Zack Snyder Talks Spielberg, American Mythology And Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice


We are now just six months away from the release of the highly anticipated DC movie, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and things are heating up in the Warner Bros. publicity department.

While it may not quite be the final countdown, now is the time that the giant marketing machine will begin to partner up with previously scheduled events, such as the Superbowl, for example. The studio is working with a popular snack brand to run a competition that will give a fledgling filmmaker the chance to work alongside director Zack Snyder on a future DC project. The good news for those that are not fledgling filmmakers, is that Snyder has been talking to the press to publicize the venture, leading to some interesting comments being made in an interview with Yahoo.

Firstly, on the subject of superhero movies in general, Zack Snyder briefly discussed the recent comment made by Steven Spielberg – in which he stated his belief that eventually, the superhero genre would ‘go the way of the western.’

“He might not be wrong. I think it puts more pressure on us, the filmmakers, to not just crank out superhero movies for the sake of it. To me, the one thing I love, working in the DC universe, is that Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman are American mythology. It’s not about making a superhero, it’s a mythological universe that we live in that, I hope, stands the test of time. They stood the test of time. That’s hopefully the sort of magic bullet. But who knows what audiences will want in the future.”

Snyder’s thoughts on this point are key. The current dominance of the superhero movie is something of a hot-button issue and, as a movie-making legend, Steven Spielberg’s perspective on the subject will inevitably carry a lot of weight in the media. However, while the general tone of that report seems dismissive of the genre, Snyder takes the long-term view in terms of the contribution that can be made to the evolution of cinema.

While the western may have long since had its heyday, it remains an important chapter in the history of cinematic storytelling. If our big-screen output is, over time, a reflection of the way our societies are developing, then the superhero genre speaks volumes about the current world situation and our attitudes toward it.

Even if, in thirty years’ time, we are viewing superhero movies as outdated and old-fashioned, they will remain careful documentation of who we were and what we were thinking at this time. This is why there is additional pressure, as Snyder says, to make these movies have real meaning and value. As for the unpredictable nature of audience desires, he is right again. Who could have predicted the explosion of the ‘found footage’ film, for example, before 1999’s The Blair Witch Project?

With regard to the main characters of the DC cinematic universe, Snyder is under no illusions as to the cultural significance of the ‘Big Three,’ and has no concerns about introducing so many other famous characters into Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. It’s all about staying focused.

“To me, it’s about the drama – the humanity of it. Those are like Shakespearean characters, Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent – they have inherent drama built into their make up.

“I try to stay central. There’s something really fun about bringing the other characters in, but it’s really about staying central to the real core mythology, [which] is what I think the audience enjoys the most.”