Zack Snyder, the man behind 300 and Watchmen, has been tapped to direct a new Superman movie. When last we left the on-going Superman saga, Christopher Nolan had been appointed to shepherd the project. He will have a producer role, while Zack directs.
It’s funny, and a little sad, that this news comes right on the heels of the announcement that Wonder Woman will also be returning…but to the small screen. DC and Warner Bros. are clearly drawing a line in the sand here: male superheroes belong in movie theaters; female superheroes belong on TV. I guess Sigourney Weaver didn’t get the memo.
The media keeps reporting that fans were disappointed in Superman Returns, Bryan Singer’s contribution to the franchise, but I liked it. And I’m a fan. I felt the media created an antagonistic story long before the movie opened, in order to have an angle to report on the film (“Is Superman still relevant?”) and never reported on anything else. The same seems to be happening here, with most announcements of the Snyder news being accompanied by a wringing of hands and the question: “Can a new Superman movie overcome the disaster of the last Superman movie, which only grossed $200 million domestically?”
There seems to be some school of thought that suggests that only Batman is relevant nowadays, because we live in such dark, nihilistic times. But even Batman, for all his gruffness and that silly voice, isn’t really nihilistic. He saves lives and protects Gotham…because he cares. If he were truly nihilistic, he’d light a match and leave town. Hopefully, the studio won’t force some “Evil Superman” plot on Snyder, just to appease the media.
Superman is a special case, I don’t deny that at all. He was created as a symbol of hope and freedom, by people who were primarily on the outside of that particular American dream. Superman, despite his international popularity, is a distinctly American creation. While I have given up hope for our government, given up hope for equality and given up hope for the end of man’s inhumanity to man, I have not given up hope for Superman. I still believe in Superman. In what he represents, what he can inspire.
If Mr. Snyder can put that kind of hope on screen, inspiring a nation that we’re told over and over again is only capable of committing atrocities or watching the atrocities of others as entertainment, then he will have done something truly superheroic.
Superman is more than just relevant in this day and age. He’s absolutely necessary.