Zack Snyder has been a busy beaver ever since he made 300. That film, an adaptation of a graphic novel by Frank Miller, was able to cross over and hit both the comic book nerd and the frat boy demographics in a way that nothing else ever has, thus creating a perfect storm of young male disposable income going into studio pockets. Execs were so pleased with what Snyder did on the project that his follow up film Watchmen was heavily billed in its advertisements as coming “from visionary director Zack Snyder”. That’s right, three films in and the man had not only hit director’s name in the voice over status, he also got a really cool adjective attached to his name.
But today it seems like the upward trajectory of Snyder’s career might have hit a momentary snag. Vulture claims to have inside knowledge that the upcoming sequel to 300, Xerxes has been taken out of Snyder’s hands. This is largely because they need him to focus on his upcoming Superman film. You see, due to a historically long lawsuit between the people currently schlepping Superman product and the estates of Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Warner Bros. only has until 2013 to get a Superman movie out before they lose the rights to key elements of the franchise. Rumors abound that Snyder’s upcoming film is suffering from some serious script problems; more specifically that it doesn’t have much of a third act. Speculation is that the Warner bigwigs want all of Snyder’s attention on fixing these problems, so they have taken away the Xerxes distraction. It all kind of sounds like robbing Peter to pay Paul to me. Why endanger one potential franchise to focus on another?
The problem may be a loss of faith when it comes to Snyder’s vision, and a diminished want to put projects into his hands. One supposed insider claims that recent screen tests of Snyder’s upcoming Sucker Punch have not gone well at all. And I quote, “It was bad; like, really bad. They’re [Warner brass] really not happy with it over there.” This is where somebody like me could really come in handy “over there” in the Warner’s offices. I could have told them that Sucker Punch looked bad just from hearing it pitched. Unfortunately it’s taken them until after the entire thing has already been made to figure it out.
His rumored possible replacement? Guy Ritchie.
Personally, I hated 300 and find Snyder’s bag of tricks to be pretty limited. I think he did an alright job with the Watchmen material, and I’m interested enough to see what he does with a Superman movie, but I will shed no tears over the 300 sequel being taken out of his control. I could go for it being canceled altogether. I need more shirtless warriors battling in slow motion in front of a swirling stew of digital colors like I need another Joel Schumacher directed Batman film.