Posted on Monday, October 4th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
Earlier today news hit that Zack Snyder is in final talks to direct the Christopher Nolan-produced David Goyer-scripted Superman movie for Warner Bros. And while everyone has an opinion on Snyder as a director on this project, I’m still wondering what is the pitch.
Four years ago Goyer was quoted as saying that he doesn’t think he’d “ever be good to write Superman because it is the opposite… [the interviewer says “he’s angst free”] Yeah. And I wouldn’t know the angle because I’m so angst ridden so I wouldn’t know what to do with a character like that.”Nolan has since said that Goyer had figured out “how you approach Superman”
“..What it is, while David Goyer and myself were putting together the story for another Batman film a few years ago, you know thrashing out where we might move on from the Dark Knight, we got stuck. We were just sitting there idly chatting and he said ”by the way, I think know how you approach Superman”.. and he told me his take on it. I thought it was really tremendous. It was the first time I’ve been able to conceive of how you’d address Superman in a modern context I thought it was a really exciting idea. What you have to remember about Batman and Superman is that what makes them the best superhero characters there are, the most beloved after all this time, is the essence of who they were when they were created, when they were first developed. You can’t move too far away from that.”
There are two interesting things of note in this quote. First off, Nolan believes that Goyer has finally figured out a way to “address Superman in a modern context.” One of the big problems with Superman, is that his attitude/design is almost too corny for the post-9/11 era. Secondly, Nolan basically says that you can’t move far away from the essence of who Superman was when he was created. The whole thing makes me a big more curious about how exactly Goyer is approaching the property.
Snyder got involved with the project when he met Nolan at ShoWest in Las Vegas in March 2010. According to The Hero Complex, the two had conversations about the possibilities of the Superman revival gathered momentum through the months.” Here is a quote Snyder gave about coming aboard the project:
“I can’t say why they came to me other than the fact that they know I have a fondness for the character and a real desire to understand him and present him to a new audience,” Synder said. “The challenge is huge but you know with Chris and Emma and Debbie I have a lot of people I can rely on. And Chris and David have given this the shape with a great story. It is a hard character to crack.”
He also told Deadline the following:
“It’s early yet, but I can tell you that what David and Chris have done with the story so far definitely has given me a great insight into a way to make him feel modern. I’ve always felt he was kind of awesome. I’ll finish Sucker Punch and get right at it.”
We still don’t know much about the project. We certainly don’t know how Goyer apparently “cracked” the character of Superman. But we have confirmed one thing — the villain of the film will be…
The Hollywood Reporter claims that Goyer’s script is “rumored” to have a connection to the original Richard Donner film, and Zod is at the center of this new story. While THR uses the word “rumor”, I have heard that Zod is the villain from two other independent high placed sources.
The character first appeared in Adventure Comics #283 in April 1961, and was created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. Zod was most famously portrayed by British actor Terence Stamp in the feature film adaptations Superman: The Movie and Superman II. Zod’s line in the film, “Come to me, son of Jor-El! Kneel before Zod!”, has become part of pop culture. Some comic book fans complain that Lex Luthor is too boring of a Superman movie villain because he is a mortal man with no powers other than super smarts.
I’ve had many of my DC Comics-obsessed friends explain that Superman needs an adversary of power. And while that makes sense, I just don’t believe that mainstream America is ready for Superman to do battle with a weird looking alien being with magical powers. However, Zod, like Superman, looks human, which somehow grounds the super powers into the reality of the story.
Don’t get me wrong, they can explore the alien android known as Brainiac, the alien monster who actually “killed” superman known as Doomsday, he fifth-dimensional imp Mister Mxyzptlk, the bad Superman known as Bizarro, or even Darkseid. But for the mainstream public to buy into the story, I believe they need to start with a story that isn’t too fantastical. And with Zod, they can do this.
Zack Snyder‘s Superman will target a holiday 2012 release.