The Zack Snyder Problem

Batman vs. Superman: Longest Title Ever has fizzled in the theaters just like Man of Steel that preceded it and yet DC/Warner Brothers is still planning on giving The Justice League movie(s) to him and his monochromatic palette for some reason.

This news got me curious about Snyder, someone about whom I knew very little, so I looked him up on IMDB only to discover a litany if promising trailers that delivered disappointing movies. Essentially, his resume begins with 300, a movie for which he used the graphic novel as an exact, unwavering blueprint, and then stumbles into one hyper-visualized mess after another: Watchmen, Sucker Punch, Man of Steel, BvS:DofJ.

The only outlier in the bunch is his first movie: Dawn of the Dead, the success of which I assume had more to do with James Gunn than Zack Snyder.

So why does DC continue to give their bread and butter titles to a man who disappoints them repeatedly and without fail? Are they in some sort of toxic relationship where Snyder comes back to them after every letdown and says, “Baby, why don’t you give me just one more chance?”

Do they have Zack Snyder confused with Scott Snyder?

Probably not. Most likely it has to do with the fact that, far from the “what have you done for me lately?” culture Hollywood is supposed to have, some people can dine out on a single success for very nearly ever. It also doesn’t hurt that even though Snyder’s movies aren’t very good and they suffer precipitous declines after the first weekend, they do make money. Not as much as they would if they were good, but enough that DC and WB aren’t filing Chapter 11… yet.

So the real concern is not why do they keep giving their properties to Snyder, but why don’t they care about quality? Why isn’t DC’s editorial board blustering and harrumphing about their top properties doing belly flops on weekend #2? Why doesn’t DC care about producing a quality product? You think Marvel would let half baked turkeys like these out of the oven?

No way.

The news out of DC has not been good for a while and no one seems willing to do what it would take to turn the ship around before it strikes an iceberg. One of the consistent threads running through the rumor mill is that poor management mixed with rampant cronyism (and serial sexual harassment) is keeping the company on a downward path and rather than soliciting direction from their creative staff, management is imposing disastrous, flailing cartwheels like the New 52 and firing creatives who don’t toe the line. If that’s truly the case then Snyder’s middling series of failures would be quite at home there.

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