Zack Snyder’s ‘Superman’ Not Based on Comics

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 11:35 pm,

Zack Snyder, geek favorite director and newly confirmed helmsmen of Superman: Man of Steel, is known for making the most literal page-to-screen adaptations of comics books. From Frank Miller’s 300 to Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Snyder has done what very few others have been able to in making quality films that not only pay tribute to the source material, but translate them in their entirety.

With the Superman reboot however, Snyder will take a different route and will instead deliver a new origin story not based on any specific origin story or mini-series from the DC comics.

In a recent interview with the French site,, Snyder set the record straight on where his take on Superman stacks up with the franchise so far and confirms that this movie is not a follow-up to the previous installments or Bryan Singer’s quasi-sequel starring Brandon Routh, but his own film based on a script not lifted from any particular comic.

Here’s what Bleeding Cool translated with the help of Google from the source:

“As I have already explained, the film will focus on early days of Superman, so there will be no links with other films. This is not a remake then. Similarly, although I still can not talk about the script, I can assure you that this new Superman will not be based on a comic book in particular.”

Some fans demand the films to follow the comics, but with Christopher Nolan delivering quality blockbusters with his own take on Batman, it’s best to deliver a solid movie which pays justice to the character first, rather than strictly following the comics. And then there’s also the drawn-out legal battles between DC Comics and heirs to the Superman creators which involved ownership of the character’s origins… We need something new and different from Superman and there’s no better talent out there than Zack Snyder and the Nolan brothers to make it happen.

Once we confirm the villain(s), we can look forward to months of casting rumors of who will play Clark Kent (and Zod?).

The Man of Steel is tentatively set to hit theaters in 2012, following Batman 3.

Follow us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Source: (via Bleeding Cool)

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  1. Does everyone know the story behind Snyder being chosen?
    Several other (better) directors came in to see Nolan, the word from the studio was they didn’t want anyone who would come in and start changing the script or bringing their own ideas to the table, because they have a release date to stick to.
    It’s good that they focus on putting the best film out as possible.

    • i just want a good Supes film DSB. as well as a good Bats film. like i said im trying to remain optimistic here.

      • i kind feel that same way Anthony..i have already decided x-men first class as will stink..they have soiled it badly . but i will AH I git it a super hero buddy film LMAO1..ala Tango and Cash. “Bats and Supes” wait and see more of the synopsis on bats and supes lol

  2. Nolan’s take on Batman is a hodge podge hack and slash of various comics over the years including borrowing Frank Miller’s take on Daredevil.

    I’m a geek and Snyder is one of my least favorite directors. His Watchmen was unwatchable. His over use and reliance on time ramp as a basis for his film style is tiresome.

    I’ll remind everyone that WB chose him because he can make the film in time before the rights expire knowing he’s not necessarily the right choice. With that said, have at it. Make another crappy Superman film. I called it on Singer. I’ll call it on Snyder. This Superman will suck too.

  3. Why can’t they just based characters on their comic counterparts. Why are we getting these constant garbage Superman movies? Smallville with all its faults outshines all the previous Superman shows or even movies. I never saw the real Lex Luthor like the comics in the movies, only smallville. Doomsday, Bizzaro, Darkseid, they are all on Smallville yet they are not in the movies? Smallville even has the perfect Green Arrow and hits Lana Lang and Lois Lane on the mark.
    I am tired of crappy movies. No wonder that Superman is not liked in the movies since they all stink. Why have a Superman hero if he doesn’t fight any super villians or do anything super.

  4. I think it’s fair to say that, really until we see some footage we can’t really judge its merit yet. Just my opinion. Not trying to say anybodys worries are without merit. I must admit though superman is probably one of my least favorite comic characters. I don’t dislike him, just there is so much out there and my taste in film and comics is usually darker.

  5. I think Zack Snyder is on the right track. We certainly do need a new and novel approach to the SUPERMAN saga.

    The most thought of approach to the SUPERMAN reboot is who can play this role of a super man. What human actor can even begin to equal the look and physical appearance of this truly larger than life super man? The answer is … no one.

    Chris Reeve got close, but although his facial features were acceptable, he still lacked the physique that is SUPERMAN’S. No human actor we know of that would be considered for that role is a superhuman actor, nor can any come close to filling that role completely. The wonderful graphic depictions of the man of steel by various artists demonstrate that fact most emphatically.

    Today, the art of computer generated imagery has developed to the point of perfection. Naomi Watts was computer generated in certain scenes of King Kong that were deemed too dangerous for her to perform. I defy anyone not connected with the film to tell me which scenes they were.

    The reboot of SUPERMAN could contain a computer generated SUPERMAN that could be indistinguishable from a human actor, but at the same time retain the true physical representation of SUPERMAN.

    Why this observation has apparently escaped everyone but me is a mystery.

    Let’s finally give SUPERMAN his due. He is, after all, NOT human. So why do we insist on forcing him into a human mold?

    Are you listening Zack? If not, someone please explain the logic of this to him. Only a truly alien creation can do justice to SUPERMAN and it cannot be achieved by a puny human actor.

    • Interesting perspective.

    • Because he’s been raised by humans and his human side is what defines him? Maybe?

    • “Why this observation has apparently escaped everyone but me is a mystery.”

      Umm it hasn’t and really few people want it. Most viewers believe the uncanny valley hasn’t been crossed effectively to give a steady 90-120 minute performance to such a character and I don’t think Warner would choose to be the first to take that kind of risk with one of their most iconic characters. Just the story is heating up the Internet and while I can certainly see your point of view and have written about it here as well, I can’t see it happening. At some point say in the next decade I could see something like the “Beowulf” film being attempted with a long time major comic character like but not Superman. Perhaps someone in Gillis’es “Eternals” would be good or one of the “New Gods” coming from DC…

    • We don’t need the Hulk in a Superman costume. A CGI Superman and Clark Kent around normal actors would be a joke. And I am seriously laughing at how serious you are about the concept.

      Look at Tom Welling, the guy is perfect Superman build. If they get someone of Welling’s build, that would be perfect.

      Just because Superman isn’t human doesn’t mean a human can’t play him. Would you actually sit through a movie where Superman has 98″ shoulders with 79″ chest with a 68″ waist? He’d look ridiculous.

      And take it from a Superman fan, Superman is built like a very athletic human. In the wedding special back in 96, Clark revealed he has a 36″ waist. Tell me that isn’t a human size.

    • why is it so important that superman has to be EXACTLY like in the comics? he looks different in every animation movie but no one seems to complain about that. and i dont think many want a CG Superman. there will never be a PERFECT looking superman, accept it! if we get someone that looks close to him with good acting chops then we should be happy.

  6. I really don’t care if he follows any particular story arc from teh books, what I don’t like is that it’s based on Superman’s early years. What does that mean exactly? Is it a frackin’ origin story? or just following an adventure from Supes’ first days in the cape?

    Do we (meaning the mass audience) really need s Superman origin story? GL I can understand since it’s more than likely that people won’t know GL’s backstory, but Supes? C’mon.

    I’ll wait til more details come out before prejudging

    • @ Panda

      I find it quite ironic that you don’t want a movie based on Superman’s early years but you do with Spiderman.

      • Never said that at all. I don’t want another Spiderman origin either.

        If by “early years” related to Spiderman you mean how Peter was written in the early years of the comic, that’s completely unrelated to Spiderman’s origin story :)

        • @ Panda

          Okay, let me put this way……….:-)

          I don’t want to see a Spiderman movie based on his (early years) – We’ve seen it with Raimi’s version . Not interested in the “Ultimate” Spider-TEEN route and I didn’t mention another origin story.

          You don’t want to see a Superman film based on his (early years) – You did pose the question “Is it a frackin’ origin story”?

          Look no animosity or anything. I just find it interesting that people are reveling in seeing another (early years) Spiderman film but not Superman if that’s really what Snyder is planning on doing.

          Personally I would love to see mature, true and faithful representations of both characters by Directors, Screenwriters and Actors who either know the characters or make an attempt to research the characters really well. :-)

          • You must be mistaken. I never said I wanted to see a teen Peter Parker in the reboot, nor do I care to see a Spiderman origin. Just because I defended Raimi’s take on Peter/Spiderman doesn’t mean I want to see it repeated. Raimi’s Spidey was the first big budget Spidey film and an origin was more appropriate, not so much any more IMO

            My point on Superman, which I suppose you could say the same thing about Spidey, is that the mass audience doesn’t really need an origin as it’s more likely people are already familiar. Also notice in my post about the Superman origin is that a character like GL more likely needs an origin story because fewer people are familiar with it, as opposed to Supes who probably a good majority of the general public already know it. :)

  7. Is this guy kidding me? Who is he to change the Greatest Superhero’s origin story? Well, I can guarantee Warner Bros one thing, that I will NOT be attending this farce! I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again! I hate Reboots, remakes and any other name they want to give it. I’m sick and tired of these young snotnosed directors changing history and destroying the classics! This loser is just another version of this same, disturbing trend, that started with the destruction of the Halloween franchise by the loser Rob Zombie, and has continued right up to this guy. I don’t know why everybody thinks this guy is a directing wizard, I hated both 300 & Watchmen, both sucked big time. I hate the use of CG animated garbage, which was used in both, and why they sucked. Meanwhile the reason why movie Predators was so successful was they used good old fashion actors and stunt people instead of the animated crap. Now, this guy wants to change an origin, just who does this guy think he is doing this? All for who, the young snotnoses that don’t know a good movie if it bit them in their asses. So Warner Bros…my opinion of this new destruction of a classic…Superman:Man of Steel…I’ll pass!!!

    • Hmmm. Interesting. It’s funny that you say both 300 and Watchmen sucked, because I thought they both kicked major @$$ and apparently so did this site (seeing that they both have 4 out of 5 ratings in the reviews).

      CGI is for doing the things that you couldn’t normally do with real people. For, expanding on possibility, if you will. An example of this would be in 300, where a giant rhino is charging at the Spartans. Now I think a real rhino would be quite dangerous. So they made there own.

      “why movie Predators was so successful was they used good old fashion actors and stunt people instead of the animated crap”

      It’s interesting you say this because I saw quite a bit of CGI in Predators. Spaceships, alien dogs, explosions, weapons, robot bird thing, backgrounds, etc. Yeah that’s what I thought.

      “destruction of a classic”

      Have you seen this movie yet? Do you know what is going to happen? How they’re going to do things? Pretty sure that’s a big NO!

      So how ’bout this? You watch it before you bash it. K? I mean someone doesn’t say “spaghetti sucks” without first trying it.

      I mean Smallville changed up the origin story and it’s a good show. (Running on what? Over 200 hundred episodes now? Which episode 200 was pretty epic :) )

      • Not to mention that it doesn’t mean the origin done in this film will forever be Superman’s official origin. It’ll only be for that film.

        • Exactly. People need to chill their beans…

        • I don’t think the article (or any of Snyder’s quotes) say the origin is being changed – just that it

          1) “will focus on early days of Superman”
          2) “will not be based on a comic book in particular”

          1) that can mean anything from a full on origin story to Clark Kent’s transition into Supes to Kal-El’s first endeavors donning the cape. Wide range of possibilities

          2) this just means that Snyder’s not doing is past repetoir with 300 and Watchmen by following a book frame by frame.

          I don’t particularly like Snyder, but fair is fair and what he said does not lead to a reimagining of Superman’s origin

        • Exactly. Because when Richard Donner made Lois Lane a chain-smoking skank in his Superman film, the comics didn’t change the character to accomadate it. Besides, the comics already have a re-imagined origin in Geoff Johns “Superman: Secret Origins.”


      You’re right. 300 wasn’t cool at all… pssh :/

    • @”This loser is just another version of this same, disturbing trend, that started with the destruction of the Halloween franchise by the loser Rob Zombie, and has continued right up to this guy.”

      Acutally….the whole reboot trend started with the success of Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins’. Rebooting a franchise was new idea then, but Hollywood saw the success of that film and wanted to capitalize on it. So, you can’t thank Nolan for it.

    • I agree with what you said on CG. IMO, CG will never replace the suitmation or practical stunts. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy many films with CG (Transformers and Avatar to name a couple), but it’ll never replace old-fashioned stunts. Directors just seem to over-use it to the point where a film depends on it (coughTransformerscough).

      Look at Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Both films use minimal CG, and they’re far suprerior to many CG fests. Hollywood should use more models, and less CG.

      • Batman can’t fly, or have heat vision, or ice breath, or x-ray vision, or super strength, or super speed, isn’t an alien, etc.

        • But just because Superman has powers doesn’t mean he has to be CGI all of the time. They could do it the way Smallville does it, just with a bigger budget.

          A CGI Superman would be lame, and completely unwatchable.

          • *thumbs up* Exactly, as we saw in Superman Returns they were able to bring his powers to “life” effectively. Also by putting an actor into the suit this would allow him to connect to the character better.

          • I’m not saying he has to be CGI all the time. I’m just saying why Batman isn’t have a lot of CGI

            • Wools! Not “isn’t”. I meant “didn’t”

              • Ahhhhhhhh! Not “wools” I meant “woops”. I hate typing on my iPod. Haha

                • Lol. I think Batman is more practical to begin with.I’m confident that Snyder would be able to mix the CGI with practical effects nicely. But in Superman Returns they tried their best to use practical effects where they could have. Snyder could probably take it to the next level with Nolan’s help :)

      • Little monster Reboot wasn’t new at all it was around before Nolan he isn’t at all responsable.

        I personally have no problem with reboots as long as it turns out good it’s fine. I don’t want to see Donners stale unexciting version for yet another time. Just like I didn’t want a sequal to Batman and Robin.

        • Well 3D was around too. But until James Cameron made Avatar, every movie wasn’t in 3D…

    • THANK YOU!!!! About time somebody said that. I mean, I like some reboots….. but this one will f**k the whole Superman story up!!!!

  8. Now I’m getting nervus. Can we get off the origin story? There is so much good source material out there on Superman. I’m just ready for the man of steel to just get busy and handle up. Doomsday, Darkseid , put me on the edge of my seat.

  9. Giant spiders.

  10. I’m actually surprised some are upset with Snyder directing. I mean, Nolan’s storytelling mixed with Snyder’s visual style is gonna make this film EPIC.

    • the thing is, Nolan will probably not be as much involved in this as we think. maybe his brother can help get this on track. because snyder and goyer cant make things good.. they have the action but thats like it.

  11. Lol better directors is debatable but anyway Snyder and Nolan are like the odd couple one who doesn’t give a crap and just does what he wants and one who sticks to what’s been done I only see disaster

  12. I have faith in this as a Snyder fan. Everyone needs to chill out I mean they haven’t even started filming yet :)

  13. Let’s not forget when all is said and done it’s a Nolan story! Despite whatever Goyer and Snider bring to the table the Nolans and Warner will ensure that the idea that sold them on doing it in the first place, takes place. Goyer’s work will fit or get edited. Snyder is directing because he’s available, has an efficient workman like manner, a team player, and who’s becoming renown for his ability to bring source material intact to the screen, perhaps with a few touches of his own. Which apparently bothers some, but in itself doesn’t bring a project down.

    If it fails well it will certainly be a marker on a road to a successful one, because at some point in time someone will make another.

    • In what way is it a Nolan story? He didn’t write it.

      • Yes, he, Jonathan, and David Goyer wrote the story.

        • Goyer wrote the script, the Nolan brothers have had minimal actual input.

          • No… actually Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer co-wrote the script… That has been confirmed by both Warner Bros and by Zach Snyder in recent interviews.

          • sure both of the have more input than you give them credit for.

          • I doubt that very much.

            Jonah is going to polish the script along with Snyder.

            I’m sure Chris Nolan has already had input also.

            He is after all PRODUCING this Man Of Steel film!

            • And how much producing will he be able to do while directing such a massive project as Batman3? And define exactly what a producer does?
              Will Nolan be on set everyday, looking over Snyders shoulder?p

  14. This seems interesting

  15. Superman is a character I wouldn’t mind seeing something completely different done with.

    For starters how about dealing with the fact that this is an alien being. I remember someone writing that the Clark Kent persona is Supermans idea of a human, wimpy,weak, clumsy and incompetent. That’s how he sees us.

    We could also explore how his powers work. How does he fly? Is it telekinesis or does he give off some form of energy that propels him. Have a villain actually study his abilities and find a way to counteract them.

    Things that have been done to death and should be marginalized or dropped altogether . Kryptonite, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane love interest.

    • Seriously?! You think dropping Lois should be dropped from Superman mythology?! SERIOUSLY?! Wow! Also, Superman may be an alien, but he was raised as a human… He does not look down on humans… His faith in humanity is crucial… Jezz.. Next you’ll say you want Superman to have purple skin and kill bad guys with his superpowered big toe… Cause what you describe is NOT superman…

  16. Maybe they will use some of the elements of the upcoming graphic novel Superman : Earth One by JMS and Shane Davis..Here’s a synopsis..

    “As a journalist, Straczynski placed his past experiences within the environment of the Daily Planet, in order to make it more real. One major example being Jimmy Olsen, who will be known as Jim Olsen in the book, being seen as tougher and smarter than his mainstream counterpart as he will be seen getting himself in harm’s way to get the shot. JMS wanted to retell the beginnings of Clark Kent coming out as Superman, but bring in the thoughts of what-if Clark thought of becoming something else instead of being a superhero. As JMS stated; “he could have been rich as an athlete, researcher, any number of things. There’s a flashback scene to when Martha Kent finishes his uniform and gives it to him as a gift, hoping he’ll go that way. He looks at it and says, in essence, “Shouldn’t there be a mask?” She says no, that “when people see how powerful you are, all the things you can do, they’re going to be terrified… unless they can see your face, and see there that you mean them no harm. The mask… is that what you’re going to have to wear the rest of your life.”

    Among his ideas; the villain featured will be brand new, and have a connection to Krypton to explain its destruction.

    Shane Davis’s approach was to remove all the stereotypes associate with the design of Clark Kent, both in his civilian and superhero identities. As a 21 year old male in the book, Davis had Clark wear layers of clothing, showing that he is trying to blend in; “he doesn’t want to stand out” as said by Davis. This of course strayed away from the classic Clark Kent look, wearing the suit, tie, and glasses, since it “didn’t make sense” to Davis.[5] He also re-imagined Metropolis. Historically depicted as an art-deco expanse, Davis designed it to look and feel like a more realistic place.

    Seems like as good an idea as anything else that hasbeen mentioned so far..I’ll be getting this soon so I can’t wait to give it a read and see if it was worth the wait..

    • GK333 good to see you back my friend

      • Was teaching all week at the hospital and seeing clients at home for assessment..looooong 15 hour work days all week..happens once every month..I get used to it but not much time for anything else..lots of great articles I haven’t had time to read this week so I’ll have to catch up in the next few days.. :)

        • ahhh very cool. catch up on esle somewhere in between all that hussle i hope?

      • Ditto. Glad you didn’t do the offski, greenknight.

        • :)

    • I am very much looking forward to that graphic novel, I’m one of the few who is loving JMS current Superman run.

      • @ DrSamBeckett

        I have always loved J. Michael Straczynski’s work. Just put “Superman : Earth One” on pre order at Amazon.

        • And Geoff Johns is writing Batman:Earth One! Now that should be good reading!

          • @ DrSamBeckett

            I’m assuming that’a graphic novel too? I’m still a novice when it comes to the DC Universe. LOL will check out Amazon again after this post.

            Can you fill me in on what is meant by Earth One? Again I’m assuming there are multiverses in the DC Universe and Earth One is one of them. If that’s the way it’s always been I guess I can accept it. :-)

            Ironically that’s one of the things I didn’t like with Marvel introducing the “Ultimate” universe. I picked up some titles but soon grew weary of them and concentrated on the original mainstream titles as I have been since 1974.

            I like to pretend the “Ultimate” universe doesn’t exist. I’m not missing out. They are not the characters I grew up with and love.

            • Yeah it is a multiverse/alternate universe thing, but these earth one graphic novels are totally new to me. From what I understand the whole point is to create completely new versions of classic characters for a new generation of readers, starting with Superman and Batman. And they are graphic novels, because they’re not counting as official cannon.

              • Thanks DSB :-)

  17. DSB,
    2 things for you.
    1. Have you ever read Last Sons? If you haven’t, it is one to go out and buy like… now. I haven’t seen it in Graphic Novel form but the book its self is great.

    2. I know that you are not a big fan of Snyder. I am of the opinion that he is okay. 300 visually I loved. I also thought the same thing about Watchmen. I think that he will shine when it comes to the one major scene I want to see. That scene is the first time Sup’s and Zod or whoever, come to blows. One thing that is always awesome about Superman in the comics is the first good shot when he fights someone like Zod. I want to see that slow motion punch and the moment of connection. Then shock wave that shatters windows for miles around. My favorite examples of this were in the Justice League cartoons. Him vs Captain Marvel was awesome but the last episode was my favorite. Him vs Darkseid/Braniac. That was probably my favorite scene out of the whole show.

    • I haven’t read that one no, but will keep an eye out for it.

      And I see your point about Snyder bring able to capture epic battles between Superman and whatever villain they chose, however, I do not think he will be able to capture the heart that Superman needs.
      And what Superman fan isn’t concerned about this change to the origin and updating the character. If Snyder, Nolan and Goyer think the character needs updating, then they have no reason to be anywhere near this film.

  18. So very excited, its going to be EPIC!!

  19. Great…. Now everyone gets to do what they want because of “Nolan”….

    Why cant these “great” people take their own ideas and creae their oen stuff and leave “History” alone?

  20. Hamm would OWN as a more manly and mature looking Superman. This film will basically be a one shot Superman film due to the rights issues involving the WB’s and the Siegals.

    Jon Hamm as Clark Kent/Superman FTW!

    After this Superman film, which is due for release in December 2012, we probably won’t be seeing Superman onscreen again until maaaaaaaybe 2015, in the potential Justice League film!

    If Keaton can play a Batman in 1989, and Downey Jr can play a fit Iron Man in his 40′s, and since Hugh Jackman is still playing Wolverine at 41…..then a charismatic and talented actor like Jon Hamm would be a solid Superman. He would just need to bulk up and get in Superman shape.

    • My problem with Hamm is that he’s just too old to play Superman. Okay, he’s not NOW, but WB is obviously planning a trilogy, and they would need to re-cast the role by time the sequel came around. It would smarter for them to go with someone young now, and not worry about replacing an actor for the next film.

  21. Lets hope Nolan and Snyder do NOT cast some soft looking 24 year old with no charisma or screen presence like that guy with the lousy name Armie Hammer.


  22. How about Jim Caviezel as Superman. he has the look, is about the right age and is a fine actor, and a commanding screen prescence.

    • he would, except he’s 42. a bit old aye?

  23. What a horribly written article. Snyder has only directed one film that was a hit and that movie had no substance and wasn’t intended to. You pay lip service to the guy like he’s Spielberg. He hasn’t even proven himself as a director yet.

    • So a movie being a “hit” (ie. big box office) is the sign of a great film, yes?

      Then I’d consider his 2004 “Dawn of the Dead” a hit as it made 4X its production budget.


  24. why they didn’t use Tom Welling? he acted great in smallville and he already have a superman image and he’s young.

  25. Jim Caviezel and Tom Welling could be the two names that come to my mind when someone starts talking about superman.

  26. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Damn that Snyder.