New interview from Zack Snyder and his wife Deborah details the DC Extended Universe and Batman v Superman
Zack Snyder is definitely not one to hold back when it comes to movies, and he adapts whatever his heart wants. The majority of his filmography is of adaptations, and even Sucker Punch can somewhat be called an adaptation despite it being an original script. His latest adaptation of DC Comics – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – is set to destroy the box office and has tons of positive buzz coming out of press and premiere screenings. Now, TheHollywoodReporter has caught up with director Zack Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder to talk about the DC Universe.
THR got right to the chase and asked for their thoughts on Deadpool breaking the mold of comic book movies, to which Zack responded:
ZACK It doesn’t worry us because that’s what we do every time, so I think that I’m excited that a movie like that could do so well. Look at a movie like Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight. That’s a $500 million domestic movie. It’s about the way the movie’s made. No one goes to a movie and generalizes it in such a giant way that the movies are being generalized now. You could sayDark Knight is too serious. But it’s a great movie. A lot of the early stuff on Deadpool, everyone was like, “Oh, it’s too silly” or “too violent.” But apparently, that was the valve that needed to be turned and released. That’s encouraging to me because I love the idea that the individual filmmaker point of view is the thing that people want.
THR also brought up the (close-minded, stupid) speculation that the R-Rated cut was in response to Deadpool.
DEB Online, everyone’s like, “Oh, they’re doing an R-rated in reaction to Deadpool,” and you’re like (laughing), “We didn’t just shoot it last week, and we also didn’t edit it last week.”
ZACK The why of that is [the DVD version] is a half-hour longer, and some of that additional material is some of the stuff we took out for the rating. I was like, “Cool, I can put it back in for the director’s cut.” There was nothing by design. This was the material I just put back in, and then when [the MPAA] looked at it again, they were like, “Oh, now the movie’s rated R.” And, by the way, it’s not a hard R. There’s no nudity. There’s a little bit of violence. It just tips the scale.
Next, Zack and Deb discuss how DC and Warner Bros offer full creative freedom to their filmmakers as opposed to…the other guys and how it works out to their overarching storyline.
DEB Zack and [DC chief creative officer] Geoff Johns have outlined a timeline of where everybody is based off of, where our characters go in Justice League. So there’s a framework. But it’s filmmaker-driven, in that we want to hire directors who still have a point of view and that have latitude because we don’t want all the movies to feel the same. David Ayer has a certain tone and feel to what he brought to Suicide Squad, as does Patty [Jenkins] to Wonder Woman. They have freedom to tell their story in the way that it needs to be told.
ZACKBatman v. Superman was always a steppingstone for Justice League, and it was a way to bring the worlds together without being too jarring. Once you say Batman and Superman exist in the same universe, you’re also saying that Wonder Woman can exist in that world and Flash and Cyborg and Aquaman. Our philosophy, though, is it’s filmmaker-driven. A lot of it comes from the idea of “do unto others.” How would I feel if I was told, “Listen, this is your movie, but shoot it like we say”? It’s not fun and cool, and I don’t think you get the best work from everybody. To understand that, there is a bigger storyline, and let’s all support that and not blow up the entire universe because you have an idea that you think is awesome but doesn’t make sense with the bigger thing.
With all these stories and happenings going on within the DC Extended Universe, one has to wonder if there’s going to be a restrictive tone over all of the movies. In the comic books, you’d go into Batman expecting a dark crime drama but if you read The Flash maybe you’d expect a funny light-hearted superhero tale. Will it be the same for the movies? Zack and Deb answer.
ZACK The mandate is that we try and make the best movies we can. If you’re making a Flash movie with Ezra Miller, it’s like millennial Flash. It’s going to be a little lighter than making a World War I epic with this feminist icon like Wonder Woman. The films do live in a united universe. I feel like the danger is — and I think that the studio would acknowledge this — when you start to mimic things like tone. Then, when you go to the movie, you pretty much know the experience you’re going to have.
DEB Then it loses a point of view and starts to feel like it’s made by a committee.
We all know Zack Snyder is a busy-bee with the DC Comics Universe, but we’ve detailed so many projects he’s been involved with before, what he’s up to besides the DC universe? Zack reveals a new project he’s working on, The Fountainhead.
ZACK We have The Last Photograph that I’ve been working on for a long time. It’s a small, sort of weird project about a war photographer in Afghanistan. I have been working on The Fountainhead. I’ve always felt like The Fountainhead was such a thesis on the creative process and what it is to create something. Warner Bros. owns [Ayn Rand’s] script and I’ve just been working on that a little bit.
Finally, Zack responds to the misguided criticism that the movie is “too dark” or “too serious”
ZACK I would go back to the Dark Knight argument and say, “Is that a bad thing? What does that mean?” By the way, the most serious movies I’ve made in the past always have irony in them. I just gave it the weight that it deserves as far as the mythological conformation. But it’s still a guy in a red and blue suit fighting a guy in a black suit. I mean, they’re in costumes. The movie is fun, and Batman fights Superman. If you can’t have fun there, then something’s kind of wrong with you.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens ONE WEEK from now.