Zack Snyder's 'Superman' Allegedly Facing Problematic Third-Act Script Issues

by Edward Davis
February 16, 2011 12:43 AM
14 Comments
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WB's 'Sucker Punch' Said To Be Testing Poorly



One story connects to another. A few minutes ago, Vulture reported that "Sherlock Holmes" helmer Guy Ritchie was evidently being offered the director's chair for the"300" sequel, unofficially known as "Xerxes." Folks stop and ask, wait, isn't this a Zack Snyder project?

Well, yes it was, but it appears that all things Snyder-related are facing some major issues.

According to Vulture's sources, "Superman" is facing some script issues and they want the filmmaker focused on the task on at hand.

These problems are apparently third-act issues from the script written by David S. Goyer ("The Dark Knight"). Another rumor floating is potential buyers' remorse, that the suits at Warner Bros. are less-than-thrilled with the responses that are coming from a recent test screening for Snyder's ambitious upcoming female-lead fantasy action pic "Sucker Punch." An insider says, “It was bad; like, really bad. [Warner's brass] really not happy with it over there.”

Combine all this with the expensive, under-performing (and expensive) "Watchmen" and the forgotten animated owl movie "Legend of the Guardian" and you have a director who is suddenly cooling as a studio fave. Again, this is all speculation; but the pieces make some sense (totally anecdotal: an audience this writer was with who watched the trailer recently snickered in confusion about what exactly they were seeing).

As much as we were not keen on Snyder taking over the helm of the Christopher Nolan-produced "Superman," you've got to at least give this story a close look. While, sure, we're not shocked to hear "Sucker Punch" might be a total mess, Snyder will be busy with "Superman" until its release in December 2012, so it may just be a matter of time which the "Watchmen" director simply won't have. He's going to be busy and "Xerxes" will stall without a director so, why not Ritchie who resurrected his career with "Sherlock Holmes" after two major bombs ("Swept Away" and one picture that didn't even come out in the U.S. "Revolver") and one film that did okay critically, but didn't move the needle commercially ("Rock N' Rolla"). Note, Vulture's own reporting by admission is just "theories," so buyer beware how you frame this one.

However, as the publication does not know which is true, there is a pressure-ticking clock going on with "Superman." To quote them (which is entirely true), "Legally speaking; if a Superman film isn’t in production by 2013, Warner Bros. loses the rights to the entire Superman franchise and would have to re-license it from its original creators — the estates of Detective Comics writers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster — at great if not prohibitive expense."

Correct, so while production will likely start this year, script issues could delay their start. Keep an eye on this one, but don't panic quite yet.

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14 Comments

  • Pete | March 9, 2011 8:30 AMReply

    Snyder and M. Night Shyamalan should both be locked in a room together so that neither one of them ever, EVER receive money to make another film.

    The money wasted on these two hacks would be better spent on some on some terrific filmmakers out in the world who could use a good break.

  • Tuck | March 8, 2011 7:52 AMReply

    There's no better dream team to work on superman than nolan and snyder, even if snyder has had some issues lately. Even if they can't get it in prepro by 2013, DC would be stupid to sell it to anybody but WB

  • TheoC | February 16, 2011 11:10 AMReply

    Oh cool, take it away from him PLEASE.

    Give Him Xerxes then everybody (me) wins.

    HACK.

  • rest in peace joan | February 16, 2011 9:26 AMReply

    To clarify, "October talks" referring to Xexres.

    As creepy as it sounds, I do think Joan's passing opens up more likelihood to settle. I wouldn't be surprised if anger at the mistreatment of her husband had been a driving factor with Joan. The daughter might be more removed from the situation. Last I heard, the daughter had some sort of major disability or terminal disease. Medical bills get expensive. There is a settlement to be made here. It'll cost Time Warner a fortune, as it should for perhaps the most lucrative intellectual property in the world.

  • rest in peace joan | February 16, 2011 9:04 AMReply

    So Snyder is having his baby taken away from him. In October, all he could talk about was how the script was almost ready to turn in and how hard he had been working on visuals and ideas for the film. If Warners now feels this way about Snyder, I wonder if they'll even keep him on Superman?

    After 2013, DC and TW will have to pay heftily to buy back the character anyway. Movie or no movie. If there are genuine script problems, they should can the film and use the money to negotiate a permanent settlement. Joan Siegel died yesterday. Maybe her daughter would be more inclined to settle?

  • wardo | February 16, 2011 8:47 AMReply

    i think we should just let geoff johns write it. thisguy touches a character and turns their stories to gold. if this deal falls out of snyders hands all together im not against henry cavill, but can we maybe get brandon routh or tom welling to play supes? lets get some real deal dc writers to put a bangin story together. sure some things seem out there but its comic books! i remember this being a medium where anyting can happen.

  • Ryan | February 16, 2011 4:28 AMReply

    I wanted Duncan Jones or Aronofsky. This is not sounding good at all.

  • odd | February 16, 2011 3:47 AMReply

    Michael Bay wants a shot. What's the worse that could happen?

  • victor | February 16, 2011 3:21 AMReply

    I think we all knew this project was doomed from the beginning. You just can't rush something like this.

  • Michael Bay | February 16, 2011 3:15 AMReply

    Let me direct it!

  • BuntyHoven | February 16, 2011 3:00 AMReply

    Sucker Punch does indeed look like horseshit, but the article itself is pure rumor and speculation.

  • Juke Early | February 16, 2011 2:59 AMReply

    When there are at least a million fanboys who could & have written Superman stories, wtf is the problem? it cannot be "creativity." In the last 35 years since The first Christopher Reeve Superman - ther ehave been five Superman movies. Only the first two were good - this due to classic plot elements.

    Then it fell apart, actually more like hacked - the most recent IMO was not awful, it just didn't hit on all cylinders for hardcore fans. The mega-budget demanded need to draw from all demographics for box office $uccess, is almost always the mitigating factor - trying to please everyone is pure Kryptonite. It's effing Superman - it should write itself.

    Call Neal Bailey or Mark Millar. They'd know what to do.

  • u92 | February 16, 2011 2:24 AMReply

    "Call [...]Mark Millar. They’d know what to do."

    I'lold. yeah mark millar doesn't know shit. but hey kick-ass 4 is greenlit and nemesis with frank sinatra und kubrick at the helm will be soon in production.

  • carrie | February 16, 2011 2:00 AMReply

    it smells not good

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