Zack Snyder behind the scenes of Batman V Superman

Chadwick Boseman is a bonafide Marvel superhero now, having made his debut as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War in May. But he’s a superhero fan, too, and like a lot of us he set aside some time earlier this year to check out that other big superhero-on-superhero movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unfortunately, also like a lot of us, he came away disappointed.

Where Boseman differs from the general moviegoing public, though, is that he knows firsthand what the process of making a big-budget superhero movie is like. The Marvel star recently shared his thoughts on what exactly went wrong with Warner Bros. / DC’s Batman v Superman

Boseman chatted about Batman v Superman in an interview with Radio Times.

I was there the first night to see Batman v Superman, got my popcorn and everything, and I’m not exactly sure what they did wrong. But I feel like sometimes you see a movie — and I could be wrong, or saying this because I’m in the industry — you can see that there’s at times [too] many people deciding something. That there’s not a clear voice from the director. Sometimes when you watch movies you see that the producers are saying something, someone else is saying something, the directors are saying something. And sometimes, it doesn’t work.

I don’t know if that’s why it doesn’t resonate, if it’s because maybe the director didn’t get his cut, I have no way of knowing that. I just feel like, what I have experienced at Marvel is that the directors are very much making the movie. So maybe that’s it.

While Marvel and DC have a long-running rivalry, it doesn’t sound like Boseman is taking cheap shots at the competition. Instead, his comments come across like a thoughtful analysis of his own industry. And he’s not wrong. I liked Batman v Superman, and think it feels like a Zack Snyder film — but it’s true that the theatrical cut feels muddled in a way that smacks of studio interference. Things seem to happen just because the franchise needs them to, not because characters are making choices that stem organically from their motives or personalities. A lot of those issues were smoothed over in the Ultimate Edition, but not nearly as many people saw that, and those same problems were even more apparent in Suicide Squad.

It’s not that Marvel’s movies are any less franchise-driven than the competition’s, and they’ve occasionally fallen into some of the same traps as Warner Bros. / DC. (Just recall all the drama surrounding Avengers: Age of Ultron.) On the whole, though, they’ve done a better job of hiding the seams. Civil War had a lot of the same goals as Batman v Superman — paying off earlier movies, setting up future films, introducing new characters, pitting good guys against each other. But Joe and Anthony Russo (with an assist from all the past Marvel directors) made all that plate-spinning look easy in a way Snyder couldn’t, at least in the theatrical cut.

Boseman’s Black Panther arrives in theaters February 16, 2018Ryan Coogler is directing.

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