Zack Snyder Calls Superman ‘Broken,’ Disses ‘Thor’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 15th, 2012 at 10:15 am,

superman by alex ross Zack Snyder Calls Superman Broken, Disses Thor

It seems Superman is a difficult character for creators to grasp, both in the world of comics and film. Hence the reason Bryan Singer made Superman Returns – it was so much easier to basically remake Richard Donner’s Superman (this time with Baby Superman!) than to branch out into uncharted cinematic territory.

Over the weekend, director Zack Snyder talked to our very own Roth Cornet about his approach to Superman: Man of Steel, a film he’s calling “the most realistic” he’s ever made – which isn’t saying much when you look at his filmography. Yesterday, Snyder talked to Hollywood Outbreak and referred to Superman as a broken concept, while managing to diss Marvel’s Thor in the process.

It should be noted that when Zack Snyder said, “Superman is broken and I think it needs to be fixed,” his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder, interjected with, “From a movie standpoint.” At which point Snyder repeated, “From a movie standpoint.” So Snyder isn’t calling the Superman of the comic books broken, even though many a comic book fan would have no problem saying just that.

Snyder continued to discuss Superman’s movie problem, going so far as to mock Thor by comparison:

“[Superman] is the freaking […] biggest superhero on the planet. He’s the father of every superhero. [Deborah and I] were just talking about this – I’m like, really? Thor? Thor has a movie? [Laughter.] Really? I mean, come on. And there’s no Superman movie? This is, like, the world’s out of balance. It’s like, we’ve lost our minds here, people, come on.”

Listen, there’s no doubt that, cinematically-speaking, Superman has a massive problem. The fact that there hasn’t been a truly successful Superman film since 1980 is both astounding and sad. That said, there’s no reason in the world to denigrate the Marvel version of Thor, who was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and perhaps the greatest comics creator of all time, Jack Kirby. Hell, at least Superman has had quality representation in film – twice over. The last time Thor was seen in a movie theater was The Adventures of Babysitting.

superman versus thor Zack Snyder Calls Superman Broken, Disses Thor

Zack Snyder also discussed the meeting he had with producers Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas before he took the directing job:

“When [Christopher and Emma] asked Deborah and I out to lunch [to tell us] what they wanted to do with [Man of Steel] – I’ve got to say, [beforehand] I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can [do Superman]. [Afterward], I was like, ‘This is right.’ […] I didn’t need to hear that much before I went, ‘Okay, that’s right, that’s the right way to do it.’ […] I’m a fan of the character. I want him to be awesome.”

Check out the full audio recording at Hollywood Outbreak.

While I agree with Zack Snyder that every Superman film since 1980 has been insignificant or just plain bad, I’m not sure the way toward creating the best possible Superman film is realism. After all, the best iteration of Superman in the past twenty years was Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, which was all kinds of strange, ridiculous, and about as far away from realism as a story can get. In the end, realistic or not, Man of Steel’s quality will be determined not by its style, but by – well, everything else.

Superman: Man of Steel hits theaters December 2012.

Source: Hollywood Outbreak

Superman art by Alex Ross and George Perez

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  1. Zack Snyder is a hack. He better get a new VFX Supervisor because his last 2 films, Watchmen and Sucker Punch, look like a$$.

  2. I can’t believe how some of you would put a positive spin on what Snyder said. It seems obvious to me. He said –

    “Thor? Thor has a movie? [Laughter.] Really? I mean, come on. And there’s no Superman movie? This is, like, the world’s out of balance. It’s like, we’ve lost our minds here, people, come on.”

    Basically, he is saying, Superman is a much better character and should have a movie ahead of (to his mind, the more inferior) Thor.

    MAy I remind Snyder that Superman has had 5 movies to date (not including the black and whites from the 50s), has had numerous live-action tv series, animated series, dvd special, and it even had a play (if I am remembering it right). Superman has been part of multimedia as far back as I can remember. Creators have had plenty of shots to showcase the “greatness” that is Superman in every conveivable media media. And now, Thor has ONE movie, and all of a sudden he is laughing at the thought that Thor (the inferior character to his mind) has a movie and not Superman? And don’t kid yourselves, he never said “thor has an awesome movie, Superman should also”. That’s pure BS. He said exactly what he mean – “what is the world coming to where Thor has a movie and Superman doesn’t”.

    May I also remind you and Snyder that Ghostrider, Daredevil, Catwoman, Elektra, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Swamp Thing, and Howard the Duck, among others, have had movies… Now, Thor gets one, now all of a sudden the world is unbalanced and peoples have lost their minds????

    BTW, I hated Watchmen, I wanted to like it (even bought the figures and the comics), but it was so boring.

    • “BTW, I hated Watchmen, I wanted to like it . . . but it was so boring.”

      Preach on – heaven forbid MOS has any dramatic scenes :)

    • These directors just seem to be in some kind of competition with each other and just have been going behind each other doing the same material over and over again trying to act like they are all so original.

      And as the original poster said Superman has almost been over-exposed in movies and television since he has probably had more television and movie time then most other characters combined.

      At this point a character like Superman (and Spider-Man at this point) are in danger of being over-exposed. With the last movies being less then ten years old and being played on basic cable at this point allot of people are going think why should they go pay to watch the same story, again.

  3. I really hope that Snyder looks at whay Morrison did on AllStar and especially how it was adapted to the cartoon, and take some ideas from that..If possible start the film in the future,show off a remake of his fortess of solitude that would infer all of his past exploits (justice league etc)and hopefully reference Luthor in some way..Actually if they just did AllStar Superman as a feature film..It would make more sense..or at least build up to that storyline..Actually the scheme is right up Snyder’s alley as well considering his like for WATCHMEN and 300…he seems to like doing things on a grand scale…

  4. How dare Snyder mock Thor, the strongest superhero of all time! (Excluding the Hulk) Superman may be more famous (until the Thor movie is released) but if you put Superman and Thor in a VS battle… who do you think will win? Some gay dude with his underpants on the outside of his span-decks or the Son Of Odin who wields the mighty Mjornir!


    • Dude, Kal-El would kick The Mighty Thor’s Ass with one hand tied behind his back.

    • Well in the Crossovers, Superman beat up the Hulk and Thor. The Hulk he took down with one punch in one version. Then in another Hulk got a few good licks in then once again, one punch. It would be a good match but Superman is gonna pretty much kick anybody’s ass in a fair fight. If it took place in Galaxy without a yellow sun or if Thor’s hammer was imbue with Kryptonite, then Thor is the clear winner. Thor vs Superman on Earth is going to the Man of Steel all day long.

      • If you read the lore, on Earth, Superman’s strength is infinite. So yeah, he’d beat the Hulk and Thor. Even the Hulk can’t reach infinite levels of strength on earth even in his most crazy angry he’d be pretty close – but Thor and the Hulk can be strong everywhere. Superman is limited to his infinite strength on the Earth alone.

        • His strength, even on Earth, is NOT infinite, but the level of strength he does possess is so ridiculously high that for almost any task he carries out, that difference is negligible. He DOES sometimes require help or alternatives…Yes, to the main point you are making, he can take on the Hulk or Thor and come out on top…even factoring in the Hulk’s anger-induced jumps in power or Thor’s magical abilities…Winning is not a given for any of the three, however.

          • I’m just going off some DC universe book we have :) It says infinite, I swear! :)

            • I believe you…It’s just that in the continuity, currently, Superman’s power level has become somewhat more “reasonable” (sounds silly, considering we’re STILL talking a ridiculously high level).

              I assure you I was not doubting you :)

              • Ahh okay that makes sense, I think the book we have is a reprint of the old school DC universe stuff anyway. Since we got old and had kids, we’re not headed to the comic book store nearly as often anymore :D Our current knowledge has waned a bit.

    • Wow, what an intelligent, well-thought-out argument.


      I stunned to think you’re actually being serious…

      • Sigh…that’s “I AM…”

        Damnable work computer…grrr.

      • Oh, and this comment was directed toward the guy who angrily began, “How dare Snyder…blah, blah, blah…Thor is the strongest superhero hero EVER”…or somesuch nonsense. TheAvenger…THAT’s who it was.

    • I guess that’s why Hulk beat him to a pulp. :-D

  5. Is it me or does superman look old and chubby in that pic at the top lol!?

    • That’s deliberate. I suppose Superman does age, just at a different rate to the rest of us mere mortals, and there is no reason he wouldnt get a bit chubby if he stopped using his powers so much.
      It’s an Alex Ross picture I think.

      • it is, Alex Ross has always put out what i think are the best pictures of supes.
        I was never a big superman fan, then i took at look at Kingdom Come, and gained a whole new level of respect for the character. wonderful work if you haven’t read it.

        • I have read it, I also have both of Alex Ross’s big artwork books. For me, his art (and it really is genuine art) is the best take on Superman that there has ever been. And that’s what they should have gone for in this reboot, Jon Hamm would have been perfect as he is the right age and has the right facial structure, Henry Cavill just looks too young. There is no reason that Superman has to always be the same age in films, making him a little older, say 40, gives him an added air of respectability

          • and the other comic book work isnt Art ?
            just busting balls, Doc
            Ross is amazing and his paintings are inspirational, but there areother artist that do great work Hitch, Adams,and Jim Lee to name a few

            • Oh no, don’t get me wrong, there are some truly stunning pieces of comic book artwork out there but Alex Ross’s stuff is good enough to hang in an art gallery.
              His Superman is awe inspiring to look at.

    • Chubby? no.

  6. Everyone has great opinions about Snyder but one thing is for sure, he should give us the physically dominating and visually stunning Supes we’ve always wanted.

    • Have you seen Henry Cavill? Even if he bulks up in the same Chris Evans has for CA, he just doesnt look right for the part at all.

      • Actually, Sam, I HAVE seen photos of him that lead me to believe he can bulk up enough to play (not bulky-big, but fit, atheletic) Superman convincingly. I remain hopeful…

        • Maybe he can, he is a decent actor from what I can gather, but he isnt the thing I’m most worried about anyway. Personally, they should have got Brandon Routh back. He was great in the role.

          • Believe me…I was fervently hoping for Routh to return. They captured lightning in a bottle with Reeve, and I feared they would be forever lost in the their search for his replacement. Then came Routh, and all seemed right with the world.


  7. To the poster who stated, “So an out of continuity story in which Captain Marvel did NOT out and out defeat Superman is your proof that he could defeat Superman? My point was that there are stories depicting both outcomes, so it’s a meaningless reference.”

    Then let me give you another reference: Kingdom Come.

    I’m not trying to diss on Superman, because I really like him but as a long time reader of both characters I’m sorry the truth is Superman simply has no defense against Thor’s magical attacks. He can’t out speed or dodge a hundred magical lightning bolts. I mean let’s be straight here, don’t you find it strange that Superman was able to use an energy attack (his heat vision) but Thor didn’t use one energy attack in the fight? And like Shazam, magic is what Thor’s all about!

    Whenever Thor has faced Superman clones in the Marvel Universe, Gladiator, Hyperion, Nefaria, etc., he has ALWAYS used energy/magical attacks against them! But not one against Superman? Hmmmmm. Heck Black Adam, gave Superman more than he could handle, again because of his magical properties. Throw in a guy who’s fought countless battles over untold centuries with an indomitable will, give him strength and durability to rival Supes, then throw in a magical hammer on top of that (which Superman couldn’t lift BTW) and if you throw out the popularity contest (because that’s where Supes wins everytime) Thor dominates Supes! Sorry it’s just the TRUTH. At least they got the Captain America, Batman who would win right and I’m really surprised they admitted that.

    Now Synder wants to cry in his milk all of a sudden because Thor’s got a movie? Did he make that comment when Ironman or Hulk’s movie was coming out? Is he insecure because Thor’s fresh and doesn’t have 5 crappy films on record and possibly could really make some noise? Personally I find it promising and great he mentioned Thor and compared the two heroes! Oh yeah, if Thor’s movie is good then he has even more pressure on his shoulders to make an epic Superman movie. If he fails then could this truly be the death of Superman in America?

    • I’ll have to comment on the rest of your rant at a later point, but I did want to indicate one thing you said that I wholeheartedly disagree with: You said Superman could not lift Thor’s hammer. Mjolnir’s enchantment (at least, the particular one in question) DOES allow Superman to lift it as a worthy, noble being. Superman COULD lift the hammer, just like he COULD beat Thor in combat (your own example of “Kingdom Come” showed him drawing on an amazing reserve of strength and will to RESIST the lightning). I happen to prefer the mythological stories of Thor but have enjoyed various Marvel Thor stories, as well. Thor, however much you may want to deny it, CAN be and HAS been beaten…just like Superman.

      • Superman could only lift the hammer in a time of a crisis. In JLA/Avengers, after the crisis was over Supes could not lift the hammer because of it’s magical properties. Superman was powerless to move in an inch.

        If you take Superman’s popularity out of the equation, no doubt he has no defense from the various magical/energy attacks Thor could summon. It sure was out of character for Thor not to use one magical/mystical attack against Superman in JLA/Avengers when he’s the freak-in God of Thunder????? Give me a break please. ;)

        • I never said he WOULDn’t beat Superman; all I said is that Superman COULD beat him, as well. Either way, both would come out of the battle much the worse for wear. Superman’s powers aren’t NEGATED by magic; they simply do not give him any particular advantage or (depending on degree) function optimally. He still would have extremely high endurance and willpower…he could be much more easily injured or even killed, though. Thor, however, is not immortal either…He, too, can be killed.

          That’s all I was trying to say.

    • First of all, I was that poster. Secondly, my comment was IN RESPONSE to a poster who had said “Kingdom Come,” like you just did.

  8. troll lol

  9. So who thinks this movie already deserves a reboot?

    • I do.

    • @ Dante

      I do

  10. I think Snyder may do a good job. Action is a definite shoe-in, and he stated that he’s read All-Star Superman and few other Grant Morrison stuff on Superman and liked it and wishes to give Superman that sort of human quality those stories gave off.

  11. You fail to miss that one aspect of Superman is that Magic can work against him. The magic and power that Thor holds can counter his, Supermans, powers and affect him, according to the comics – but movies may say other wise. All anyone needs is a chunk of rock from Kyrpton and its over – someone should talk to Batman about that one – See Frank Millers Dark Knight Returns.

    • You’re right about magic being extremely effective, but there is something to be said for will & determination, preparedness, assistance from friends/associates, stamina, and…simply having the metaphorical “minute to catch his breath”. Of course, luck may come into play, as well as (definitely in Thor’s case…he enjoys beating enemies up using a more hands-on approach) PRIDE.

      Superman can win, even when magic is arrayed against him.

  12. I think this whole who would win in a fight between Superman and Thor is the nerdiest thing I have ever seen on this site!

    But in all seriousness, Superman would hands down win against anyone, eventually.

    • Amen! Haha. Superman would win every time

    • I think Batman would come in and kick both of their butts :P

  13. “I’m like, really? Thor? Thor has a movie? [Laughter.] Really? I mean, come on. And there’s no Superman movie? This is, like, the world’s out of balance. It’s like, we’ve lost our minds here, people, come on.”

    Tell me how that’s not a diss. I’m going to need Snyder to shut up about Thor until the movie comes out, then he could throw all kinds of shade at it. I was never a big Superman or Thor fan (Batman and the X-Men were it for me), but Superman, more than any other comic, had decades to make something worthy of Superman. Snyder should really just shut up until Man of Steel comes out. Save himself the extra embarassment if it flops.

    • Superman could only lift Thor’s hammer in a time of crisis as per the magical enchantment allowing this. After the crisis was over Supes couldn’t lift the hammer an inch!

      That’s truly how powerful Thor’s magical hammer is. ;) And he doesn’t use one magical/energy attack against Superman in their battle? Sorry Thor owns Superman without a doubt if he uses those powers hands down. ;)

      Synder’s already feeling the pressure better make an epic Superman film. You don’t diss other films when yours have been less than average.

      Have at thee! For ASGARRRRRRRRRRRRRRD!!!!! LOL! Sorry had to say that.

      Oh and check out the video game. Much better then any Supes game that ever came out. ;)

  14. I think that picture at the top of the article shows exactly how the character of Superman should be. I’m sure he gets tired of doing what he does all day, every day.

  15. Snyder should keep on talkin while he can. I bet both Smallville’s finale & Thor is gonna be better than his Superman reboot will be. Heck i could watch Iron man or Incredible hulk more than Singer’s Superman Returns which is a shame cause it was the first Superman film i seen on the big screen i was i have to admit i was let down leaving the theater.

  16. Maybe I am all alone here but is that really a diss?

    Superman is definitely the more popularly wellknown character

    It looks to me that he was saying how screwed up the franchise is with such a huge marquee character that isn’t involved in a highly successful movie series right now, when a character like THOR that mainly comic book readers know has a big tentpole summer movie coming out.

  17. Excuse me for asking. Isn’t Zack Snyder producing the movie? Everyone is arguing as if he is the only person involved in this thing getting done. Right now I’d let my grandmother direct a Superman just to get a new one.

  18. I have absolutely no faith that Snyder will make a quality film. All I expect are CGI sets that make would make Michael Bay cry.

  19. Nolan is a director first and he will be the kind of producer that every director hopes for – one who steps aside and lets the director make the creative choices. After all, Speilberg being a producer on Transformers didn’t stop that from sucking.

  20. How people can spit on a film before they’ve even seen an image, the Snyder Super Man project, is beyond me. At least wait for something substantial before you decide to be disappointed. Snyder’s always talked this way (I still don’t like what he said about Thor though) so just wait until we actually have something to go on, you know, like stills or a promotional poster, or even…wait for it…a trailer.

  21. I don’t get the “Thor gets a movie before Superman” thinking. Superman had had five films, his most recent in 2005. He’s had several animated series and four live-action shows.

  22. And let’s be real – Superman beat Thor in the comics because fans voted for that outcome. I can’t believe I’ve joined this idiotic argument!

    • There was no vote. You’re thinking of Marvel VS. DC. Fans voted on the outcomes and Superman defeated Hulk.

  23. I don’t think Snyder meant any ill will towards Thor. It’s just a comic book movie that’s coming out and looks good. He’s probably kicking himself now thinking “why didn’t I word that differently?”

    • Or possibly “Like, why didn’t Deborah go like ‘Dude, totally shut UP’ or whatever?”

  24. Wouldn’t it be cool once the Superman flick comes out and all the Marvel films had settled to have ma mano y mano throwdown between Hemsworth and Cavil,in their costumes and acting the characters,out in a Wrestlemania ring??wouldn’t that be cool???Then you could actually say who the real winner is..

    • Would that be in mud or jello? ;-)

      • Jello. Giggity

  25. Captain America trailer! if anyone is interested … lol

  26. Let’s face it. Snyder’s Superman sucked. It was dull, boring, and unoriginal. I’ll take his criticism of superhero flicks with a grain of salt. Marvel vs DC is the age old apples to oranges comparison. In my view DC captures a pop-art flashy action take on stories while Marvel has been focused on character drama. Depends on your mood.

    • Cj

      What are you talking about? Snyder hasn’t released a supes movie yet.

    • Cj…

      All of your comments confirmed you haven’t actually WATCHED a DC film. You MAY have been in a theater when one was playing on the screen, but you obviously had a great nap at the time. Yes, they’ve screwed up a number of things (Shaq as Steel? REALLY?), but they’ve also done many wonderful, sometimes outright brilliant things with their films…including with character presentation and development. By the same token, Marvel has had a lot of great elements in THEIR films as well, but they also have botched quite a few things (“I am Iron Man”…funny, yes, and sounds cool to end the film, BUT would destroy Stark’s life that early in his Iron Man career…NOT too smart).

      By the way, can you give me the lottery numbers from the the time you’ve travelled to, since you’ve OBVIOUSLY visited the future to see a film THAT HASN”T EVEN BEEN MADE YET.

    • Uh snyder has not made his movie yet .

  27. No Routh I’ll be passing on this Supe movie I still haven’t seen the last two Bond films Bronson was cool Craig is just a creepy looking Bond

    • David Dale

      You’re missing out. The first bond with Daniel Craig was pretty damn good.

      • Yes but his second was one of the worst things my eyes, ears and brain have ever encountered.

  28. Sooooooo that means we are going to have to sit thru another origins story and wait 3 or more years to get to the good stuff. And as it goes for superman returns…i wanted to kill myself like seriously kill myself. I don’t think Lois lane would be able to handle the pregnancy of superman’s child it would like punch thru her stomach don’t you think. It always made the most sense to me that wonder woman would be the only one who would be able to handle it.

    • Since Lois and Clark are two different species, it would seem they couldn’t have children. But I guess one could argue that the red rays made him human but then how could the boy be Kryptonian. I just think making Supes have a child was a bad mistake.

  29. Biggest superhero in the planet? The father of every superhero? hahahaha I loved 300 and Watchmen but come on Zack, Superman is one of the lamest superheroes ever invented (although I like All-Star Superman). i mean I don’t see any interesting in a superhero that is almost invincible, he is not even human and has the most stupid secret identity.

    • Actually, YES. The Superman comics were the first actual superhero comics. Before 1938, there were plenty of heroes…cowboys, detectives, space adventurers, supernatural investigators, etc. There had been NO ONE like Superman…at least, not since the advent of myths and legends. Superman’s success inspired the creation and publication of Batman and all heroes that followed.

      In short, YES, he was the “father” of all superheroes.

      As for your opinion on his coolness or likeability, you’re entitled to express your disdain…just know that MANY thoughtful, intelligent, educated people of various ages find him fascinating, cool, and worthwhile…thank goodness.

      • Ok you have your opinion, I have my opinion, end of the story.

        • We were saying the same thing about having opinions, so yes, that story ends.

          As for the historical reference I made in my first paragraph, THAT is simply a fact.

      • Yeah, but there’s a reason why so many people now think Batman is cooler.

        • For the record, Batman IS my favorite comic superhero, BUT I very much appreciate Superman’s place in the DC multiverse.

          Not really sure WHAT this had to do with the conversation Kique and I were having…?