Zack Snyder, left, and Robert Kirkman answer questions Friday night at the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival. (Alan Heitz / Los Angeles Times handout)Link
Zack Snyder, center, and Robert Kirkman answer questions Friday night at the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival. Hero Complex writer Geoff Boucher, left, moderates the discussion. (Alan Heitz / Los Angeles Times handout)Link
Zack Snyder, left, and Robert Kirkman answer questions on the first night of the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival. (Alan Heitz / Los Angeles Times handout)Link
Robert Kirkman answers questions Friday night at the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival. (Alan Heitz / Los Angeles Times handout)Link
Zack Snyder onstage at the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival. (Alan Heitz / Los Angeles Times handout)Link
Zack Snyder, the director of the upcoming “Man of Steel,” remained tight-lipped about the 2013 Superman film, despite persistent teasing from “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman during a Q&A Friday night at the Hero Complex Film Festival.
The Q&A — at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles — followed a screening of Snyder’s 2004 remake of “Dawn of the Dead” during a zombie-themed opening night, which also included a highlights reel of “The Walking Dead” Season 2, a screening of “Shaun of the Dead” and a Q&A with Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.
“I’m only here to ask him about the Superman movie,” Kirkman joked when he was introduced to the festival audience. But Snyder would only say he is in the editing process for the film.
“It’s going really good, actually. I’m just cutting right now,” Snyder said. “I’m really excited about it. It’s fun to work on. It’s gigantic and crazy.”
Snyder also talked about the criticism he received from Alan Moore and “Watchmen” fans after he directed the big-screen adaptation of the classic graphic novel, but said the “Watchmen” camp wasn’t as intense as the George Romero fans when he was remaking “Dawn of the Dead.”
“Zombie fans [were more strident], for sure. One hundred percent sure,” he said. “I feel like the ‘Watchmen’ fans, you can reason with them, you know. When they have you in an alley, you can talk your way kind of out of there. But zombie fans are certainly much more — especially before the movie came out, and we were just talking about what the movie would be, and how we would remake ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ it was pretty intense.”
Both Snyder and Kirkman cited Romero among their influences, with Snyder also mentioning “The Thing” and “The Shining.” Kirkman, however, said his introduction to horror came late.
“Horror-wise, I actually was not allowed to watch horror films for a really long time, which I think is why I’m such a sissy,” Kirkman said. “I was actually allowed to rent a horror movie, like every year on Halloween, and that was the only time I was ever allowed to watch a horror movie. So every year, I either got ‘Hellraiser’ or ‘Hellraiser 2.’”
Kirkman also talked about the evolution of “The Walking Dead” television series, which is based on his comic series of the same name. Now, Kirkman writes for the show as well as the comic.
“I have a really hard-and-fast rule to try and make sure that the comic doesn’t change because of the show, because I feel like the comic existed for a long time before the show, and I would be doing a disservice to myself if I changed the way I did anything,” Kirkman said. “I think I’m getting better as a writer for working on the show, because I’m learning a lot of stuff that I should have known a long time ago. I’m constantly in the writers’ room. … Hopefully because of that, it’s making the comic a little better.”
“A lot of people think that I’m like, ‘Ah yeah, cut that guy’s head off, that’s gonna be awesome. Kill some more babies!’” Kirkman said. “But every now and then I’m writing a scene and I tear up because I’m killing somebody I’ve been writing for 30 issues, or something bad’s happening.”
The festival continues Saturday with screenings of “Robocop,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “Super,” as well as Q&A’s with Peter Weller, Malcolm McDowell and Rainn Wilson.
– Noelene Clark
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