Zack Snyder has become something of a polarizing figure when it comes to his direction of movies in the DC Extended Universe. There are groups of folks and fans who swear by what he did with certain stories, and definitely feel like his director’s cut of The Justice League passed the muster, holding up his end of the bargain in that ensemble film. But his films haven’t always landed well with critics with some of them being downright panned within that group. Well, one executive thinks he knows why Snyder’s films haven’t necessarily been up to snuff among critical crowds and it actually has very little to do with the movies themselves.
Warner Bros. Pictures President of Production (say that five times fast) Greg Silverman took to Twitter to respond to a fan’s complaint about critics’ handling of Zack Snyder films, specifically those in the DC Extended Universe. Snyder directed three films there: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and ultimately, Zack Snyder’s Justice League. In talking about why these movies didn’t end up rating all that well on the critical side, Silverman had clear thoughts on why certain folks weren’t able to “see” the positive side of the director’s films. Check it out:
It’s interesting to couch things this way when it comes to Zack Snyder. By all accounts, and from what you see in interviews, the dude appears a generally nice guy. He’s something of a fanboy with the content (in a good way) and always comes across as much more excited to discuss the process and his ideas for films than many other directors in the space. I suppose this kind of general gestalt could lend itself to critics taking him less seriously when it comes to his movies. But I don’t think that tells the entire story of his work within the DC Extended Universe specifically.
The three Zack Snyder films averaged out to be pretty, well, average across the board on the critical side of things. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Man of Steel is sitting at 56%, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is 29% and Zack Snyder’s Justice League is 71%. From this writer’s point of view, those scores feel well in line with how the movies ended up on the big screen, and I know for sure that I did not factor any of Snyder’s personality into the assessment. Man of Steel was fine, Dawn of Justice was legit bad, and his final version of Justice League was solid if unspectacular. If anything, the critical score there was most likely aided by just how bad the Whedon cut ended up and this was significantly better by comparison.
In all, I’m not totally convinced this image of Zack Snyder as a director is the reason his movies haven’t been up to snuff critically. With how many reviews ring in on aggregators, I can’t imagine an overwhelming number of folks are sitting there thinking about Snyder as the dude when they are watching Superman fly around on the screen. If anything, some of these characters, the Kryptonian himself, are just tough to deal with from a narrative angle.