Zach Snyder had willingly placed himself at the mercy of every comic book fan when he seated the throne for Superman vs Batman: Dawn of Justice. He was dead center in the most polarizing DC debate there ever was, sitting precariously beneath the weight of a very passionate fan base.
For Snyder though, the mammoth task was made simpler by his life-long love of comic books. Having grown up with a distant dream of one day helming a Batman or Superman project, Snyder ended up directing them both, as well as introducing Wonder Woman to the DC universe, and fulfilling childhood dreams.
“I’ve always been a massive fan of the comic books and of these two characters, Batman and Superman. It’s always been a dream of mine just to have that opportunity to make a movie with Batman and Superman in it, so I’ve slowly manipulated the ‘powers that be’ to get that to happen… It was cool because you get caught up in the sort of the technical part of and you forget that it’s historical –seeing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in a single moment standing there. For me, a bit of a dork, that was kind of the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. It hit me that, ‘Okay. It doesn’t get much better than that.’ It was pretty amazing.”
It wasn’t just that Snyder put the heroes together on the screen for the first time; it was that he made them fight. To handle such a highly anticipated fight scene came with meticulous, gruelingly particular choreography and cinematography and a fight scene that flows over only minutes in the film, actually took weeks to film and piece together.
“When you see the film, the big fight looks like it just flows, like it’s a single moment. But in reality, of course, we shot it over weeks and weeks, and it’s inside a building with rain machines and all these things. All these elements have to come together, so it can be an uncomfortable experience in a lot of ways for these guys, because of the meticulous nature of photography”
There are strong influences in The Dawn of Justice that make the film unique in both style and narrative. The colours are remarkably grey and dark and the characters all completely committed to their eclectic ideas of justice. Snyder cited Frank Miller as somebody who has always influenced his films, but especially his latest.
“I will say that, yes, Frank’s work did have a big influence on me, and always has. Not just in this movie, but other movies I’ve made, because I’m a big fan of his. When I made Batman v Superman I really wanted to honor his influence on me as an artist, so, in a lot of ways, that’s what you get when you see the film. As far as the right and wrong aspect of it goes, of course both of these characters – Batman and Superman – are heroes from their point of view, and from the point of view of those they may protect, but not those who rue the day they mete out justice.”
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is slated for a DVD release on July 20th.