Before Zack Snyder kickstarted the DCEU with Man of Steel, he took on the onerous task of adapting Alan Moore's classic graphic novel Watchmen to the big screen. The film was met with mixed reviews, but Snyder was praised for hewing closely to the source material with his take on Watchmen. In a new interview, the filmmaker explained that his take on the DCEU follows the line taken by Moore in deconstructing superheroes.
"I have this deep need to sort of deconstruct. You know, Watchmen is my favorite comic book... it really takes superheroes and distills them down to the mythological elements, right? And so, if that's your way in, is through Watchmen, that lens, now you put that on everything else you do, if you're looking at Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman, your first instinct, or my first instinct is, 'What's the 'why' these characters like - what is their reason for existing?' And I think that that, where that ends up is -- because you do a deep dive into what their sort of psychological profile is. You end up with characters that, if I am sort of, I don't want to say, you know, a student of psychology, you understand those archetypes and how they then relate to me [as] people on a personal level."
In the past, Snyder has often shared his love for Watchmen, and it is clear the filmmaker feels an entire superhero cinematic universe built along its lines would lead to greater emotional investment. Snyder goes on to explain how this deconstructive approach led to the creation of Henry Cavill's Superman.
"For instance, Superman is, you know, an immigrant who comes to Earth [and] wants to fit in. [He] has this secret gift that he wants to give the world, but he's afraid that if you give that gift to the world, that they'll hate him or that he would be shunned or that could be turned into a god or any number of things. There's parallels to a lot of us in our lives, that is to say that we all want... we've got something to offer. We're always afraid, everyone's afraid that maybe the world won't accept the gifts that we have. And if you're part of a community, or you're trying to be part of the community, or whatever it is, or if you feel alone or isolated, as he did, there's a way to relate to that character. That that character becomes his emotional journey and becomes your own."
Now that Zack Snyder's Justice League is gearing up for release, Snyder states that the movie will continue to put the focus on the iconic group of superheroes "emotionally, kind of where they are, and emotionally what they're going through. And I think that that's what plugs you back into them, and if you're going through [something similar] in the real world, any kind of problems with your family or loss, or whatever it is... identity... you can look at the film and be like, well, I understand that. I can plug into that. That speaks to me in some way."
Zack Snyder's Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ray Porter as Darkseid, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The film arrives on HBO Max on March 18. This news first appeared at DC Cinematic Cast.