Christopher Nolan hasn’t given us any reason not to trust him. In fact, I think the phrase goes “In Nolan We Trust.” A moniker he earned by delivering four cinematic masterpieces — Insomnia, Memento, The Prestige, Inception — and three nearly perfect Batman films. Suffice to say, if he stands behind something, I think we can feel confident standing behind him, right?
With that said, let me ask you a question: how are you feeling about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel? Excited or nervous as hell?
I think most fans would put themselves in the latter category for two primary reasons:
While he is the most iconic of superheroes, he’s also the least interesting. Check it — interest comes from tension, and tension comes from conflict. Yes, Supes has had few moral dilemmas here and there, but truly, what affecting conflict can you find in an indestructible, incorruptible, morally absolute, God-like character? Not much, I’ll tell you.
Delivering a compelling Superman movie is an uphill battle, to say the least. If Tim Burton and and Bryan Singer failed at making a good Superman movie (or in Burton’s case, failed to even get off the tarmac), what faith can we have in Zack Snyder?
2. Zack Snyder.
The super speed/slow motion master is stylistically gifted, but the majority of his films have failed to live up to their promise. Fact is, Snyder doesn’t sell profound, angst-filled stories. Violence as entertainment is his ticket. Which is fine, when it comes to meat-head movies like 300, but not for the subject of Superman. Add all the slow-mo you want, it’s not going to save a movie that lacks content. Something Supes severely needs.
Concerned as most fans are (myself included), there stands a watchful protector: Christopher Nolan, who was brought on by Warner Bros. to produce and oversee Man of Steel.
While promoting the home release of his latest movie, The Dark Knight Rises, the topic of Man of Steel was brought up. The following quote (via The Playlist) may calm the ill convinced.
I wouldn’t want people to think we’re doing for Superman what we did for Batman. It’s very much Zack’s film and I think people are going to love what he’s done. I think it’s really remarkable to take on that character. Superman is a completely different character than Batman. So you can’t in anyway use the same template. But David Goyer had this, I thought, brilliant way to make Superman relatable and relevant for his audience. Zack has built on that and I think it’s incredible what he’s putting together. He’s got a lot of finishing to do on that. Superman is the biggest comic book character of them all and he needs the biggest possible movie version which is what Zack’s doing. It’s really something.
Nolan, you had me at remarkable. I accept this. I do… eh, no I don’t. I’m still skeptical. Snyder has failed time and time again to capture the emotions of a scene. His non-action scenes are like string in a popcorn necklace, i.e. this thing that gets you to the next sweet luscious piece of popcorn. Strong visual sense and green screen skill can’t replace the need for strong storytelling abilities.