Why Zack Snyder’s Version Of Superman Works So Well, According To Smallville Producer

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Zack Snyder's version of Superman hasn't been universally popular, but at least one person with some knowledge of bringing superpowered characters to the screen thinks Snyder has done a good job. Steven S. DeKnight was a writer, director, and producer on the TV series Smallville that followed a young Clark Kent in the years prior to becoming the Man of Steel. He admits that Superman is an incredibly difficult character to make relatable, and he likes the way that Snyder has approached him in the DC film universe. According to DeKnight...

Superman's very different from Batman. Batman is this dark, psychologically messed up guy, Superman's the man we all aspire to be. He's inspirational and to try to find the human side of that, and not to mention, he's so powerful it's harder to relate to him so it's very, very difficult. I actually really like what Zack Snyder has done with that character. It's a super hard, very tricky character to do and like I said, if we were doing on Smallville, if he were Superboy on Smallville, I don't think it would have worked.

Batman is a character with significant flaws, which makes for an interesting story as he attempts to overcome them. However, Superman, traditionally, has few flaws, which potentially makes it difficult to tell an interesting story about his character. Steven S. DeKnight admits freely to ScreenRant that the show Smallville was able to overcome this problem simply by ignoring it entirely. Clark Kent never becomes Superman during the run of the television series, giving the show license to create a more flawed character.

There's little argument that Superman is a difficult character to write. All you have to do is look at the version of the character that Zack Snyder created in Man of Steel. Many loved the more grounded version of the character, who wasn't entirely sure he wanted to be a hero to a populace who was less sure they wanted him, but many were very vocal in their disapproval of the drastic change Superman had undergone compared to the version they were familiar with.

Where things go from here with Superman is anybody's guess. A Man of Steel 2 has been announced but there's no timetable as to when we'll actually see it. It's also not clear who will be responsible for bringing it to us, as the current word is that Zack Snyder likely won't be returning to the DC universe. With a new director's vision, we'll likely get a somewhat different Superman, though then it will become somebody else's unenviable job to write a compelling Superman character that appeals to a wide audience.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.