With “Sucker Punch” attempting to balance sincerity and absurdity in a side-by-side existence, director Zack Snyder seems primed to finally tilt matters over into the former camp with his much-anticipated Superman reboot, “Man of Steel.” Following the tentpole’s low-key unveiling during Comic Con, executive producers Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer have also promised a psychological inquiry into the comic book hero as never seen before, and now Snyder himself has offered a similarly unique comprehension of the property.
Snyder has found himself in a peculiar position fronting the latest Superman installment, as he now can attest to tackling both a committed tentpole superhero film and a hard-R sociopolitical take on the genre itself with “Watchmen.” However, in a recent interview while promoting that film’s umpteenth director’s cut, the director acknowledged his perspective may have made him the best man for the job. “It’s funny, when Nolan came to me and said, ‘Do you want to do Superman?’ I was like ‘No!’ ” Snyder admitted. “That’s a difficult one. But I felt like I knew the rules. I understand the rules of Superman — not necessarily better than anyone else — but better than a normal filmmaker would. After doing ‘Watchmen’ and digging that deep into the why of superheroes, when Superman is presented to you, I felt like I was in a unique position to say ‘I get this guy. I know what this is.’ “
Following a blockbuster weekend in which Sam Mendes applied the Nolan “Dark Knight” aesthetic to “Skyfall” with fantastic results (though not everyone agrees), it’s clear the battered-down, dour approach continues to have legs, and Snyder likewise appears devoted to that element here. “We took the mythology seriously. We take him as a character seriously,” he added. “We approached it as though no other films had been made. I’m interested in Superman because he’s the father of all superheroes. He’s this amazing ambassador for all superheroes. What was it about him that cracked the code that made pop culture embrace this other mythology? What we’ve made as a film not only examines that but is also an amazing adventure story.”
Calling Superman finally the “Rosetta Stone of all superheroes,” Snyder seems feverishly intent on paying heed to the franchise’s rich history, but with each new cast and crew member touting every subversion to its roots by the minute, it will be interesting to see what form “Man of Steel” finally takes when it’s released in IMAX 3D & regular 2D on June 14th, 2013. [Hero Complex]