Interview: Zack Snyder Says ‘Superman’ Will Be His Most Realistic Movie Yet

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 5:03 pm,

Earlier today we had the opportunity to speak with Zack and Deborah Snyder at the Los Angeles press junket for his new film Sucker Punch (stay tuned for our coverage of that event).

In the midst of our exploration into the world of fantasy and action that is Sucker Punch, we were able to ask Snyder a bit about his upcoming addition to the Superman franchise, Superman: Man Of Steel.

When asked if he would be utilizing some of the dynamic and innovative visual techniques we have come to expect from him as a filmmaker, Snyder replied that:

I think the visual style of “Superman,” though I can’t say for certain as it’s early, but I kind of feel like — and I did say to the studio – that what’s cool for me and interesting, and odd, is that “Superman” is probably going to be the most realistic movie I’ve ever made. It’s kind of fun that the most realistic movie I probably will make is a movie called “Superman.” Which shows how crazy my other movies are. Because I guess for him to be credible… He gets more credible by the reality that you can bring to him, you know emotionally, and visually, I think.

When asked what sort of physical preparation Henry Cavill would face for his role as Clark Kent/Superman, given the months of training the young ladies of Sucker Punch went through in preparation for that film, Snyder replied laughingly, “Henry’s gonna be hitting the iron pretty hard.”

Snyder’s wife, Deborah, stressed that “he’s working right now.” In fact, the moment they hired Henry they had him meet with Mark Twight of Gym Jones (who had trained all of the actors in 300) and Damon Caro, who does all the fight training.“They’ve put him on a plan,” she continued, “he’s started in England and as of April 1st we have him full time with us for all that training.”

From the sound of it, the man of steel may be a larger, and more combative, version of the character than we have seen to date.

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  1. As long as the movie features a decent villain I don’t really care about anything else. And NO, in my eyes Zod is not a worthy villain… I want to see Darkseid for crying out loud, SHOW US DARKSEID ALREADY!

    • Dude that to much of a villain for him in a first movie… Don’t you think? I think Zod, Lex or Metalo would be a great 1st time villain for him. Maybe later on put the stronger villains like, Darkseid, Brainiac and Doomsday. You will see… This is going to be the best superman movie. For God sakes we have Nolan man! And david s goyer beghind the movie.

      • I’ll beat DrSamBeckett to this one in saying that Nolan isn’t involved anymore ;)

        • Why can’t people just get it into their heads?!?!

          • Lol you corrected me on that the other day Dr… Guess it’s just hard for some of us to let it go that nolan’s left the project… I’d rather him put all his effort into ending batman 3 aka The Dark Knight Rises on a high note than him be split between the two movies anyway.

      • lol, except this isn’t a “first” villain now is he? We have had Lex been featured prominently in what, four of the Superman incarnation movies thus far? And Zod and crew once. So by my count it already IS later.

        Bring on the first string players because I’m tired of the second string team!

        • “lol, except this isn’t a “first” villain now is he? We have had Lex been featured prominently in what, four of the Superman incarnation movies thus far? And Zod and crew once. So by my count it already IS later.”-mongoose, 8 hours ago

          Lex appeared in Superman The Motion Picture, Superman II, Superman IV, and the last Super-film…for Superman III, we had Richard Pryor as a computer savant and a former Man from U.N.C.L.E. doing a retread as a Lex Luthor-wannabe. The only GOOD thing about Superman III was the presence of Annette O’Toole as Lana Lang; seeing her cast as Martha Kent in Smallville was an exceptional nod to the Reeve films.

          I agree, mongoose…Supes had WAAAAAY more enemies to choose from, but I think that Darkseid’s general appearance has the suits @ Warner thinking he’s a red-eyed, gray-colored variation on Ben Grimm’s rocky visage.

      • David Goyer… HAHAHAHAHA! He’s a joke.

        Nolan… is not involved any more.

  2. This article gave me chills. I’m glad Zak is going with a more realistic light for the film. His style is so distinct that I think his vision for superman will be such a treat or us who had to suffer through the dullness of Superman Returns. Returns had some really special moments but failed to give me that “Holy crap Superman is the shiznit!” I haven’t seen a Snyder flick yet where I haven’t been visually pleased. Also the fact the Cavill is training with the guy who got the Spartans in shape really makes me have more faith in this! Looking forward to this one!!!!

    • yeah the only “Holy crap Superman is the shiznit!” moment in returns was wHen he slammed to the ground on Lex Luthors new landmass thing haha

      • …so putting a large plane down GENTLY on the ground, PURELY BY HAND, after catching it at super speed, stopping a bullet with his EYE, AT POINT-BLANK RANGE, and flying blindingly fast through the urban canyons of Metropolis, putting out fires and stopping other minor AND major disasters and potential disasters (including the saving of the endangered power plant while flying UNDERGROUND), even flying UPSIDE-DOWN at one point, did NOTHING for you?!?!?


        • And I guess lifting an entire continent of kryptonite isn’t up there either for him. :-)

      • So, Archaeon & Kahless, the ultimate expression of Superman’s might is lifting things up and putting them down?

        I’ve seen him on a commercial then… “I lift zings up and put zem down.”

        • Dante…

          READ my response before commenting on it next time…I pointed out a number of his uses of his powers/abilities, only ONE of which had anything to do with lifting anything.

          Pay attention…It’s a wonderful skill to have in this modern rat race of ours.

          • Hey Archaeon, you mention flying and invulnerability. Ok, see the common thread between you and Kahless was the lifting things & putting them down, which is why I commented as I did.

            Perhaps before attempting a lame insult you should get a bit of a sense of humor. Since you enjoyed the crapfest that was Superman Returns I thought you were easily entertained; perhaps I was wrong.

            • Dante…

              There was no insult of ANY kind (lame or otherwise) in my response. I told you to pay attention precisely because you did make that generalization about the comments Kahless and I made (he mentioned only one aspect; I mentioned a few…the one lifting item I said and the only item he said weren’t even the same or related in any way, other than being in the same film being lifted by the title character).

              As for the “crapfest”, you’re entitled to your opinion, obviously. I did not think it was a perfect film, by any means, BUT I maintain that it was good and enjoyable and contained a great many wonderful elements.

              In terms of humor, I possess a very healthy sense of it…for things that are actually funny.


  3. Now I’m even MORE excited for this! As for the villain, I think Zod would be good enough. I mean, like Elvin said, this is the first villain. It should be someone like Lex or Zod because he is just starting his “super” career. Maybe in the sequel Superman can fight Darkseid… :)

  4. Zack is saying all the right things and hopes are high for this to be sure.
    I was wondering how much of his trademark stylized approach we would see
    him apply to The Man Of Steel and it looks like he will necessarily be reigning it in.
    I am sure there will be plenty of his signature visual flourishes at appropriate moments.

    I do think even a tempered Zack Snyder composition would be hampered
    by 3D and I do hope this is not going to be shot or converted to 3D.
    Zack is capable of more eye-popping visuals with standard filming.

  5. Very curious to see how this unfolds. I know Snyder gets a lot of flak, but I’m optimistic.


    • With all due respect to DSB and others who are NOT particularly enthusiastic about this project, I am. Each time, recently, that I have seen comments by Snyder, I have become even more hopeful about this project.

      I feel extremely encouraged by the casting decisions so far and have no problem with Zod being in this (and Lex, somewhere in the background). Zod can be a MAJOR thorn in Superman’s side, a fantastic villain, especially the way he’s been written in recent comics storylines and the fairly recent THE LAST DAYS OF KRYPTON novel (I DO, however, look forward to OTHER villains in Superman’s rogue’s gallery, very much).

      In my opinion, so far, so good. I await, with bated breath, the the rest of the production details that will be revealed later as well as the the first full trailer.

      I have very high hopes for this.

      • I think people forget just how much time he spends doing his Super thing because imo the plane scene and the bullet in the eye were awesome scenes, granted there wasn’t much else after that

  6. Metallo could work. Darkseid is appearing on Smallville, but imagine him on a MOVIE budget. WOW. Personally I’d love to see The Brain Inter Active Construct. but who knows. Sounds like it’s going to be Zod(AGAIN) Ursa(AGAIN) and NON(AGAIN) *sigh*

  7. I was hoping for brainiac or metallo just for god’s sakes don’t do Lex again, at least not as the main villain maybe he could have some background influences or something but that’s it. I am super psyched for this one and this aerticle just made it worse

  8. I just hope the “realistic” comment doesn’t mean we get Lex as the villain once again. Sure, include him somewhere, but for once, let’s have a new bad guy.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Viggo Mortenson as Zod though, if these rumors come to fruition.

  9. Would’ve been better if Nolan directs but still looking forward how it works out with Snyder directing…

  10. I dig Snyder but I’m so sick of these Superman reboots.

    Bitter I am,,, not convinced, and its early Monday. Aaaahhhh!

  11. Snyder talks out of his arse. Every week or so he gives a little comment about his vision of Superman, he has yet to say anything that convinces me he is the right mam for the job.

    So Superman will be his most realistic movie ever. Hardly a reassuring statement. I don’t really want a movie about an extraterrestrial immigrant who wears tights and can fly to be in any way realistic.
    I’m willing to bet serious money the Smallville finale will be a better Superman than this will be.

    • realistic from a visual stand point, so there wont be any over the top laser eye flames,or blizzard like ice breathe etc (that’s how i interpret it anyways). i have faith in him as a director and if you recall nolan did contribute prior to leaving so his ideas could further influence everyone towards the right direction. imo if the visuals look nice and somewhat realistic, the villain is someone who hasn’t showed up before AND the movie isn’t an origin story then i’ll go see it but if its anything like superman returns e.i long filled with boring dialogue, stupid plot etc then i’ll pass, no matter what people rate it.

      • But it is an origin story. There is no escaping that. Unless it is based directly on the new Earth One storyline (which it isnt), as thats the only new version of the origin worth telling.
        Of course the visuals will look nice, but as for “realistic from a visual stand point, so there wont be any over the top laser eye flames,or blizzard like ice breathe etc” That is exactly what I DO want to see, I want see him blasting holes in mountains, or catching collapsing buildings, I want to see Superman standing on the moon and looking down at the planet he protects. I want this to be truly epic, with huge scale, but not forgetting the wonderful and timeless characters that Superman has. And frankly David Goyer does not have the imagination to write something like that.

        • are you sure its an origin movie b/c i haven’t heard of it being one.. then again i haven’t actually payed much attention to this reboot.

          • Every rumour certainly seems to point that way, apparently the script shares some similarity with Superman:Birthright, which is a great comic but not terribly cinematic.
            And then Snyder says it isnt based on any paticular comic. But this is Hollywood, they assume everyone is as dumb as they are, they need to explain Superman’s origins to a world that already knows them.
            There is also the lawsuit to bear in mind, it is entirely possible that they are using this movie to create a new version of the origin story altogether as they techinically cannot use many aspects of the original story.

  12. Well I think that Superman has the potential to be the greatest superhero movie ever made(and I’m a Batman fan). I just see it having a great chance to blow people away if they do this right.

    I’ve always found superman boring until I read Birthright. I could really see this being great if they can capture the emotions clark must have being more than a man in a world that isn’t truly his. And how even though he has these amazing powers, it’s his heart that makes him human.

    I really hope that they can really make us feel for the Man Of Steel by giving us a more human version of him than what’s been seen in past movies… And I hope they bulk this guy up 300 style cause I don’t want to see a skinny superman :P

  13. I am looking forward to the Smallville Finale.
    But Smallville and the movie are two entirely different things.
    I say to both productions,

  14. I would like for this movie to be a DC Marvel crossover, and see Supe grabbing Thor by the neck and shoving it violently deep in Hulk’s stinking anus! LOL!!!

    • That is just plain GROSS, dude!

  15. ““Superman” is probably going to be the most realistic movie I’ve ever made.”

    When will people like Snyder and Nolan finally learn that comic book movies aren´t supposed to be realistic?! This is gonna be another Batman Begins…

    • You had a problem with “Batman Begins”? I don’t think Clark is going to be found testing himself against criminals out in some remote foreign prison camp, until he’s found and propositioned by a deceptive mastermind, before returning to America to reclaim the Kent billions and establish his identity as a shadowy, though brightly colored, “Knight of the American Way”…

      • That wasnt what he meant, and I totally agree with Dirk. Comic book movies should feel like a comic book, Nolan’s movies are so grounded in the real world that they just feel like average action thrillers.
        The word realistic is not something that should be in association to Superman.

        • Correct.

          • Bazinga!

            • Agreed as well.

              • The motion has passed. :-)

          • As far as I’m concerned, Batman can be as realistic as it wants (even though it suffers and is limited because of it) but there is no place for realism in a Superman tale. It should be balls to the wall, showing off his amazing powers, this guy can do anything! But it must have good actors and a great story to convey it or it will fail instantly.

            • You know, I’m getting sick and tired of you saying what I think! You should ask before reading someone’s mind! :-D

        • True true

  16. Even tough we have seen superman against lex and zod in the past, this is a reboot. As i recall from previous interviews it will be based on superman: secret origins comics which clearly features an inexperienced super. So bringing in darkseid is a terrible idea. Besides, the comics takes him to fight metallo the early version, which gave me hope we would see metallo in this movie! Yeah zod and lex are good choices for a first movie but we seen those already (even if this is a reboot) still i would prefer metallo. Beside lex is featured in the comics too, ecen general lane, but atlimatley superman has to fight metallo. And thay the direction this movie should take!

    • Sry for the typos!!

    • If it really was based on SUperman Secret Origins then I would be celebrating because that is a wonderful story, but Snyder has catergoricaly stated that this ‘reboot’ isnt based on any pre existing comic. And why should it be, after all the comics have only been going for nearly 80 years, how could they possibly have had any good stories over all that time that could be used for a feature film? Nah, Hollywood writers will come up with their own stories and those will be better.

  17. Metallo and Parasite would be good first movie starters, Zod and his lugs could be useful lead-ins to Darkseid and Brainiac. Personally I don’t really care what villains they use for the first film. As long as they have Doomsday smashing Supes to a pulp, Darkseid burning all to a cinder, and Brainiac invading Earth in the sequels, then I’ll be sound as bound.

    • Youre looking for something that they will never do. Of course they should use Doomsday and Darkseid, with todays budgets and effects it could be truly brilliant. But they wont. They will use Zod and Lex, because thye simply don’t have the immagination to do anything new, different or interesting.

      • Exactly. But still out of everyone, I wanna see Bizarro on screen, that would be just too damn fun IMO.

        • I think they should get Charlie Sheen in to play Bizarro!

          • Typecasting…tsk, tsk, tsk, Dr, Sam!

            • Be funny though! Watching him trying to do Bizarro’s backwards speech.

      • Is that really what you really believe, Doctor? And people call me a pessimist.

  18. larger and more combative you say? good. if theres one thing Ive noticed about most of the other five superman movies its that Superman spends more time saving Lois than taking on a villain.

  19. But wasn’t he pretty lean and learned to fight for Immortals? Maybe put on some muscle but he was pretty ripped for Immortals.

  20. There was a proper Superman 5 planned, which would have featured Brainiac and Kandor, with Chris Reeve. But after the awful Superman IV:The Quest For Peace, they abandoned the project.
    Shame, as it sounded pretty cool. And they deserved a chance to redeem themselves.

  21. Snyder is the wrong choice. I keep saying this and no one is listening.

    • Uh, hello? No one on this site has been more vocal about it than me !

      • It’s true. And while I disagree, DrSam has been quite vocal. Haha

        Well, I guess I shouldn’t say “disagree”, because there are probably people better for the job, but I’m not disappointed that they picked Zack Snyder

      • Drsam I couldn’t help but laugh at “no one is listening” like he’s the only one complaining. I’ve never even seen him before lol and your by far the most vocal with me coming in a close second I would guess. There are others as well.

    • What’s funny is, I personally believe Superman is an extremely lame superhero, and giving this film to Snyder is the only thing that is peaking my interest in the project. Snyder might actually make this goofy character COOL. And that would be something.

      • BW Movie Fan, I agree that Superman is a pretty lame character. Heck, Batman makes fun of the guy because he’s a lunk-headed yes-man for the U.S. government. Of course, who wouldn’t, if you were able to beat the most powerful man on earth simply because you were smarter than him. And one of Superman’s greatest adversaries? A bald-headed guy who has no powers other than he’s intelligent. Doesn’t say much for Superman. And another enemy is called “Brainiac”. Hmmm, there seems to be a theme here….

        But that being said, and I realize my knowledge of Superman is pretty narrow (per the above observations), I really loved what Bryan Singer did with Superman in “Superman Returns”. Although a lot of people hated that film, I thought is was an extremely well-done, thoughtful movie. And most importantly, it made me really like this character. That is, at least how he was portrayed in that movie. However, if Snyder chooses to give us a depiction of a big, dumb meathead (the kind that Batman makes fun of), then maybe I won’t like it so much. I can’t imagine he would go this route though as he did wonders for “Watchmen”, and I’ve enjoyed his other films as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.

        • Actually, you’re behind the times…Batman has had a variety of reactions to Superman’s idealistic outlook, but “He’s dumb” has rarely been one of them. Yes, Batman finds Superman’s positive attitude extremely irritating, but Bruce also feels envious that Clark CAN remain so optimistic while confronting evil and uncertainty in the modern world. Bruce and Clark have shown, over the course of MANY team-ups and reflections over the years, that they DO respect each other. Batman, in fact, does NOT think of Superman as a “lunkhead”…just too idealistic. Superman does not, in turn, think Batman is a sociopath…just too enveloped by his pain and need to keep other from experiencing anything similar.

          Just as Batman has proven over and over that he can take on any threat, no matter the abilities or lack thereof, Superman has proven has shown constantly that he possesses a keen intelligence in addition to his journalistic instincts.

          Read the stories. You’ll find all of this is true…

          • Sigh…ignore the several grammar nightmares that reared their ugly heads in the above response.

            • Very well put grammar aside!!

        • I only agree with you on Superman Returns it was a good movie that reinforced why Superman is among one of my favorite comic book characters.

  22. I have avoided commenting on this particular project since it was announced, heard who may or may not be involved, and who its reigns were handed over to. I’m not really leaning one way or the other at this point but for myself I guess my feelings are that regardless of what rumors may go flying over the net, I’m just pleased that another movie is being made (for whatever reason…), and hoping the finished product is really cool.
    All speculation and prejudgment aside guys, lets face it…more than any other character in the anals of comic book history Superman is likely the most iconic, and for that very reason – regardless of what comes of this project he should and will still live as each of us wants to see him.
    I would hope that at the very least we can all agree that it would be something really special if, amidst all the doubt and speculation… that they got it right this time.
    Either way, Supes is, and always will be THE MAN! (In comics anyways…;) )

    Fingers crossed and hopes up for this one.

  23. Batman sucks superman’s kryptonian noots

    • Nope. Sorry. Thank you for playing.

  24. Yeah sure,,,

    Ok so who do you guys see playing Supes in the reboot after this one?

    • LOL, now that is a good question, there should be an article title that.

  25. Why does he want Superman realistic? He’s a pure, powerful, and strong guy. He’s the ultimate version of ourselves, he’s what everyone wants to be. Clark is a normal person, but Superman is perfect. He’s not realistic, he’s idealistic. Not every superhero needs to be “real” because they’re, uhh, not. It works for Batman who is a dark and more realistic guy- no powers, has personal demons, but still holds personal convictions strong, and that’s why Batman is interesting. But Superman? Superman isn’t Batman.

    • Too much hate for Superman in these comments, he’s a good character, just not very “cool”.

      • Personally, I find someone who can blast laser beams from their eyes, who could lift a mountain, see through solid objects, and fly, pretty dammed cool!

        • I’d be Bizarro, the evil Supes! He’s cooler.

      • Words,

        I’m with ya. Being an all around good person and role model is SO not 21st century. 8)


  26. Do we need a name for this phobia? Supesaphobic. We need more love for the Man of Steel people. Don’t fear your emotions, own your feelings! Repeat after me.


    Yes! Now your free!

  27. Superman is an ALIEN, yet film-makers insist on portraying him with human or human-esque villains. I am sick to death of Lex Luthor and Zod is just a cop out – “We’ll just use the same effects for his powers and Superman’s and we’ll save lots of money”.
    If they insist on making yet another lame Superman movie, then let them actually use a villain we haven’t seen & would actually care to see – there are tons: Darkseid, Metallo, Braniac, Parasite, Doomsday…
    The Batman Begins approach is too stupid for words for a Superman film:
    A) We DO NOT want to see the gosh-darned origin again – ENOUGH
    B) Superman is an alien & a goody-goody, no duality, not dark, not gritty, very one dimensional
    C) A How He Became Superman story goes like this – he was born that way.

    • I wanted to respond to one particular point you made, but I’ll give quick responses to all three letters, for the sake of a sense of completion.

      A) I’ll grant that a story BEYOND the origin would be much preferred (unless they did something like “Superman: Earth One” which would be fresh and fascinating to see).

      B)Superman is most-certainly NOT one-dimensional…difficult to understand for modern audiences (and many writers), yes, but he does possess a great deal of emotional and philosophical depth.

      C)He was born an alien, but he was otherwise formed by his upbringing and choices…his personal code of ethics and morals…his belief system and his strength of will. Your last point, thus, is just plain silly.

      Now, for the point I really wanted to counter: You think Luthor and Zod are poor villains for Superman. They are not. Luthor shows what greed and narrow-mindedness (two of the worst aspects of humanity) can cause and illustrates perfectly why people so fervently wish for (and shall continue to wish for) someone like Superman to exist and show them how to discover the BEST traits of humanity within themselves AND each other. Zod, on the other hand, shows what the corruption of the ideal that is Superman can cause and necessitates the existence of that ideal to combat such corruption.

      As for both characters’ overuse in films and other media, I can only hope that Snyder will have other villains (or at least clearly open the door to future appearances for them) in this film.

      • I don’t think Luther or Zod sucks either, but I’m totally bored of them. Make a movie with Doomsday, and if it’s sucessful, then bring in the big guns like Lex.

      • The real question remains, who do you want in the reboot of this Archaeon?

        • Dante…

          Truth be told, I wouldn’t have minded bringing back Routh. Whatever other problems may have been in “Superman Returns”, I thought he did a great job and has had time to gain some acting confidence and experience. Since, realistically, someone new MUST be chosen, I’m okay with Cavill…I suppose there are a number of people who could convincingly play Superman/Clark Kent, but I think he does have the acting chops and looks (when he bulks up a bit, as he’s done in the past) to pull it off. I have to think more about who I might prefer, if anyone. The cast members who have been confirmed, so far, will (I believe) do an excellent job, so all in all, I’m happy…so far. Once I have a more definite answer (of someone different), I’ll be happy to share…