Niels Arden Oplev Takes His ‘Last Photograph’, Zack Snyder Steps Behind the Camera

Zack Snyder has been involved with the upcoming, set in Afghanistan drama The Last Photograph from the very beginning. Since the project’s inception he has served as a co-writer and a producer. When you hear that Snyder is involved with a drama set in a war torn country, the concept instantly sends up some red flags. How would his flashy, comic-booky style fit with more real-world, dramatic subject matter than men in loin clothes eviscerating each other or girls in short skirts fighting giant robots? In the past this wasn’t too much of a concern, however, as Snyder was just in a producer’s role. The director’s job was going to go to someone else, and that someone else ended up being The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo helmer Niels Arden Oplev. He’s good, right? Yay, everyone cheers, and we all live happily ever after.

Not so fast. Twitch is now reporting that Oplev has dropped out of the project for mysterious reasons, and seeing as he is already so engaged in it’s development, Snyder is going to step into the director’s role as an easy fit. The Last Photograph should fit perfectly into Snyder’s schedule, as he can slip right into shooting after he finishes work on the Superman reboot Man of Steel. That brings up some problems. Will Christian Bale’s reporter character be doing slow motion spin moves, snapping off photographs in mid air, while mortar shells explode around him? Will we get a scene of Sean Penn’s character dropping to his knees, digital tears leaking down his cheek as he reads that a relative has been kidnapped, all in slow motion, as a crane shot rises dramatically above him? Can Zack Snyder bring himself to turn off his flashy, overblown aesthetic long enough to give real gravity to a movie about real people involved in a current, touchy-subject war? I doubt it, but your faith in the man may vary.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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