If you keep a close eye on the television screens or the big screen at your local cinema you’ll undoubtedly be aware of the upcoming superman film which is soon to grace our screens; Man of Steel. After recent super hero reboots in the past few years such as Batman and Spider-man, the new Superman film is a well welcomed addition to the collection. However after seeing various trailers for the film now and seeing the two different names that are splashed throughout the majority of them, I still have some concerns.
The two names that are shown in big bold letters are Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan. Quite an interesting mix when you think about it because you’ve got the cinematic genius of Chris Nolan as part of the writing team for the film, and then the risky figure of Zack Snyder at the helm of the film as director. Now for me that paints quite a balanced picture between good and bad because you’ve got the traits of each of them present in the film. Looking at both of their track records it paints a good picture as to how good the film is actually going to be.
Firstly on the writer’s side we have Christopher Nolan, the genius responsible for the latest Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, among other titles. He is a man that I admire greatly, not just for his directing and his general approach towards films, but because of his writing. Not only has he proved himself to be a brilliant screenplay writer for great films such as Memento and The Prestige, but he has also proven himself to be very good at writing the actual story for a film, such as The Dark Knight and Inception. Seeing his name as one of the writers for the story has filled me with a bit of confidence because the other films he has written the story for have been excellent.
He amazed audiences with the Dark Knight, displaying the collide between a man with too many rules and a chaotic man who doesn’t have any. He then went on to make one of the best films of all time in writing Inception so his history speaks for itself. Having written the story for the Batman trilogy it is clear that he is capable of successfully writing super hero based films so it will be interesting to see what he has come up with Man of Steel. I have no doubt that he’ll be treating the audience as intelligent beings as he does so for all of his films. I salute you sir.
Then on the other hand we have Zack Snyder behind the camera, pointing finger at the ready, primed to take the position of director. Now based on his history it does somewhat make me feel uneasy as to how the execution of the film will be with him as director. In the past he’s given us such works as the long winded Watchmen, the unbelievably shaky 300, and then the likes of the really ill disciplined Sucker Punch. All of those films could have been improved if considered more carefully. I won’t lie, visually I think they are very well done, Snyder has quite a nice comic book feel to his films so there is a really gritty touch to them. From the trailers it seems as though he has applied this visual approach to Superman and it appears to have worked quite well. However it just leaves me wondering how well disciplined this film will be.
With Watchmen he proved how he could take a classic graphic novel and make a fairly good adaptation of it, with a lot of room for improvement. With 300 he just showed what happens when you substitute substance of visuals, with quite a bad result, leaving the actors such as Gerard Butler to act (and furthermore shout) in a way that they want to. And then with Sucker Punch he made the point of showing us what happens when we leave him to his own devices, allowing him to make a film that was just terrible. All of these films suggest that he needs some guidance and assistance when directing a film, clearly for the good of the audience.
Combining the two together should be quite a sight because you’ve got Christopher Nolan who has a lot of attention to detail and takes great care in how his films are constructed, and then Zack Snyder who has quite a touch a go approach to films, where visuals are usually placed as a higher priority than characterisation. It just reminds me of the line that incidentally Nolan wrote for the character of The Joker in The Dark Knight: “this is what happens when an unstoppable force, meets an immovable objects”. In this case Zack Snyder is the unstoppable force because he rushes around a lot and has a scattered method of approaching a film. And then Nolan would be the immovable object because he has a clear and precise understanding of how to approach each film and crafts his films very well. As the quote suggests the meeting of the two could have disastrous effects , but then on the other hand there is always the chance of it going the opposite way.
Both of them have a different way of connecting with the audience. In Nolan’s case he treats them as intelligent beings and offers them clever films that entertain them and make them think at the same time. Snyder on the other hand seems to try and connect with the audience by offering the shared value of entertainment through a route that he understands clearly; violence. The film is 143 minutes long which is the usual amount of time a film by either of them runs for, with Nolan’s films being complex and Snyder’s being quite stretched out to the point of being ill disciplined. With the two styles of intelligence and action combined, in theory it sounds like quite a good base line for a film. Let’s just hope that in practice it is executed to our expectations.
So will the film be as structured as we would hope it to be, or will be a Sucker Punch style shamble? I would hope that with Nolan’s writing he makes it very clear as to how the film should be shown, and that Snyder pays very close attention to what he has to say and takes it on board. I’m hoping that Nolan’s writing gives the film a very strong base line, almost like scaffolding so that it can keep it well supported.
I will be going to see the films when it comes out and will probably be writing a review for it so keeps your ears to the ground for that one. Please feel free to leave any comments you have about the situation and also I would like to hear what you think of the two big names involved.
Until the next time: au revoir.