Zack Snyder has been one of the most polarizing filmmakers in recent history with two warring camps arguing that he’s anywhere from a genius to a talentless hack that has no ability to tell a coherent story.
Those in the former camp will point to the visuals in each of the man’s films and comment how each frame looks like a work of art. Those in the latter argue that he’s so beholden to CGI that most of his movies look too fake to be taken seriously.
While DC and Warner once appeared to be in the former camp, rumors emanating from Birth.Movies.Death‘s Devin Faraci indicate that allegiances are starting to shift.
In spite of the fact that the Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice turned profits for the companies at the box office, both films were shredded by critics and died quick deaths after largely successful opening weekends.
While the rumored-to-cost $450 million for shooting and marketing BvS fared better at the box office in terms of pure gross, it did the vast majority of its business in its opening weekend and crashed hard among a sea of bad critiques from both professional film critics and movie audiences alike.
I don’t want this Snyder/WB story to be any more true than you do. I wish they’d just yell “Martha” and make up! https://t.co/sP1kJpusmz
— Batman-News.com (@BatmanNewsCom) April 30, 2016
Critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes rated it with just a 27 percent out of 325 professional film critics’ reviews. Furthermore, the RT audience community gave it just 68 percent (a D+).
Adding a whole new layer of perspective as to why DC and Warner are unhappy with Zack Snyder over the fiasco is the fact that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — three of the most iconic superheroes of all time — appear on screen for the first time in a film that was unable to best R-Rated Deadpool at the U.S. box office.
While the film is a financial success, in other words, it isn’t nearly the success that it needed to be to set up a healthy DC Extended Movie Universe. And now some other talented filmmakers are starting to bail, no longer wanting to be associated with it, according to Faraci.
The latest rumors swirling about are that James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Fast and Furious 7 director) is planning on walking away from the Aquaman solo film he was set to helm.
While not confirmed, it’s a bad bit of press for DC and Warner, who have already seen the departure of director Seth Grahame-Smith from The Flash over “creative differences.”
Faraci, who has been right numerous times in the past and most recently with his reporting on Star Wars: The Force Awakens plot details, has also heard through his sources that Zack Snyder is at odds with WB executives, resulting in “Lots of fights between Snyder and the WB execs, and lots of pressure from Burbank on Snyder, who is shooting (Justice League) in London,” Faraci reports.
It is worth noting that Faraci is admittedly a Zack Snyder apologist going way back and that it wasn’t until his negative Batman V Superman review that he finally laid down his sword.
— Seensome (@Seensome) April 20, 2016
In other words, he’s not the typical movie journalist, who appears out to get Zack Snyder for the perception of taking liberties with his interpretations of the two titular characters.
“I have spent many years defending Snyder, who I think is a first rate visual stylist (and who conjures up some excellent images in this film), but even I have to put down my sword,” Faraci writes. “Zack Snyder, left to his own devices, cannot tell a story.”
With Batman V Superman failing to churn the $1 billion to $1.5 billion in box office WB was expecting, it appears they, too, might now agree.
But what do you think, readers?
Are the departures of Grahame-Smith and, potentially, James Wan more signs that WB needs to take Zack Snyder off the project? Sound off in the comments section below.