Zack Snyder talks costumes and studio competition for Batman vs Superman
Forbes recently sat down with director Zack Snyder to talk all things DCU and got him to pipe in about how he became a fan of Batman (Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns), how Batman came to be involved in the MAN OF STEEL sequel, a lengthy discussion about WATCHMEN and the Terry Gilliam feud, and finally, his reaction to seeing the new costumes for Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (aka The Trinity) and how badly he wants to share those images with the world. There's a LOT in the interview and it's a good read, but I've plucked out the more topical items covered for your informative enjoyment.
When asked if he thought in the back of his mind that he could be the man to reboot Batman as well as Superman after completing MAN OF STEEL:
I gotta be honest, it definitely was a thing that… after Man of Steel finished and we started talking about what would be in the next movie, I started subtly mentioning that it would be cool if he faced Batman. In the first meeting, it was like, “Maybe Batman?” Maybe at the end of the second movie, some Kryptonite gets delivered to Bruce Wayne’s house or something. Like in a cryptic way, that’s the first time we see him. But then, once you say it out loud, right? You’re in a story meeting talking about, like, who should [Superman] fight if he fought this giant alien threat Zod who was basically his equal physically, from his planet, fighting on our turf… You know, who to fight next? The problem is, once you say it out loud, then it’s kind of hard to go back, right? Once you say, “What about Batman?” then you realize, “Okay, that’s a cool idea. What else?” I mean, what do you say after that? …But I’m not gonna say at all that when I took the job to do Man of Steel that I did it in a subversive way to get to Batman. I really believe that only after contemplating who could face [Superman] did Batman come into the picture.
On the significance of MAN OF STEEL coming out during the 75th anniversary of the character and the larger significance of seeing the Trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman costumes for BATMAN VS SUPERMAN:
We just went through Superman’s 75th, and it was very exciting… and to me, it was just really awesome. And the idea of having the Batman 75th and the Wonder Woman 75th together is kind of an amazing thing, too… The thing also that’s really fascinating for me is that, even just in the tests we’ve been doing, the costumes, right? You basically have Batman and Superman — and this is without Ben [Affleck] and Henry [Cavill] in the costumes, but just like the stand-ins, just testing to see what the costumes look like. And you have them standing there and they’re standing in the same shot — and then we have Wonder Woman, you know, all three of them in the same shot. Even just for a test, you really have to go, “Wow, that’s crazy!” Not only is it the first time that I’m seeing them, it’s the first time they’ve ever existed together on screen in a movie. And that’s kind of a huge deal. Even just Batman and Superman standing next to each other… [I]t’s kind of epic. You do sort of sense the weight of the pop culture iconography jumping out of its skin when you’re standing there looking at the two of them and Wonder Woman. It’s crazy. But it’s fun. I mean, I have the first photo, I’ve got it in my archive because I was like, “Okay, I better keep this, it’s gonna be worth something,” [laughs]!
On how long fans will have to wait to see any official images from BATMAN VS SUPERMAN and how badly he wants to share them:
Unfortunately, I don’t even know the timeline… Because the movie takes place so far from now, it’s hard to know exactly. That all gets tied to marketing and strategies for the movie. It’s not just a free-for-all, which I’d love it to be. Because I take a picture of the suit with my camera– I’m actually staring at one right now in my office. And it’s just massive on my wall in my office and it’s epic, let me tell you! And I’m like, “God, I want to send this to the Internet immediately.” But I know I’m not allowed to [laughs]! I do value the sort of excitement of the way the film is [revealed]… the pieces that are released and sort of trickle out to everybody, and those reveals are exciting milestones for us.
When asked about the Marvel vs. DC competition and if he agrees that everyone wins when there's a successful film in the genre (regardless of source) and that nobody wants to cause other films of the genre to fail:
I think that’s 100% true. Look, I’m a fan of the Marvel movies… and the thing that’s awesome is, we make a different movie. We have a different product than them, although they both exist in sort of the superhero world, which is great. I think that those are the opportunities. That’s what you get at the movies, you get a chance to go to all these different worlds. And I’m as interested in going to the Marvel Universe as anybody. So, I personally don’t think that there’s any, from my point of view, we definitely don’t have any animosity or anything of that nature. We’re all in this big business together, and we hope people are interested in the adventures that we put up on screen. And I do believe it’s infectious, and the next weekend you’re like, “You know what? Let’s go do that again, that was awesome. We saw a cool movie, maybe we’ll get another cool movie.”
Very interesting and very frustrating, just knowning that Snyder has seen what we're all dying to see (well, he IS the director, so I guess he has permission). Although we're now two years away from seeing the film on the big screen I have high hopes that we'll at least get a glimpse of something from BATMAN VS SUPERMAN at Comic Con which is more than just a logo. I mean, seriously, you can't announce a project like that and not give us SOMETHING within a year; a set picture, concept art, anything. I look forward to the day when the Trinity is fully revealed though, just to watch the Internet explode, Krypton-style. 'Cause you know it will.
BATMAN VS SUPERMAN opens on May 6, 2016.