Despite the levels of box office success films like Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may have encountered, Zack Snyder is still one of those guys that tends to draw more than his fair share of negative criticism. But as with any artist, Snyder also has his defenders. One such person you'll see defend the controversial director is none other than General Zod himself, Michael Shannon.
The Independent caught up with Shannon as he was promoting his new film, Midnight Special. So naturally, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice being the hot button issue it's been for the past couple of weeks, Michael Shannon is one of the people you'd want to talk to about his first hand experience under Zack Snyder's directorial hand, and talk Shannon did. Here's what he had to say about the director's approach to film-making:
I have a ton of respect for Zack Snyder. I loved working with him on Man of Steel. I think his films have their own unique style and he’s very authentically drawn to that. It’s not like he makes these movies but secretly wishes he was doing something else. It's what he wants to do. It’s valid.
Out of all of the defenses of Zack Snyder's school of film-making, Michael Shannon's case for the director's rather singular method of comic book adaptation is probably the most appropriate. Say what you will about Snyder's way around a story or any other aspect of his process, but at the very least you can tell that the man's heart is in every frame of the films he makes. You may not enjoy the story he has to tell, but you have to give him points for the style injected into a film like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which does manage to deliver at least a handful of moments that even the most skeptical audience members can get on board for. Though this enthusiasm could also be seen as Zack Snyder's downfall as a filmmaker.
Take for example the introduction of the various members of the Justice League in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Normally, this would be a perfect end credits teaser, setting up the universe at large and stoking interest in Justice League: Part One. But instead of saving the reveal for the typical post-credits slot, Snyder deploys it in the middle of the film itself, which in turn robs momentum from the central plot to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. So while Zack Snyder is clearly excited to show the audience what he has in store for them with future films, it sometimes influences his film-making choices in ways that distract from the narrative at hand.
Whether you're on board with his style of storytelling or not, Zack Snyder doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the excitement on display in his films. Michael Shannon sees that just as well as the fans of both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice do, and considering how he's pretty straightforward with how he feels about any given subject, we'd trust his word above most others. While enthusiasm doesn't always translate with the best results on screen, at the very least it makes for a film that isn't boring to watch.
If you haven't already seen the film, you can partake in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in a theater near you, and judge for yourself. As for Michael Shannon, you can currently see him in Midnight Special, as it is now playing everywhere.