Zack Snyder wants in on Rick and Morty’s reality-bending adventures, a recent interview with The Film Junkee Vodka Stream purports. The Justice League director went on air to discuss Army of the Dead, the latest Snyder film to take critics by surprise, only to segue briefly into comedy and animation. The 55-year-old trailblazer isn’t big on either genre, but admits he would give anything, a Mother Box or a Kryptonite spear, to shepherd a live-action Rick and Morty for the silver screen.
Zack Snyder elaborates: “I don’t have like a straight comedy that I can think, you know, that’s like wall-to-wall straight comedy. If I did the Rick and Morty movie, that’s probably about the closest I’d get.” The segment was live-streamed on YouTube in May.
Zack Snyder has always had his eye on Rick and Morty, even while working tirelessly on other projects. He came close to living that dream, so to speak, one season, after pitching a live-action post-credits scene to Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the series creators. It would’ve functioned as a short trailer for the next episode. “You know what I wanted to do?” he adds. “My suggestion was to shoot, to do, just like, one of the end teasers in live-action.” Obviously, it didn’t fly with the writers, but it could certainly herald a bigger concept: a full-length Rick and Morty feature that would allow Snyder to finally flex his comedic chops.
Zack Snyder may not have enough animated credits to justify a major blockbuster, but the one movie he pioneered, 2010’s Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, was good enough to land an ensemble cast, with none other than Dame Helen Mirren among them. To this day, it remains a visually arresting masterpiece, much like the rest of Snyder’s filmography, enough to receive multiple nominations.
A live-action Rick and Morty by Zack Snyder would have to combine elements of nihilistic, fourth wall-bending comedy with traditional sitcom qualities, a fusion genre Snyder has never attempted. The same goes for Dragon Ball, another hugely popular title the Green Bay native is dying to sink his teeth into. He explains: “Yeah, I would consider that. I mean, if it came around. But definitely, I would do an anime remake or live-action. That would be fun because I love animation and I’ve been watching a fair amount.”
Of course, experience aside, there’s always a first time for everything. And if you’ve got the passion and interest to back it up, there’s no telling how far your ideas could go. And Zack Snyder has already proven himself more than capable to handle complex lore and layer upon layer of storytelling, just enough to qualify for animated greats like Rick and Morty and Dragon Ball.
2011’s Sucker Punch was basically a Zack Snyder love letter to Japanese anime — further proof a live-action anime would be well within Snyder’s directing capabilities. Besides, many filmmakers were relative unknowns when they dove headfirst into genres they have little to no experience in and have somehow performed wonders. Several deliberately played against type and succeeded, while others had mostly unimpressive credits before they were hired to tackle the big guns. Perfect examples would be Jon Watts for his work on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s solo Spider-Man films and Snyder collaborator Patty Jenkins, whose only movie before Wonder Woman was Monster.
Rick and Morty creators Roiland and Harmon have grappled with the idea for a big-screen adaptation many times, but it either never took off or wasn’t compelling enough to warrant a million-dollar production. The writers have astronomic expectations for a movie, and it would have to be a franchise, rather than a standalone. Could Zack Snyder fit the bill here?
Writer and producer Scott Marder discussed the possibility of a spinoff with Digital Spy’s Justin Harp and David Opie in June. “It’d be daunting,” he says. “I wouldn’t be shocked if there was one that comes down the pipeline someday. But I feel like every episode is a movie. I’d like to see what a movie would be. A movie would feel like the equivalent of a trilogy. We just pack so much in. It’d have to be pretty epic.” Well, “epic” is pretty much Zack Snyder’s middle name. The best person for the job would be someone who made the impossible work, and Zack Snyder certainly accomplished that for his cut of Justice League, a four-hour visual extravaganza no one else was allowed to do.