Say what you want about Zack Snyder as a director, the man is not deterred by criticism and complaints. He is still pursuing his original vision of how Superman should be portrayed in the DC universe, despite the way it underperformed at the box office ($291 million domestically) and the low overall critical rating (55% on both Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes). Snyder plans to make the world of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice very “anti-Superman”.
A source close to the production team told the Batman-on-Film Website that the film will feature protests against the Man of Steel. New on-set photos from Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice reveal that the world is so unhappy with the man from Krypton (Henry Cavill) at the start of the film, that they’re protesting his mere presence on Earth, with signs like “Super Death”.
A tweet from an actor on the set named Tim Reinman goes…
Is this really the right way to go with the most hopeful character of the comic book genre? Snyder thinks so. He claims he’s merely depicting the “real world we live in.” Snyder says, “It’s just funny to see people really taking it personally. I made him real, you know, I made him feel or made consequences in the world. We really wanted to show it wasn’t just like they thought, like the PG-13 version where everyone just gets up and they’re fine. I really wanted to show the violence is real, people get killed or get hurt and it’s not fun or funny.”
But maybe people want their Superman to be more fun. Otherwise, how does Snyder explain the somewhat lackluster reaction to his previous attempt to make Superman out-gloom Batman? His answer is to blame Christopher Reeve for his wholesome, squeaky-clean interpretation of the character. Snyder told Forbes, “The thing I was surprised about in response to Superman was how everyone clings to the Christopher Reeve version of Superman. How tightly they cling to those ideals.”
If all this is true, Superman will once again be an outsider who engenders hate and fear instead of hope and trust. Maybe I’m one of those people who is enamored of the Chris Reeves version of the character. I am familiar with all the earlier versions like Kirk Allen, George Reeves, Gerald Christopher, Dean Cain, and Tom Welling, all of whom portrayed Superman as a source of inspiration. And let’s not forget the Super Friends.
Perhaps this is all part of a long-game strategy by Snyder and the powers-that-be at Warner/DC where Superman will slowly become a symbol of hope after three or four films. Will people stick around through so many films to get to the hero we know and love?
Perhaps Snyder and company are worried about that very thing. In response, they made the smart move to have this Superman’s next two appearances be alongside that box-office titan in the cowl, Batman, in Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Despite the mixed reaction to Man of Steel, you know everyone will flock to these two projects. This will help acclimate people to this newer, more dour Superman until the long term plan for him (if there is one) is unveiled.