With Man of Steel on the horizon, it's hard to believe that there was ever a time when Superman was something to be laughed at or doubted. Zack Snyder's reboot of the "king-daddy" of all superheroes is back with a chip on his shoulder, and already more anticipated by audiences than Marvel's metallic front man.
That's no surprise to Snyder, since he claims this is Superman's world; we're all just living in it. Including Marvel's characters who have prospered in his absence.
Brief samples of Snyder's interview with SFX Magazine spoke to how different his approach to every facet of Superman would be, from a more 'violent' flight to a crumbling Kryptonian empire. Now that the full interview has made its way online, the director's clear preference for DC Comics' heroes is sure to get some tongues wagging.
Not one to mince words, Snyder made his views on the current slate of Marvel's heroes clear, and how he hopes Man of Steel will remind everyone which comic book character it was that started an entire medium:
"It's Superman. If you get it right he's kinda transcendent. The Superman shield is the second most recognisable symbol on planet Earth other than the Christian cross."
"If you get it right, that's the question you'll be asking everyone else. That should be the question you're asking Iron Man and Thor. How is it that you feel you can be making a superhero movie in a world where Superman and Batman exist?"
So what does Snyder make of the distinction (thus far) between Marvel's more fantastic and 'adventure' superhero films, and the grounded, more contemplative likes of The Dark Knight? Anyone doubting that the two movie universes (one established, the other budding) are entirely divorced need look no farther than DC and Warner Bros.' attempts to follow Marvel's formula with their own Green Lantern (2011), resulting in nothing but embarrassment.
That comes as no surprise to Snyder, since he sees DC's most iconic heroes as existing on a completely different level from those currently enjoying the biggest box office takes:
"They truly are purer archetypes...They're literally Biblical. If you get the DC characters right, they can be important, they can be about us. It's not just a romp. That's the fun, for me, of working on this movie. We got that it was important. We weren't apologising for Superman, which I feel has happened in the past. It's Superman, for God's sake. He's a thing to be celebrated."
It's not hard to see what Snyder is getting at, especially when considering Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (2006). Singer has since explained that his take on Superman may have been a bit too romantic and nostalgic for much of his audience, but that doesn't seem to be what Snyder is driving at.
Given what we've seen of Snyder's take on Superman - in numerous promotional images and the latest action-packed trailer - a Singer-esque shot of a room full of reporters going doe-eyed or swooning over Superman seems ridiculous. Singer's spit-curled Superman may have cracked a smile and shook his head whilst flying away from awestruck crowds, but Snyder's is a whole different animal.
We're inclined to think that DC fans will be glad to finally hear their own thoughts echoed by Snyder, but we're sure Marvel fans would disagree. Either way, we can't wait to see what Snyder will say if he actually gets to direct Justice League.
Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14th, 2013.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: SFX (via Man of Steel Community Page)