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Creator / Zack Snyder

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Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born 1 March 1966) is an American director, producer and screenwriter. He is well known for his stylized action movies with damn gorgeous cinematography, slow motion sequences and sometimes dark and gloomy palettes, and for creating almost shot-for-shot adaptations of comic books.

His biggest directorial challenge to date undoubtedly lied in the form of kick-starting the Warner Bros./DC Comics shared movie universe - commonly referred to as DC Extended Universe. He and his wife, Deborah, are co-producing films in that setting via their society, Cruel And Unusual Films. He eventually left the post-production work of Justice League in May 2017 after the death of his daughter Autumn in March of that year. His involvement in directing future DC film projects remains uncertain, although he's still co-producing Aquaman and Wonder Woman 1984.

Snyder is currently working on a film adaptation of the Ayn Rand novel The Fountainhead. Other projects of his include The Last Photograph.

Zack Snyder's directing credits include:

Tropes common in Zack Snyder's films:

  • Adrenaline Time: His usage of this in 300 popularized it to the point of parody. His usage of this in Watchmen has all but crowned him as a king of this trope, for better or for worse. Interestingly, his usage of this has substantially decreased after Sucker Punch.
  • Art Imitates Art: He studied art history in school and is a trained painter. He storyboards his own films, which are packed with references to classic art.
  • Author Appeal:
  • Color Wash: Even back in the Dawn of the Dead remake, Snyder was playing around with the color palette of his films. A hell of a lot.
  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • Aside from the pretty imagery, slow motion shows up a lot in his films, especially faces being punched, firearms shooting and ammunition cartridge cases falling.
    • Visual references to Excalibur as well as visual references to Renaissance and classical art (especially works of art that were based on The Bible).
  • Fanservice: He's quite fond of drawing attention to his actors' impressive physiques, especially the men.
    • Then you have the Stocking Filler outfits of the lead actresses in Sucker Punch.
  • Heroic Build: From the Spartans to Dr. Manhattan, Superman, Batman and Aquaman, expect plenty of beefcake, and shots highlighting it in all its glory.
  • Mythology Gag: His DC Extended Universe movies are packed with visual and narrative references to multiple DC Comics runs and other adaptations of these. A list can be found here.
  • Nice Guy: Despite the cynical and dark worlds he depicts, some of Snyder's movie characters still remain nice guys at the core, such as Superman and Nite Owl, even though they really have a hard time coping with their world.
  • Overcrank: A prominent user of slow-motion.
  • Parental Issues: A Creator Thumbprint of his, where almost every film he's done has something to do with parents.
    • Dawn of the Dead (2004) has a survivor who is about to be a father. His devotion to his family drives him insane as he's faced with his wife and his child's zombification. There's also another survivor whose daughter was a victim of the Zombie Apocalypse.
    • 300 is about an entire society where the relationship between child and parent is complicated due to Sparta's goal of having a highly militaristic culture that is the most badass in all the world. At least three characters are shown to be "Well Done Son!" Guys who wish to impress their fathers or father figures.
    • Sucker Punch: Baby Doll is a recently orphaned teenager who is adopted by an abusive and power-hungry uncle.
    • DC Extended Universe: Superman had a complicatedly strained relationship with his adoptive father Jonathan Kent, Batman's parents were shot dead (duh), Wonder Woman feels restricted by her mother Hippolyta, Aquaman feels abandoned by his mother Atlanna, the Flash's father is in jail and discouraging his obsession with his mother's mysterious death, and Cyborg lost his mother and blames his father for his current condition. Lex Luthor is also rather cross about his father's mistreatment of him.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A few of his films, most notably Sucker Punch and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, have elements that only become apparent on a second or third viewing. Or more.
  • Rule of Symbolism: He simply cannot make a movie without some sort of symbolism, one way or another. The obvious parallels to Jesus in his representation of Superman are only the emerged part of that iceberg.
  • Scenery Porn: Shown most prominent in 300, Legend of the Guardians, Sucker Punch, and his DC Extended Universe films.
  • Shout-Out: John Boorman's Excalibur, with its striking dreamlike and painterly visuals, was one of the movies which inspired him to become a filmmaker. Thus, homages to King Arthur and Mordred's Mutual Kill have shown up in 300 and Batman v Superman.
  • Show, Don't Tell: A firm believer in this. His films have a huge emphasis on visual storytelling and crucial plot points, backstory and character motivations are often conveyed without dialogue.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Varies depending on the project.
  • Technician Vs Performer: Snyder is a Performer through and through. A lot of criticism gear towards his work is often the lack of logic in characters' actions, blocking, or cinematography (why did the light bulb get destroyed when Baby Doll's sister is the one who got shot?). But it rears right back to people praising those same issues for being remarkable, beautiful as well as effectively emotional.
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    • 300: This movie based on the Real Life Battle of Thermopylae is rife with fantastical elements like giant wolves, goat men, and God-Kings. So naturally, the entire film is actually a story being told by a Spartan to pump up an army that is about to face off against a massive Persian enemy.
    • Sucker Punch: Three levels of reality being juggled by a traumatized girl as she is admitted to an asylum. Despite her status as the protagonist, the girl is not the narrator, who is actually a separate character that also may or may not be an actual real person.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: An In-Universe version where a testifying witness of Superman's supposed heat-vision-fueled rampage turns out to have been lying the whole time. It soon spreads a nasty spiral of distrust around Superman, with devastating results.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: His movies always contain visual references the average moviegoer isn't necessarily aware of, be they related to sciences, The Bible, the arts or obscure DC Comics details.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: If the heroes of Snyder's films have Heroic Builds, their shirt's gotta come off at least once. Unless they're Spartans, which means they're shirtless all the time.