Superman's an incredible opportunity: Snyder

After his latest fantasy-thriller Sucker Punch opens at cinemas worldwide today, 300 (2007) and Watchmen (2009) director Zack Snyder will dive headlong into the new Superman movie that he’s been hired to helm. “It’s an incredible opportunity,” Snyder says in Los Angeles, about rebooting Superman, DC Comics’ flagship superhero.

Following Christopher Reeve, X-Men director Bryan Singer took a stab at reinventing the franchise with Superman Returns in 2006. Grossing a healthy $3.91 billion worldwide, the film saw relative newcomer Brandon Routh slip into Supes’ blue tights and red undies, but the actor failed to make the part his own in the way Reeve had.

Zack SnyderSnyder’s film, which will release in 2012, will star Brit Henry Cavill as Superman. “Henry’s manly, sure, and handsome as hell. But he also has that little bit of innocence that you want. He doesn’t feel jaded,” Snyder says of his leading man, whose most significant role till date has been in the HBO series The Tudors, based on the early Roman Empire. “Several actors tried for the part, but when Henry slipped into the suit, we knew it had to be him,” he says.

The film will be produced by The Dark Knight (2008) director Christopher Nolan. “Chris is the best collaborator any director can ask for,” he says of the Inception director who will mentor him on the film. “It’s great to work with someone so passionate about character and story, and who can look beyond the blockbuster appeal of the movie and recognise the potential for an honest offering that’ll please the fans.”

Superman, of course, has a rich legacy of fans the world over, and Snyder acknowledges that the studio has received “innumerable” emails and correspondence urging for the superhero to be brought back. Many fans, he says, write from India: “That’s Superman’s appeal! From India to Poland to Africa, everyone has an opinion about him and recognises the S-symbol that he wears so proudly on his chest.”

But before he can immerse himself full time into this film, Snyder is excited to see how fans receive Sucker Punch, his first original story, about a young girl who retreats into an alternative reality to cope with being institutionalised. “If we get this one right, it’ll give us more freedom to do what we want with Superman,” he winks.

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