I’ve spoken to Zack Snyder at various stages of production for all of his films so far. On “Man Of Steel,” I had no contact with him at all until the press day after the film screened. I didn’t do the set visit. That was Dan Fienberg. And I hadn’t had any early look at any part of the film except for the same trailers everyone else saw. So sitting down for this interview, it’s the first time we really get to speak about it.
I do point out how silly I feel about a question I asked him before he started work on the film, and I take full credit for how silly it sounds once you’ve seen the movie. But what I like about Snyder is that he has a relentlessly positive and focused approach to what he’s doing. No matter when you’re talking to him about a film he’s made, he can tell you exactly what he’s thinking and doing. He is very self-aware. And I think he seemed pleased with “Man Of Steel” when we spoke, as well he should be.
On the last podcast I recorded with Scott Swan, we were talking about Snyder and “Man Of Steel,” and I had not seen the movie yet. As soon as I did, I called Scott and said, “You’re going to look prescient with your defense of Snyder on the podcast. A lot of people are going to have to really assess what he does in this movie.” I think even if you end up having script issues with “Man Of Steel,” what Snyder has accomplished visually is almost dreamlike. I’ve really never seen a superhero movie that looks like it or that does things quite the same way. It’s the attention to the small details. There’s a scene where Clark is first testing his strength with leaps, and then he starts to try to fly, and when he first crashes, he takes out part of a mountain. There’s a reverse cut to Clark, staggering as he tries to get his legs under him, and there’s some debris in the background that rolls to a stop.
It’s just a touch, something almost subliminal in how it registers, but it sells the nitty gritty reality of what Superman’s going through in this film, and there’s hundreds of examples of that throughout the movie. Buildings, gas stations, cars, tanks, planes… everything is fair game for mayhem, and it’s sort of astonishing how he builds gag after gag after gag.
I look forward to having a real healthy conversation with you guys about the movie once it’s open, just like I looked forward to talking to Snyder about it.
And if you want my full review of the film, it’s going to be live on the site at 8:00 PM PDT tonight, Monday the 10th. That’s just as the premiere in New York ends.
“Man Of Steel” opens Friday.