Zack Snyder’s got a tough job ahead of him. With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Justice League film following it, he has to establish a DC Comics Cinematic Universe to rival the one Marvel Studios has already made billions with. That’s an unenviable task, even if he does get to play in a sandbox that includes the Dark Knight and the Caped Crusader.
We won’t know until next March just how successful Snyder will be in this endeavor, but that hasn’t stopped him from talking up his superhero project in the interim. Today, in a new interview with The Daily Beast, Snyder emphasized the “mythological” power of his heroes, and tried to articulate why his movie will be different from what, say, Marvel is offering.
“I feel like Batman and Superman are transcendent of superhero movies in a way, because they’re Batman and Superman. They’re not just, like, the flavor of the week Ant-Man—not to be mean, but whatever it is. What is the next Blank-Man?”
Now, we’ve come to expect at least a little smack talk among the competing superhero stories, but this just feels weak. Aside from Ant-Man’s continued box office success (it’s still opening to big money in international markets after a solid domestic run) the character’s been around since 1962, and though he’s never quite had the profile of, say, Captain America, he’s still managed to last through various incarnations.
What strikes me as more troubling about this statement, though, is the idea that we need to smack talk in the superhero movie world. Avengers: Age of Ultron and Furious 7 both made crazy money this year, and both did it without ever resorting to "At least we’re not some dumb car movie” talk. I don’t mean to beat the “can’t we all just get along?” drum; I’m mostly just annoyed that Snyder feels the need to try such a tactic. His movie is about as far removed from Ant-Man as it could be, so why does it matter?
Whatever the case, Marvel is still making hits, and Snyder’s superhero universe still has some major tests ahead.