Is it too late to re-shoot all of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with a completely new director? Is it too late to get rid of Zack Snyder?
Yeah, sorry. That ship has sailed. Plus, not everyone is down on the Batman v Superman teaser nor did everyone dislike Snyder’s Man of Steel. However, it is jarring that when Flickering Myth gathered its 10+ editors to discuss the Batman v Superman teaser almost everyone agreed “Zack Snyder is the biggest problem with the film.” That’s been my contention since day one. My first thought when I saw the teaser was it looked so thoroughly Zack Snyder. I have already explained that at length elsewhere on the site, highlighting the usage of a Superman statue as a quintessential Zack Snyder-did-it-because-he-thought-it-would-look-cool moment. However, I also mean that it quite literally looks just like a Zack Snyder movie normally would, color corrected to death to remove any vibrant visuals in favor of a more muted color palette meant to mimic some kind of gritty graphic novel or “dark, gritty” video game.
There are some directors (and usually their ever faithful cinematographer) who have a signature visual style, allowing us to instantly recognize their work. Christopher Nolan is one, Zack Snyder is another. In fact, before we’d actually seen any footage all of the publicity stills Snyder had been releasing for Batman v Superman were clearly color corrected, depicting not how Gal Gadot or Henry Cavill looked to the naked eye in their costumes but how they will appear on screen after they’ve been Snyder-ized with his signature color filters.
Now, in a video essay which is already being posted by just about every pop culture site VideoLab color corrected parts of Man of Steel and the Batman v Superman teaser to show what could have been. Why would they do this? “We’re big fans of both Superman and the film Man Of Steel. That’s why this was a fun project. But Superman isn’t just a brand. He’s a worldwide icon that has lasted 77 years. When you make a Superman movie, and not every kid running out of the theater wishes they were Superman… you’ve done something wrong.” The technical details? They used Synthetic Aperture’s Color Finesse and some color exclusion adjustments to try to restore some of the original color. The main takeaway? It’s obviously not part of Snyder’s original “artistic vision” and it’s ultimately up to personal preference, but I can’t believe how much better the color corrected visuals look. As VideoLab concluded, “Superman should fly in blue skies, not grey ones.”
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is due out March 25, 2016.