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Help Us, Zack Snyder! You’re Our Only Hope

Written by James Leggett

To say that the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an anticipated release would be an astronomical understatement. In 2016, we may see more superhero films than ever crowded into a calender, and now with the success of Deadpool, which got the audience worked up extremely well, we’re getting the main event next month. Whether you’re a DC fanboy or a Marvel fanboy (or, like normal people, appreciate both) you can’t deny that Superman and Batman are the juggernauts who reign over every other superhero. They’re the heroes your grandparents are aware of, having endured for over seventy-five years and transcended the comic world into the mainstream conscious long before “Superhero” was a genre for film. The hype surrounding the first encounter on the big screen is undeniable. Throw in Wonder Woman too and possible Justice League cameos and you’re looking at a $200 million domestic opening. So why should there be any worry?

Well, the previous DC/Warner Brothers installment Man of Steel was not exactly the homerun that Iron Man was for Marvel back in 2008. The reception was mixed and led to some apprehension towards the idea of a DC Cinematic Universe with Zack Snyder navigating. With Batman v. Superman fast approaching, it looks like Snyder’s flair for excessive amounts of CGI destruction is still evident. Rumors for this film pop up as often as trailers do and speculation regarding questionable casting, doubts from the studio, and the apparent cramming in of several characters for the sake of catch-up lead to inevitable concern. Flashes of Spider-Man 3 come to mind.

Snyder has received criticism before for his approach to action filmmaking. His overuse of green screen and slo-mo chaotic sequences prove more tiresome than thrilling. It didn’t help that the climax for Man of Steel clocked in around forty-five minutes, serving as a pinpoint for easy nitpicking. And based on interviews, it doesn’t sound like Snyder is too apologetic of his direction and endless destruction.

But a big difference with this upcoming film is, well, Batman. Specifically, Ben Affleck. He became a new icon when he stepped behind the camera and even brought in his Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio to take control of the script. The overwhelming hatred towards the casting of Affleck has changed dramatically as we’ve seen him in action (quite literally) and presenting a Dark Knight that looks like he jumped right out of a Frank Miller panel. The most recent trailer had internet buzzing and really showcased what kind of Batman we’re in store for. As shown in most of his filmography, Snyder has a strong appreciation for the comic medium, which is displayed as clearly as possible in his cut-and-paste Watchmen adaptation.

A big wonder regarding the possibility of Batman v. Superman bombing is whether or not Warner Bros. will then pull the plug on the entire project. If there’s anything to be said for Warner Bros. now, as opposed to a few years ago, is they are showing real confidence in their material. Not only is Suicide Squad coming out this year (meaning TWO, count ’em, TWO DC movies in one year) but other films such as Wonder Woman are already well into production. We’ve even heard the confirmation that Justice League starts shooting in April. Warner Bros. is not waiting to see if Batman v. Superman is a success; they’re already moving at full speed.

 

What are your thoughts on the DC Cinematic Universe? We’d love to hear from you in the comments and on Twitter!

About the author

James Leggett