It’s official: Zack Snyder will direct Superman film [updated]

Oct. 04, 2010 | 3:01 p.m.
zack snyder zack snyder zack snyd 2 Its official: Zack Snyder will direct Superman film [updated]

Zack Snyder (Los Angeles Times)

It’s official: Zack Snyder will direct the Warner Bros. revival of Superman, the first and most famous costumed superhero of them all.

The director of “300” and “Watchmen” will work side-by-side with producers Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, the tandem that pulled the Batman character back toward cinematic credibility with the films “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” the latter grossing more than $1 billion at theaters worldwide. David S. Goyer (“Batman Begins”) is writing the script and shares the story credit with Nolan.

The 44-year-old Snyder sounded thrilled Monday over the phone.  “I feel awesome,” he said before correcting himself. “I feel super awesome.”

superman alex ross1 Its official: Zack Snyder will direct Superman film [updated]

Superman by Alex Ross (DC Comics)

Snyder has shown a flair for kinetic hyper-reality and he says that in recent days he finds that he “lays awake at night” thinking about the ways to present a Man of Steel who flies across the skylines of a city called Metropolis. He declined to talk about the story or the casting — “He has to be a man … that’s as far as I’ve gotten” — but he said the film production will target a holiday 2012 release.

superman vs titano Its official: Zack Snyder will direct Superman film [updated]

Superman (DC Comics)

The producing team also includes  Charles Roven (“The Dark Knight”) and Deborah Snyder , the director’s wife and filmmaking partner.  Thomas Tull of Legendary Pictures will executive produce. Snyder is best known for R-rated fare — with the exception of the just-released “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” — but he said his passion for comics and a character that dates back to 1938 likely earned him the coveted job of relaunching the signature franchise.

“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,” Snyder 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.”

Snyder met Nolan at ShoWest in Las Vegas in March and their conversations about the possibilities of the Superman revival gathered momentum through the months. The modern superhero cinema puts an emphasis on dark antiheroes and haunted souls, such as Batman and Wolverine, or lovable hard-luck cases, such as Spider-Man and Hellboy while Superman has been dismissively described as a “big blue Boy Scout” for his wholesome  aura and that classic mission statement of fighting for “truth, justice and the American way.”  The perception that the character may have a bigger past than future may have been reinforced by the solid but unspectacular success of  Bryan Singer’sSuperman Returns” in 2006.

Snyder said the modern movie mode does present a challenge in a pop-culture era of  Red Dead Redemption and “Inception” but he refuses to think that a character that rivals Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus in recognizability can ever be considered a relic.  “I think he is viable, yes,” Snyder said. “He endures. We all want to know, ‘How will he come to us now?’ He is the biggest and the baddest of them all. The greatest of them all, right? We all want to know how the next chapter takes shape. I want to know how it will take shape.”

— Geoff Boucher


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ON THE SET: Exclusive photos from “Smallville” set

The Superman problem: Can he still fly in 21st century?


74 Responses to It’s official: Zack Snyder will direct Superman film [updated]

  1. Jason says:

    So we'll have balls-to-the-wall action and incredible visuals but we'll more than likely be trading emotional substance for it. Not sure how to feel about this.

  2. Jay says:

    ‎– looking forward to seeing Kal-El back on the big screen…

  3. Ray says:

    In Christopher Nolan I Trust.

    • tom says:

      absolutely, i think because he has something a lot of today's fim makers lack desperately: respect for the craft of film making. his faith in actors and good story telling coupled with an outright neglect of 100% CGI garbage films, makes him someone worthy enough to write about our heroes. he knows that there still are some fans who need more than CGI, a stupid script, and pretty faces to look at. some movie goers actually want to watch a good movie. and i believe he is intelligent enough to not cast mere pretty boys as our heroes. and please keep angelina out of your films, no need. and cast jim caviezel as superman. not welling or some other face please. i trust him because i know that whatever choices he makes, are done with a nod towards great film making and story telling, and not possible profits.

  4. cantwait2seethis says:

    Now we can see something new,something exciting, something that will tug at our emotional core,something that will blow our minds and make us say "yea, I just had to go see it at the movie theaters again & again". Cause lets face it the last one was a "I'll wait till its on T.V" ZAC s TEAM NOLANs TEAM Nuff said.

  5. TW4S says:

    Tom Welling PLEASE!!!! For SUPERMAN…He is this generations SUPERMAN!

    • Robert says:

      Mr. or Ms's whoever you are. . .. . . . .. .I totally and 100% agree with you.
      Tom Welling should be our next and last Superman. At this years comic con, this summer in an interview promoting Smallville Season 10 (The best show in the world) he said in this interview that he was allwways oppened to the idea and would love to. He also said it's just not as simple as everyone wants it to be with the Legal battles and eveyhting write now. from Warner Brothers to "DC" and Christopher Nolan helming the new Superman franchize.
      But i totally agree with you.

    • Robert says:

      and i have to ask my friend. do you belong to the superman homepage as tomwelling4superman. becaus ei do to. you may have heard of me for sure allways defending smallville an d tom welling. superman0577

    • nanaboop says:

      I TOTALLY AGREE! As the article said, he has put the most hours in playing this character….he deserves and looks the part. Please make him the next on screen Superman Chris Nolan. It would be the perfect end to his Smallville TV series!

    • Hypoxic says:

      Welling isn't this generation's Superman. He's this generation's Gap model disguised as Clark Kent.

    • Guest says:

      For a generation of idiots,maybe.

  6. glendaledailyplanet says:

    We think Zack Snyder will do a fine job

  7. Brian F. says:

    I know "Superman Returns" didn't exactly set box office fire but Brandon Routh did a pretty good job in the role. He invoked the memory of Christopher Reeve while still making the movie his own. Bring back Brandon!!!

    • alfalfa323 says:

      Brandon looked like Christopher Reeve, but utterly lacked Christopher's breezy charm in the role. It wasn't Brandon's fault necessarily; Christopher Reeve was a highly trained and accomplished actor before he took the role of Superman. My vote would be for a full re-boot.

    • guest says:

      a follow up to superman returns with both feet on the ground from the start now that the new superman has been intruduced would work out real good.

      i liked superman returns anyway.

  8. Paul says:

    Watchmen was like watching the comic, perfect.

    Mr. Nolan, you're on a roll. I would have said that even before Inception.

  9. loyal fan says:

    I am also a loyal fan OF TOM WELLING'S "Smallville" tv show. He would be the perfect Superman

    • Robert says:

      I am the biggest my friend and my vote is for Tom Weling too. . . . i really will be so mad if Chris don't choose him or at least have lunch or dinner with the man and talk to him.

  10. Mapleson says:

    Superman the baddest of them all? Really? I hope they don't try the synthetic Kryptonite = baddas Superman from Superman III again.

  11. Peter Avanzino says:

    I came to accept Watchmen by realizing the Snyder has a much higher tolerance for violence than I do. I hope he can reign it in for Big Blue.
    I also hope he can think of a threat for Supes to foil other than Real Estate Fraud.

  12. Hack Snyder says:

    Zack is a hack in every sense of the word. He ruined 300 and Watchmen. Now he will ruin Superman. I’m very sad about the continued ruining of an iconic character.

    • Enlightened says:

      Get a life and get over your narrow uneducated opinion. Zack has more talent in the nail on his little finger than you have in your lame point of view.

    • Alex says:

      U have no idea what you are talking about. The Watchmen is an incredibly difficult story to adapt to the big screen and for what it's worth Snyder did a great job. With regards to 300, obviously you know nothing about the history of the Battle of Thermopylae, cause if you did you would not so hastily criticize his interpretation. Snyder took a stylized approach while still managing to convey some key historical points (considering the only true description of the event is in Heroduts' ;The Histories'). Not to mention Dawn of the Dead was an amazing recreation of the original and one of the best zombie flicks of this decade.

  13. Ray says:

    A good choice. I was worried when that indie dominated director list came out. Superman requires a big scope and those indie guys didn't seem ready to me.

    As for casting Superman, I like Jon Hamm and Tom Welling, for different reasons. Jon Hamm has gravitas. An older, mature Superman is something we have never seen before. Audiences could be intrigued. And no actor has ever look more like Superman than Tom Welling. It's like he stepped right from the pages of a comic book. Welling has a nice handle on the role and a great Superman presence. Bonus: both Hamm and Welling are true corn-fed Midwesterners.

  14. Max says:

    Cool. Wonder if it will be set in the mood, tempo and era of iPhone,Ipods and Ipads or back in the day when public pay phones were chop a block. Pay phone booths you remember those dont you?

  15. the others says:

    A Superman movie should show us how awesome his power is…we all know he's the strongest, fastest, flies, heat vision, etc…the best part about Superman Returns was the first segment when he's saving the airline. What this generation of movie making can bring are those amazing larger than life scenes of Superman defeating an entire alien armada invading earth, or battling a megalomaniac android powered by kryptonite… All done with incredible special effects and wonderful wizardry.

  16. demopublican says:

    Would be nice to get away from the gritty story lines that these guys typically produce.

    Superman was always about 007 meets grand scale action. Not in your face action with personality conflicts with tough choices: those are Marvel characters.

    Likely will look like every other Nolan movie: the fanboys will go crazy over it, but it’s the same old plot/direction/style. Fresh, no, entertaining, likely.

    • stafferty says:

      I don't think of recent movies as "gritty" so much as realistic in comparision to the main charaters. Batman is a "gritty" character who saw his parents murders and wanted revenge against all criminals, and the rest of the world had to be constructed as a place that would drive a man to think that way. Many of the other attempts to be girtty have fallen a bit short in my opinion, because they all seemed to place character flaws above the realism of the enviornment.

      I belive that the angle in this movie will take a "no matter how powerful you are, you can't help everyone" angle. This will be more of an introverted, subliminal story where Kent/Superman has to keep running out on Lana/ Lois during key events in order to help others. An internal conflict is the only conflict a nearly indestrucable man can really face. Otherwise it would simply fighting an army of kyrptonite robots.

  17. jonny says:

    I don't think Welling looks like superman at all. Routh looks the part waaaay more. If you think welling looks like superman then you haven't really read or even seen the comic books. Just smallville fans and chicks think he looks like superman…uh huh.

    I hope snyder doesn't eff this up. I have faith in Nolan, he hasn't had a bad outing yet.

    • daniela says:

      Every generation with their Superman. We grew up with Welling playing so good the Superman role in Smallville, and we lived through him the early ears of the Man of Steel. And yes we think that he is the perfect Superman, the way he is, not the way someone thinks the Superman from the comic books would look.

  18. Lou says:

    Superman Returns was one of the worst movies ever made in the history of motion pictures. Anything will be an improvement over Singer's garbage.

    • guest says:

      superman returns was a classic tale of superman`s levil of heroism.even if it may kill him like when he carried the kryptinite mountian in space.eknowing the protective layer of materal would melt.

      superman returns is probally the most underrated superhero ever made.

  19. Robert says:

    Tom Welling for Superman. . . . . . . .!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Since Christopher Reeve Superman (The one And only Superman) I havn't liked anyone or wanted anyone to portray the man of steel. The man is spectacular and surley can go from the greatest show on earfth Smallville to a full lengthed motion blockbuster billion dollar christopher nolan movie.

    Nolan please cast Tom Welling as our next and last Superman. t least sit down and have lunch or dinner with the man and talk. Smallvilel season 10 , the final series ends in may. Tom can deffinatley pull it off!

  20. Luis says:

    TOM Welling for superman, he is the best choice !!!!!!!!!!

  21. Lyn says:

    Tom Welling IS Superman! Let's see him on the big screen in his role. Erica Durrance IS Lois Lane also.

  22. Sargon says:

    Superman is too dated. Movie will flop.

    • guest says:

      superman is a timeless charactor with a sense of honor . heros with a more ruthless attitude like batman and the punisher fit well good in comic books and comic book movies but heros who are superpowered boy scouts are needed to balance things out.

  23. Rebecca Honey says:

    They better not include Lex Luthor or General Zod in the new Superman movie or any Superman movies for a while. There are many Superman villains that have not been used in the movies but have been used on Smallville such as Bizarro, Brainiac, Doomsday, Metallo, Toyman and shortly, Darkseid. Other villains that they can use include Atomic Skull, Bloodsport, Bruno Mannheim, Conduit, Cyborg Superman, Faora, Gog, Imperiex, Intergang, Jax-Ur, Kryptonite Man, Livewire, Mala, Mercy Graves, Mongul, Morgan Edge, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Parasite, Prankster, Sam Lane, Silver Banshee, Solaris, Superboy-Prime, Superman Revenge Squad, Terra-Man, Titano, Ultra-Humanite, Ultraman.

  24. Brett says:

    While I appreciate that Tom Welling has a passionate fan base, I'm sure that Nolan and Snyder have a different plan for the character of Clark Kent/Superman than did the producers/creators of "Smallville." Trying to shoehorn Tom Welling into that would be a disservice to Welling and to the film. I loved Dean Cain in the role on "Lois & Clark," but I'm certainly not clamoring for him to be cast in the big screen role. Why not trust these filmmakers to make their own decisions and their own choices, and hope it will be a successful and entertaining story? I, too, don't think that Luthor should automatically be the villain; "Batman Begins" was a big success using two villains that no one outside of comic book readers had ever heard of (R'as al Ghul and the Scarecrow).

  25. Tbone says:

    Awesome. Billy Crudup is my pick for casting the Man of Steel. He's respected, manly, a helluva actor and conveys the "alien-like" quality that I feel is lost in most Superman casting. Get him in weight training right now and he'll be ready to start shooting in 6 months!

  26. FHutch says:

    superman is the lamest superhero of all (next to batman) they should stop making any movies about him because they will ultimately fail, no one wants to see a cornball flying through the air in tights and a cape fighting for "truth, justice, and the american way", that may have been exciting in the 1930's but not now, and oh by the way DC sucks!! Green Lantern will flop also.

  27. tada says:

    Please no origin story! Although not a deal breaker, it would be neat to get Welling and Durance (my favorite Lois) on screen.
    The nice thing with Zach helming is we'll finally get a true Superman fight. Should be exciting!

  28. FilmFilm says:

    Yawn, who needs another remake of a remake of a remake, more proof that Hollywood is creatively bankrupt.

  29. chuck says:

    Please please please let them make a movie without Luthor.

  30. Katrin says:

    Please not Zod. Dear God. WB is determined to drag around Donner's rotting corpse for the rest of time. In 7 movies we've seen only 2 of Superman's foes. Really WB? Really?? You can't show us a NEW villain? We're stuck with the same two for the rest of eternity, because sainted Donner only featured those 2?

    I hope WB studios burn down to the ground. I really do. Worthless hacks.

  31. jimjamX says:

    Dwayne Johnson should be cast as Superman. His charisma would be a welcome change from the souless performances of Brandon Routh and Tom Welling. The Great One as the Man of Steel would be brilliant and groundbreaking. And cast Ed O'Neil as Perry White.

  32. Stu says:

    I hold out slim hope that the Superman reboot will be on par with Batman Begins– a serious re-thinking of the iconic hero.

  33. anil says:

    iam eagerly waiting for this movie.

  34. Matthew says:

    Why should people see the superman reboot? ill tell you why, Christopher Nolan aka GOD and Zack "THE MAN" Snyder…..nuff said

  35. stafferty says:

    I would like to see Andy Whitfield from "Sparticus: Blood and Sand" as Superman. He has the intensity and acting chopsto pull of action scenes as well as more tender moments, plus has already acted in a TV show shot similarly to Snyder's style. While I am a huge Jon Hamm fan, I wouldn't want him as Superman. He is just too identifiable as Don Draper for me to think of him as anything else.

    Welling wouldn't be bad but its hard to think of him as anything but a teenager who happens to have superpowers. Clark Kent is the secrect identity when you think of the Man of Steel, I would rather see a story where the actor is "Superman" first and a human being a distant second, and that is not the charator Welling has played. I want a movie with the goal of bringing the two side very different sides of Kent/Superman to more of a balance.

  36. Jim says:

    Tom Welling is NOT Supes. One of the reasons I don't watch the show is Tom Welling. He's too scrawny (Superman has been a lot of things in his long and august career, but scrawny has never been one of them), he doesn't have an ounce of acting talent, and he should be banned from playing the role ever again. And Jon Hamm, well, no offense but he's too old. And so will Brandon Routh be by the time this movie comes out. It's got to be someone with Routh's physique and ability to play both sides of the coin, but who is age appropriate. No Welling, no Hamm, no Routh, someone new.

  37. adrianIII says:

    Do you think that the real Superman wore foam-muscle padded tights? Tom Welling’s perpetual baby-fat body eliminates him from consideration. Routh might be able to do it if he spends some time beefing up. Or… someone new? I hope there is an actual story involved… we already know that you can do “anything” with CGI these days.

  38. Heli0tr0pe says:

    "We all want to know, ‘How will he come to us now?’" Really? We do, huh?

    You may recall that Bryan Singer asked that very same question four years ago (with his $300-million Richard Donner tribute reel)…and the answer was a collective, resounding "Who cares?"

  39. Karl says:

    I think Jon Hamm/Older Superman is the way to go, it makes him vulnerable and more compelling. Its also the best way to distinguish the reboot from previous incarnations of the story and also from the other comic book franchise.

    I enjoy Tom Welling on Smallville, but truthfully that show jumped the shark a couple seasons ago when they moved to Metropolis and I think there is too much bagage and "canon" issues when transfering the TV version to film.

  40. Geo says:

    Tom Welling as Superman

  41. Earl Cooper says:

    Forget all that has come before. What dragged Superman Returns down was the constant paying homage to Superman The Movie. Don't cast someone because they resemble Chris Reeves. Cast them because they are SUPERMAN! Do not utilize Lex Luthor this time around. Get away from all of that. This isn't the Bronze age( as much as I love it ). Flying with Lois in front of the moon is passe'. I want to see the Man Of Steel fighting Brainiac and his Skull ship in the dark depths of outer space. Not so much humour.

  42. the salmon says:

    sounds promising but ANYTHING will better than superman returns

  43. glen says:

    Tom Welling not Superman? Thanks Zack! For screwing this Superman film up! For the past 10 years Tom has been Clark Kent/Superman. And you didn't pick him??!!!! May I ask, WHAT THE @#$# IS WRONG WITH YOU??!!!! Dumb ass! And thanks for supporting an AMERICAN actor! Now all A list Super heros are being played by the brits!!! Thanks alot asshole!

  44. claude says:

    I would live to see a galactic threat facing Earth.Superman fighting a fleet of invaders, uniting the world behind him…that would be Epic.

  45. lenox akilian says:


  46. JoAnn Klimowicz says:

    Let's take a look at Zach Snyder's resume shall we??? 300??? Sucker Punch?? SUPERMAN IS DOOMED TO FAIL!

    Brandon Routh has matured and would have been perfect…Henry Cavill is a British Poof!!!

  47. Sup fan says:

    I agree on Tom Welling. He is a decent actor and has played to role long enough to understand the character. The whole Smallville show is about him understanding and dealing with his powers. I for one would like to see him as Superman all the time. I'm sorry but I'm really tired of the Clark Kent persona. And the love story with he and Lois is getting real lame. Also dump Lex Luthor unless he can be more a scientific/technology genius like in the comics. Take him away from earth to another planet were he must stop an invasion of some kind. Place him in an environment where he can tear some sh*t up without worrying about weak humans getting hurt.

  48. Masimillian says:

    All you need to do is play up the fact that he's an orphan. The Kents are great parents, but he feels alone with all this alien power. Don't have Jor-El talk to Supes in the Fortress of Solitude as if he's not really dead. When Supes goes up there, it should just be him in a structure that instinctively reminds him of his true home, period.
    Also, if a Superman lost control, even for a second, the way less-powerful characters like Wolverine do, he could kill hundreds or thousands. That burden would also humanize him.
    Oh, and don't make the 'S' shield small and girly. Get it out there big and proud!

  49. LWG says:

    They should've casted Brandon Routh again. I think only ugly people didn't appreciate his performance in "Returns". So what if it's a reboot? Everybody knows that. His physical appearance not to mention his humility and quiet confidence are just what makes him perfect for the role of Superman. You gotta cut him some slack, it was his first movie and was working with the best script. Even Superman I was boring and not all that great. It was Superman II that made it a classic. But still "Returns" should've been given a sequel so the movie could have had a chance to prove its story. If Superman and Lois got married in the comics, what's wrong with having a child?

    • Karen says:

      YES! Brandon Routh captured the humility and goodness in Superman. And, he looks like Chris Reeve's brother. He's got the square chin and right face. Superman has to have a face like a rock. Tom Wellings is too soft. His Lois Lane was horrible too work off of. Amy Adams is the right choice. So, make Brandon Routh, or his type have the same qualities as Chris Reeve and Brandon Routh, but make him also more of a bad ass, kick ass kinda guy, like in the Justice League-speaking of which, can't you bring some of them into the movie? He's still numero uno, but has some friends, ya know. They help each other against a league of evil guys with powers. I fear the director has done so much dark stuff, he will make Superman dark. This cannot be. If they do that, you will lose everyone but the teens or twenty somethings. And now that Superman has a son, you could either forget about it, or play it into the script. Something tells me this movie doesn't have a good chance of keeping our hero alive in our hearts as who he really is.

  50. Dogen says:

    Superman will endure. Simply because he is the most recognizable hero in the cosmos. The challenge is to find people who know how to present the character.

    First of all, I agree that Luthor has to go away. There are way to many characters in Supes universe to waste anymore time with him. Darksied and the New Gods would give this movie a whole new feel.

    Also, making Supes more human and emotional would go a long way with audiences. Enough of the perfect character and boy scout image.

    • guest says:

      even better would be the hmore human levil and the superpowered boyscout at the same time.

      the "boy scout" aspect is a major part of superman.

  51. guest says:

    in reference on the lack of a real superstrength moment in superman returns the kryptinite mountian scene didn`t do that?

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