Ravishankar, S. N. "Why Did He Say That Name? A Critical Analysis of Zack Snyder’s Cinematic Adaptations of Batman and Superman." In: Gnosis Special Issue 3 (2019), S. 45–64.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Ravishankar2019
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Keywords: "Batman", "Superman", Adaptation, Film adaptation, Superhero, USA
Collection: Gnosis Special Issue
Since their creation in the late 1930s, both Batman and Superman have transcended their origins from comic book characters to beloved pop culture icons. Such global popularity was a result of several adaptations of the characters in other media, including television, video games, merchandising and movies. DC Comics, the American publisher that owns this stable of characters, has evolved over time into a media giant with its own production studio and online streaming services. Yet its ongoing film franchise, dubbed the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), has received a lukewarm response and harsh criticism for its treatment of the characters and the overall inconsistent tone. Much of the blame has been levelled on director Zack Snyder, who is responsible for directing three of the major DCEU films. Snyder, who had previously handled adaptations of comics like Frank Miller’s 300 and Alan Moore’s Watchmen, is praised for his ability to faithfully bring a comic book panel to life on screen. However, despite a loyal following of fans, Snyder’s approach to the material has been met with disdain, especially considering the inevitable competition with the Marvel Cinematic Universe that produces well-received blockbuster movies at a consistent rate. The primary goal of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of the style and themes used by Zack Snyder in his three DC movies: Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Justice League (2017) – with critical studies of the source material, the previous adaptations of the characters, contemporary franchises and trends, and the factors that affected his overall vision for the series. In doing so, this paper aims to present a critical look at the Snyder films’ highlights and flaws, and to present a case for how they are weak interpretations of the two primary superheroes.
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