While speaking about Man of Steel after a screening of the movie for SnyderCon 2023, director Zack Snyder described the crux of portraying a character as powerful as Superman.
What did Zack Snyder say about adapting Superman?
Snyder was asked what his experience was like pitching an angrier Superman and a darker Batman to studios. The director answered by revealing what the most difficult part of making a Superman story is — giving the hero actual problems.
“My whole take on Superman is … my intention is not that Superman’s angry, it’s more that he is troubled by Earth, because Earth is problematic to him,” Snyder explained. “The whole idea of Superman in its iconographic form … the potential is that he doesn’t have any problems, right? He’s a god on Earth and he can pretty much do whatever he wants and … we don’t have a lot to say about it. Which is Lex’s problem with him and … Batman’s problem with him.
“So, for Superman, the real work is to make him have problems. That’s the work of Superman — make him have, whether it be romantic issues … or whether it’s moral conundrums about what his role is as far as interfering in the lives of humans or not … and also all the stuff that we all, in some ways, experience on a small scale as just humans. That’s really the work of making a Superman movie relatable … you want to be where he is emotionally having to grapple with his own humanity.”
Zack Snyder directed multiple comic book movies even prior to his work in the DC Extended Universe. The Snyder-directed 2006 movie 300 was loosely based on the comic of the same name, while 2009’s Watchmen was based on Alan Moore’s seminal comic. Snyder would then direct Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, principal photography for Justice League, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League in the DCEU.