Well, it’s happened, folks. Pretty much whenever some big piece of comic book movie news drops, if you are to mosey on over to Change.org, there’s a good chance you’ll see a petition in place, crying out for some director to be hired, some actor to be brought on board, or some action to be taken. As I’m sure you’ll well aware, this past Monday, Ben Affleck officially dropped out as director of The Batman.
This bit of news came to the chagrin of fanboys worldwide (this one included), who would have loved to see a film noir detective story starring Batman and helmed by Ben Affleck. Since the news hit, there have been countless articles out there running down some of the best options in Hollywood this film has going for it.
One fan in particular has the perfect man to take on the job: Zack Snyder.
Okay, yeah, it’s an unpopular pick, given the polarizing reception to both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but let’s take a look at some of his arguments in favor of seeing Snyder take the helm. Keep in mind, this is me paraphrasing the petitioner’s arguments:
- Snyder’s history with comic book movies - He has brought movies such as Watchmen and 300 to the big screen. It points to how faithful he is to the source material, and that he has a tendency to pull panel-for-panel shots. He also has a deep respect for fans.
- Continuity - It’s a way to make the universe continue to feel like a cohesive unit.
- The Tone - With his first two movies, Snyder made a distinctly dark and ominous aesthetic that fits Batman well.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten his points out of the way, allow me to address them one by one. Remember, this is my perspective here, and we are allowed to disagree.
LRM's Assessment of Petitioner's Arguments:
- Snyder’s history with comic book movies - Very true. He’s done a great job with some films, but as mentioned above, his latest two DC films have been polarizing at best. The main difference here seems to be direct interpretations (Watchmen) when compared to legit adaptations that are a mishmash of different stories (Batman v Superman). He’s proven he can do the former well. The latter…that’s debatable (while I’ll defend Batman v Superman: Ultimate Edition to the ends of the Earth, even I must admit that I’m in the minority here).
- Continuity - In a genre like comic book movies, continuity may not be the best thing to bring up here. This subset of films need to last for a long time. While it may be great to us OCD-type people that all our universes feel the same, that’s not a way to make a long-lasting franchise. Audiences will get bored and move on to the next shiny object if they feel they’re getting shoveled a similar product each year.
- The Tone - I’ll give him that. The tone set in Batman v Superman is a good one for Batman’s character. Unlike many critics who chastised that film for its tone, I believe that’s a very superficial criticism, and that the real fault lied in the convoluted story that didn’t make enough sense in its theatrical cut.
All in all, despite what you may think personally of the Snyder DC films, the fact is, they didn’t get the reception DC was looking for. As such, it would be a bad PR move on their part to hire Snyder at this point. Unless Justice League hits later this year and is a smash hit, this will only be met with serious pushback by fans.
Honestly, Snyder, while a questionable storyteller, is an exceptional director, and if he were to come on board solely to proved his trademark visuals, tone, and style, I’d be on board. But I don’t trust him enough not to tamper with and overly-intellectualized a potentially straightforward story.
What do you think of this choice? Should Warner Bros hire Snyder for The Batman or should they steer clear? Let us know your thoughts down below!