big like Darkseid or Doomsday.
      My only side eye at the casting so for has been Kevin Costner. I wouldn’t have thought of him for Pa Kent. Maybe this will breath some life back into his career.

  6. Movie was visually amazing. That’s what makes Snyder truly great. The lacking part here was the script for Sucker Punch that really had no depth or vision.

    Article sums it up… Nolan + Snyder = Blockbuster Superman Movie

    they complement each other perfectly.

  7. I’m a big Superman fan and I for one think that Snyder is going to do a great job. He’s got good actors to play the parts and he seems to stick with source material real well. The only problem I have is the same as everyone else. No more zod and luthor. Lets see supes kick some a$$!

  8. @ Prickly Pete

    Snyder is far from the worst filmaker, he has established himself well with films like 300 and Watchman, though he is still an up and comer.

    The Dawn of the Dead remake did in fact revive the ‘typical’ zombie genre, and it beat the s*** out of the original.

    So assuming that Snyder hadn’t seen 28 Days later, during the production of Dawn of the Dead are you implying that not one person (not even the bloody tea lady) would have chirped up and said….’Hey, how about zombies that run!’.

    Sure, credit goes to Danny Boyle for thinking it first (and for making England look badass) but ‘running zombies’ was an obvious idea just waiting for the next person who was just ‘happening’ to make a zombie flick.

    As for kubrick, he’s probably the only ‘old school, artsy director’ who is my top ten list of favourite directors, purely for the genious of Full Metal Jacket and the Shining.

    But you can’t knock other directors for taking a different aproach to filmaking,Snyder he keeps things original. For what Sucker Punch lacks in a script the atmosphere and tone more than compensated for, there was a definate sense of threat and constant dread for girls wellbeing kept throughout, i was actually rootin for these girls to escape and even though there was no real threat during the ‘dream sequences’ you still knew she had to acheive the missions in her subconcious before she ‘snapped out of it’

    You should be releived that directors like Snyder make films, otherwise movies wouldn’t break any new ground or test the water with new ideas.

    The Samurai giants carrying mini guns, the visuals in Sucker Punch were brilliant, and Snyder is still stretching his legs.

  9. what i wanna know is, how many slo-mo scenes we will have on superman? how many botox shots amy adams will get to look mid-late 20s – early 30s? how many lifts will teh 6’1 henry cavill wear to pull off 6’3? how many hours will cavill’s speech therapist will work with him to get that british accent out? and finally, how many people will walk out of the superman movie like they did in sucker punch?

  10. @ Superfreak

    Are those rheatorical questions…

    Well just in case, here goes…

    I’m guessing it will have as many slo mo scenes as fitting for the scene, like Tom Welling Running in Slo mo, or like the bullet that hit Supermans eye point blank in Returns

    Amy Adams receiving butox, i’m not sure i’ll keep checking imdb and update you hourly.

    I’m not sure how many lifts Cavill will have to make to reach 6’3, i’d like to answer the question more thoroughly but first you’ll have to explain understand what ‘Teh’ means, maybe you can pexlain lol.

    As for Cavills accent, well they have some time pal.

    How many people walked out on Sucker Punch, just you apparently, maybe you were following the invisible man and didn’t look back.

  11. I like Snyder. Watchmen is epic. I don’t care if some critics dislike a couple of his pics.

    And to all Superman nerds bashing Snyder!!!- Remember when McG was the choice for the new reboot but got stagefright and resigned? Yup, Mcg. That’s Charlies Angel’s and T4. Snyder is Watchmen, be happy!

  12. You would think Michael Bay was directing…

  13. Malin Ackerman was not a weakness to Watchmen. Bryan Singer’s Superman was awesome… why are you saying anything negative about it? Just because America’s response to the film was fickle, it was because Superman is a wholesome do-gooder, something that America no longer is nor does it appreciate. Any flaw with Superman Returns as a film has to do with who Superman’s character is inherently.

    And a total reboot (and I DO like Snyder… a LOT) of Superman better not replace the original theme song because you cannot match the iconicness of that theme. It is up there boxing it out with the other three most memorable film themes (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jaws). It will be a mistake to replace it… which they will, since this is a total reboot.

    • “Superman is a wholesome do-gooder, something that America no longer is nor does it appreciate.”

      This is a sad statement that I can’t entirely disagree with.


  14. This is your “Brian” after watching Sucker Punch. What’s a “Brian?” A well written article with lots of insight.

    • Who’s Brian?

      • Made myself look like a real frickin genius with that one :-P

    • See, the impact of the movie was worse than anyone expected. :)

  15. Kudos to trying to calm the arbitrary mass of fanboys lol Granted I am a fanboy (Marvel > DC though), I am usually hopeful and ok about these things. Heck, I’m even getting used to the idea of Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk… kinda lol. Interestingly enough I had no idea Sucker Punch was getting bad reviews, the only thing I had heard was great things from a friend, I’m thinking I’m gonna check this one out, just to be sure :D

    • Ai see Sucker Punch on the cinema, the visuals on the big screen are better suited. It is not the best film ever, but will definately keep you entertained, its a popcorn film, you’ll enjoy it.

      I reckon Ruffalo will be great as the Hulk, i’m getting used to different actors playing the part of Bruce Banner anyway so i don’t mind so much because the Hulk remains pretty much the same.

    • Oddly enough, Sucker Punch actually improved my opinion of Snyder as a filmmaker. I’ve never seen something with quite the same visual panache and I found it entertaining just for that. And to be truthful, I didn’t really like 300. I thought it was a highly overrated film. It was detaching and emotionally completely un-involving. Sucker Punch at least had a modicum of humanity, even if it’s morality is perhaps somewhat misguided. The Watchmen was an intriguing but uneven movie. I liked the atomostphere and unconventional story of the film, but it did tend to drag in places (scene after scene of a certain giant blue wiener for instance.)

      It’s odd that he’s gone from being over-hyped to overly derided as a filmmaker. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. He’s got an undeniable visual flair, but his story-telling and dialogue are spotty. Hopefully the Nolan influence can rectify at least one of those things. Now if only we could mold Nolan, Snyder and Jon Favreau together into one ultimate directorial freak we could have all 3 of those things in spades.

  16. I honestly don’t understand all the hate this movie generated. Did people go into the theater thinking it would be a deep and interesting plot experience? If so you deserve the feeling of dissapointment you brought upon yourself. Movies that are overly visual experiences constantly suffer on the writing/acting side of the movie’s development. Very few directors can pull off a healthy balance.

    I actually was a fan of the Superman Returns movie, but like most people I was a bit disapointed that Superman didn’t really do anything other than lift an island covered in kryptonite and throw it into space. I hope Snyder tones down the visuals in Man of Steel and focuses more on a compelling story.

  17. I saw Sucker Punch last night and enjoyed it. I knew going into this movie there wasn’t going to be much of a story but more visual effects and the story wasn’t all bad either. I have seen way way worse. It was a decent story other than the girl would mezmorize everyone with this unseen unbelievable dance which I wanted to see lol. Even if that portion of the movie was kinda silly it was still cool to see her go off in fantasy world where she became a badass. People read way too much into movies sometimes and you could even tell by the previews for this movie not to get your hopes up too high for some Oscar caliber movie. Just go see this movie and enjoy it. This was all this movie was about was to have some fun. I give this movie a B

  18. Don’t lose hope in the new Superman. As someone else said Nolan has the script and Synder is just handling the visuals. Look forward to something that will be great

  19. I feel weird… I totally loved Sucker Punch! I went into the movie without ever reading the comic so my mind was pretty open about it. I am always putting down movies with making girls bad-asses; I honestly forgot they were chicks in the movie. I like the story because it just gave room for all the ass-whooping! Still it had mental turns about what reality we were following but comic movies should be visual and ass-whooping. If you want to see a drama then do that but less-talkie and more-punchie worked for Sucker Punch.

    I even told my gf after the movie that I was glad that the females in the movie were holding the rifles/guns the correct way. I am not saying they were always observing correct close quarters combat procedures because hello they were fighting dragons, steam-driven troops and giant-samurais but I wasnt even looking at their panties.

  20. Steam-driven troops?

  21. I knew this was going to be a let down, but I went and saw it anyway. Gigantic, Naginata wielding, Robotic Samurai? Come on, you have to go and see that.

    The only thing this movie has going for it are the slowmo action sequences, Jamie Chung’s cleavage, and Scott Glen – because he is god in my book.

    If you’re planning on understanding the plot, don’t bother. It really doesn’t make much sense.

  22. Sucker Punch wasn’t a let down for the people who knew what they were paying to see. I’m getting pretty amused by critics claiming they ‘had no idea what the film was about’ or ‘it was completely unrealistic’.

    Who thinks if they go and see an Oliver Stone flick they are going to see light hearted rom com. Or who thinks if they are going to see a Tim Burton flick that the film will not have an gothic or quirky atmosphere.

    Who thinks if you go to see a Snyder film then you won’t see comic action, violence and Gigantic, Naginata wielding, Robotic Samurais.
    Sounds good to me, and at least Snyder doesn’t over do the slow mo, unlike Resident Evil director.

    Snyder is only one of the few directors who makes fan boy movies without being a b**** to the studios.

    • Mark,

      I knew what to expect going in and still didn’t like the film much.


      • Vic

        Nobody can be expected to simply like the film simply by viewing the trailer, i’m refering to people who are acting suprised by Zach Snyders style of aproach to the film.

        Sucker Punch is by far the best film i have seen, but i knew what i was in for before i saw it, and it was a brilliant comic action flick with plenty of eye candy, and he made it without any kind influence or intimidation by the studio.

        Projects like Resident Evil, Bioshock the Movie and Superman: The Man of Steel are begging to made by a director like Snyder, with his ‘no holds barred, action comic aproach to action movies.

        Not at any point during the Sucker Punch trailer, or by reading a synopsis did i sense an indepth plot, it was a simple basic yet enjoyable story where the emphasis was kept on visual entertainment.

        A flick like Sucker Punch can at least gain a ‘cult status’.

        • Mark,

          I’m quite familiar with Snyder’s approach to films and I’m actually a fan – I just don’t think it worked here.


          • but at least it was completely original, and wasn’t another reboot or a brainless ‘cas-in’, or a studio manipulated film, i thought it were pretty good.

            • Mark,

              I’m one of the first people to complain about remakes and such, but “original” does not always = “great.” I’m all about blockbusters and action movies – but this one just didn’t work for me on almost any level at all.


              • Too true that ‘original’ does not always equal great, but i apreciate the level of hard and imagination that went into Sucker Punch.

                That extent of hard work to me grants Snyder a little recognition and praise, as opposed to a lot of directors taking the easy route by pleasing the studios with the all to familiar ‘paint by numbers’ action movies.

                • Mark,

                  Funny that you should say that – I actually thought after the film was over “How sad is it that so much work, skill and creativity could go into a product and result in something so unsatisfying.”



                  • Well he must have done something right, his next project is the Man of Steel, and once he nails that project as well its going to be funny listening to people say…’you know i watched Sucker Punch for the second time the other day and its not actually that bad, in fact its pretty brilliant’

                    While some people may offer constructive critism, more often than not people love to band around a common enemy and a films rep is usually destroyed before its even released. Love the way they tried and failed with Sucker Punch.

                    Pretty sure Snyder is satisfied with Sucker Punch’s opening weekend revenue $19,058,199, not the best, but not a total loss.

                    • Mark,

                      I don’t think people “band together” so much as they just happen to share the same opinion. I’m hopeful that Snyder does an amazing job with Superman.


                    • yeah Mark, but the second weekend take was only $6mil, and it’s not like any blockbuster movies came out last weekend.

                      SuckerPunch is a disappointment. I personally don’t like Snyder. His style is ok for 5 minutes and then gets old quickly for me. Other than that, he doesn’t do well telling a story or developing characters and Sucker Puch is just another example. If you like it, great, but there is a majority of critics who don’t like it and it’s not because people want to see Snyder fail. He’s a mediocre filmmaker that people held as a master of graphic novel adaptations and now people are starting to realize he’s overrated.

                    • only thing that failed is sucker punch.

  23. being a b**** for the studios is what i meant lol

  24. hey back off of resident evil

    • A thousand apologies, thou shall back of Resident Evil immediatly and await my lashes…

      RESIDENT EVIL Extinction and Afterlife were terrible, 3D or not lol

        • resident evil has been faithful to source material why do you think that their bringing alexia and leon in now? because chris and claire were both on code veronica together and the spider mind erasers belong to alexia who works with umbrella and leon teamed up with claire re 2 also. oh and afterlife does follow source maybe not completely but it does because in code veronica chris and claire both fight wesker. so HA!!!!!!! oh by the way not that tink you deserve to know but the next re comes out next year. its re damnation.

          • I’m not suggesting that Anderson should perfectly adapt the videogame to the bigscreen, thats impossible, but he should at least try, but the references to the RE recreations that your refering to, to me are trivial in comparison to the story he has decided to tell with his version of RE.

            Degeneration was excellent, i would rather see the franchise animated like the action, horror and gore filled Degeneration filled with decent villains, monsters and zombies, as opposed Andersons predictable slo mo efforts filled with 2D characters.

            Didn’t know there was another RE flick coming, can’t wait lol

            • now tell me what ur opinion about the hp movies

              • higher purchase? lol Didn’t enjoy the first two because i enjoy watching films with a more matured cast, but thats not to say they weren’t good.

                I enjoyed from 3 onwards, when they started getting a bit dark, Oldman, Fiennes HB Carter are excellent actors, the HP franchise has a decent cast, i never read the books so i don’t know how faithful they to the source material.

  25. @Vic

    Of course people band together when they don’t want to see something succeed, they tried to crucify George Lucas after Episode 1. G.I. Jane only managed to garner cult status because the media disgraced it before it had even been released, yet it was an excellent flick.

    People aren’t entitled to an opinion if they haven’t even seen the film, yet they will express how bad the film is anyway just by seeing the trailer,or passing on how ‘terrible the movie is’ by listening to a critic say ‘i wasn’t satisfied with the movie, even though i’m a Snyder fan’

    Now even though i consider that honest critism, for the regular idiot who just wants to appear to be insightful it translates as ‘don’t see this movie its a pile of S@%$’ and they will pass that on.

    Poeple love to complain and dislike the same movies as their fellow idiot and rally around a common enemy.

    Snyder will do an excellent job with Superman, and when he does listen to everyone change their tune about Sucker Punch, like sheep lol

    • Mark,

      How many people here have been denigrating the film who HAVEN’T seen it? I’ve seen a ton of comments from people who HAVE seen the film. And critics don’t really matter if a film strikes a chord with audiences – lots of awful films make a TON of money.


      • I’m refering to past tense, people claiming that they had no idea what the film was going to be like before hand before they saw the film but after seeing the trailer.

        Its also true in general, the media always looks for a scapegoat and tries to tarnish certain movies before they are even released and then everybody else follows suit.

        Its not so much that i’m defending Synder against peoples right to their own opinion on Sucker Punch. But you can’t judge his ability to create Man of Steel just because Sucker Punch wasn’t to everybodies liking, and he doesn’t need the guidance of Nolan just because he aproached his WB franchise in his own way, which worked.

        Superman and Batman, totally different stories.

        Snyder has made some excellent flicks, and everybody is now judging his ability to make Man of Steel on one film alone (this column is actually begging the question), which isn’t half as bad as people claim.

        Same goes for the Strausse Brothers, Skyline wasn’t as good as i was hoping after the brilliant trailers, but considering the shoestring budget they made it on weren’t that bad either, yet only the negetive was taken into consideration and they got absalutely slated.

  26. And what if it completely sucks? Will you actually admit it when you see the film? I doubt it. Zack cannot direct on his own. I believe that Nolan will have to watch the dailies and give him the script to work with, demanding that he not change anything. His debut as a writer/director of his own original work wasn’t exactly inspiring. Don’t tell people to calm down when they have good reason to be worried.

    • If a film completely sucks then i would have no problem with doing so, unlike the sheep out there that trash a film simply on mechanism.

      Nolan doesn’t need to do a thing on Superman ‘except that everything be kept as realistic as possible’ If Snyder has proved one thing its that he works tremendously solo.

      Nolans involvement is nothing more than WB trying to recreate the same financial success as they had with Batman, TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT franchises, Nolan isn’t needed on Man of Steel, but his presence will not hurt either.

      Zach Snyders debut uninspiring? Dawn of Dead, not to shabby, followed with 300,excellent,Watchmen, a perfect example of a director sticking to the source material as possible, know what you are talking about before making weak ill conceived statements, makes you look like an ass.

      With Snyder at the wheel of Man of Steel, i don’t think anybody has good reason to be worried, all they have to do is refer to watchmen, sounds to me like your another person complaining on mechanism, and at what point did i ask anyone to calm down? pyscho.

  27. Further more, nobody is obligated to ‘admit’ anything, these sites are for the purpose of people voicing their opinions, i’m not telling anybody that the sky is blue, i am praising Snyders work while others may rightfully disagree, its called ‘a difference of opinion’ Kel, get used to it.

  28. Seriously tho, can someone explain the movie to me? Was it all Sweet Pea’s psyche or what? I liked the cinematography, and I’ve always been a big fan of the slo mo action stuff. Plus Baby Doll did a great job walking that fine line of innocent and kick ass :)

    I got the three levels, and how a lot of it was symbolic. Will I see it again on DVD, you bet. Did I need to see it in the theatre? MMMMMmmmmaybe.

    I do admit I slammed it a bit unnecessarily, but I was expecting a little more development.

    Plus Scott Glen is godlike in anything he does :)

    • Baby Doll was smoking hot, Scott Glen was pretty good as well, been a while since i’ve seen him in a flick and Ai, the story need developing more. I wasn’t keen on the entire cast of girls been killed of at the end, seemed as if they were pressed for time to bring each of their stories to finish so it was just easier to shoot them.

      Baby Doll is a great character though lol

  29. Speaking of Scott Glen, IMDB has him listed as “Creasy” in Man on Fire, lol Denzel’s role.