The M Interview: Zack Snyder's the keeper of the DC flame
Director and comic book geek Zack Snyder assures fans that he will have some sort of role in all future DC movies
Jump-starting his movie directing career from a very successful stint directing commercials, Zack Snyder seems to have an affinity for zombies, Spartans and comic book heroes.
After helming Dawn Of The Dead (2004), 300 (2007) and Watchmen (2009), the DC Extended Universe seems a natural fit.
The 50-year-old US film-maker brought to the big screen the most successful Superman reboot to date, 2013's Man Of Steel, and now comes Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, opening in Singapore tomorrow.
At a press junket at the Warner Bros studio, the self-professed comic book geek said he will have some sort of hand in all the DC movies that follow as he will be keeper of the flame on behalf of the fans.
Zack Snyder (L-R) with his Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot at the St. Regis Hotel in Mexico City. PHOTO: AFP
How do you follow Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy?
His movies were a very specific vision of Batman. And because we were reinventing the universe, we knew we couldn't really use anything that Chris had established.
Quite the opposite, we had to figure out a way to make every little piece different.
But there's enough mythological material in the comic books easily to do that. We already had our Superman established and then of course Wonder Woman's never been in a movie before.
So in a lot of ways, though it feels like well-known ground to work with, a lot of it was untried. This version is a lot of new territory, so that was fun.
Nowadays, villains are no longer ugly and scary as they used to be. Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor isn't physically big or threatening. How has the idea changed?
I think the cool thing about what Jesse's done is he doesn't know he's a villain, right?
That's kind of the trick of it. He's only a villain to us. To him, we all don't get it.
In some ways, that feels like it's more believable. If the villain is going to be among us, he shouldn't stand out. He needs to not be obviously the villain, right?
But also because he's so millennial in this movie, he's so modern in a weird way. He's like a perfectly modern villain in that he has (graffiti artist) Banksy on his shirt, for God's sake.
When you make a movie like this with a long history, do you take into account the fan reaction or do you just go for what you want to say?
I think you've got to be very careful.
I am a fan so I tend to believe that my point of view is probably the closest that the fans are going to get - an inmate running the asylum, if you will. I do feel a responsibility, but I also feel it for myself.
Can you talk about the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman?
Well, Ben really was my first choice. I remember I brought Ben over to show him some of Man Of Steel when we were still editing it.
I said, 'Hey, I want to put Batman in the next movie. I want you to play Batman.'
He was, like, 'Whoa, okay'.
At first he was, of course, justifiably and rightly frightened by the concept.
He went back and forth with me quite a bit about whether or not he should do it.
His artwork was acquired by DC Comics
Local illustrator Stanley Lau
Comic book fans love doodling their favourite superheroes, and some have even turned their hobby into something rewarding.
For local illustrator Stanley Lau, better known by his handle Artgerm, drawing has been a decade-long career. It is one that has produced quality artworks for the likes of Capcom, DC Comics, Square Enix, Riot Games and other giants in the entertainment and gaming industry.
Fans of Mr Lau can meet him on March 26 at 3pm at Raffles City, Atrium Level 3, where his InkInk DC prints are on display.
Those collectible art prints recently became part of DC Comics' official artworks - a major coup for him.
"I never imagined my illustrations would become an official DC print. It started out as me doing cover illustrations for the fictional Justice magazine I created," he told M.
The series of cover illustrations were very well-received by fans, and that got DC Comics' attention, Mr Lau said, adding that the comic book giant acquired the licence in October last year.
"Wonder Woman is the most popular illustration, followed by Supergirl," he said.
The 42-year-old, who is also a Digital Illustration and Concept Design diploma lecturer at 3dsense Media School, is looking forward to tonight's gala premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, particularly because he wants to see how Wonder Woman will be portrayed in the movie.
Mr Lau is also rooting for Batman, whom he can relate to better.
"Batman is a mortal and yet can be strong and become a superhero, unlike Superman who's born with superpowers.
"Also, I don't quite buy the blue and red suit. The colour palette is simply too jarring."
Drawing from the best
The top 20 best drawings from TNP's recent Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Fan Art contest are currently on display at Raffles City, Atrium Level 3, as part of other festivities related to the movie.
The winning fan art was chosen by The New Paper's art department.
Anson Tan, 20, freelance concept artist and illustrator
"This piece took me two to three days to complete. Batman is someone whom I will always sketch as he has a more interesting story. There are also a lot of cool villains in the (comic book) series."
Sherman Lim, 24, freelance illustrator and graphic designer
"Most people don't understand how Batman could ever defeat Superman in a fist fight, so I'm hoping my interpretation will change that opinion. I always feel like there's so much more depth to Batman than other characters."
Barry Tan, 31, senior marketing specialist
"I was inspired by the works of (Mad magazine creator) Harvey Kurtzman, so I decided to exaggerate the fight between Batman and Superman for comedic effect."