Earlier this month, a massive superhero showdown was set when Marvel Studios announced that Captain America 3 will open against Warner Bros.' highly-anticipated sequel Batman Vs. Superman on May 6, 2016. While a lot can happen in two years, neither Marvel nor Warner Bros. are budging from this date. During a recent interview with Forbes, Batman Vs. Superman director Zack Snyder dismissed any notion of a heated rivalry or feud between Marvel Studios and Warner Bros., revealing that he is a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"Look, I'm a fan of the Marvel movies... and the thing that's awesome is, we make a different movie. We have a different product than them, although they both exist in sort of the superhero world, which is great. I think that those are the opportunities. That's what you get at the movies, you get a chance to go to all these different worlds. And I'm as interested in going to the Marvel Universe as anybody. So, I personally don't think that there's any, from my point of view, we definitely don't have any animosity or anything of that nature. We're all in this big business together, and we hope people are interested in the adventures that we put up on screen. And I do believe it's infectious, and the next weekend you're like, 'You know what? Let's go do that again, that was awesome. We saw a cool movie, maybe we'll get another cool movie.'"
Of course, at some point, either Marvel or Warner Bros. will have to move their respective blockbusters, since it doesn't make much sense financially to have two massive superhero movies opening on the same day, which would likely cost both studios millions of dollars in box office returns. Still, the first weekend in May has traditionally been seen as the kick-off to the summer movie season, and it certainly is a coveted release slot. Only time will tell which studio will relent.
The director also spoke about how the fans reacted to last year's Man of Steel, which he believes has more to do with fanboys still holding Christopher Reeve's portrayal of Superman to a higher standard than the rest, while discussing how he wants to bring Superman into "the real world."
"I think with Superman we have this opportunity to place this icon within the sort of real world we live in. And I think that, honestly, the thing I was surprised about in response to Superman was how everyone clings to the Christopher Reeve version of Superman, you know? How tightly they cling to those ideas, not really the comic book version but more the movie version... If you really analyze the comic book version of Superman, he's killed, he's done all the things- I guess the rules that people associate with Superman in the movie world are not the rules that really apply to him in the comic book world, because those rules are different. He's done all the things and more that we've shown him doing, right? It's just funny to see people really taking it personally... because I made him real, you know, I made him feel, or made consequences [in] the world. I felt like, it was the same thing in Watchmen. We really wanted to show it wasn't just like they thought, like the PG-13 version where everyone just gets up and they're fine. I really wanted to show the violence is real, people get killed or get hurt, and it's not fun or funny. And I guess for me, it was like I wanted a hero in Superman that was a real hero and sort of reflected the world we live in now..."
The filmmaker also revealed that he thinks superheroes serve as a form of mythology in our modern world.
"I really believe this - and I think it's obvious - I believe superheroes, they're our modern myths. They're our mythology in the modern world, and myth is designed to tell us about ourselves. In the ancient world, a volcano would go off or the stars would fall from the sky, and they would make a myth up around it to help ancient man to sleep at night or understand it, or at least to have a way of dealing with these things that were outside of their control. So, they'd make a story about a god on a mountain or whatever it is. And I think that's kind of what our superheroes can do for us, they can help us explain our world a little bit. I think that's what Watchmen is a perfect example of, this comic book that tells us who we are. It actually tells us about our century, and about the nuclear age, and politics, and the balance between obliterating ourselves and going into the future, and what is justice, and what is the difference between right and wrong in the world- all the things are in the comic, and in the movie. And I think that Batman and Superman also in a weird way occupy similar space, that they are the most powerful, iconographic superhero figures, and they occupy a place in all of our collective consciousness. Almost every person in the world at one time or another has said, "I'm Batman!" I believe that that's a powerful thing. And he absolutely can tell us about ourselves. As we've been writing the script and talking about what to do with these characters, how they face off and why and what it means, you know, we've really tried to think about it in a real- I guess in a way that talks about who we are as well."
Zack Snyder begins production on Batman Vs. Superman in the very near future, starring Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth), Holly Hunter and Callan Mulvey.