And if they didn't exist--well, then there's no classic John Williams score.
"We decided to act as if no Superman film had been made -- even though we love the films that have been made," Snyder told Total Film. "We had to say this is a Superman movie for the first time and you can't then go 'Oh, now let's steal a little music.' ... So, yes [John Williams' original score is] awesome music but Hans Zimmer is going to do something awesome."
Snyder acknowledged the difficulty inherent in making Superman work, but also that it's important to get a functioning Superman movie off the ground in order to make Justice League--a priority for Warner, who are reportedly already looking for directors--a possibility.
"Superman is a big responsibility but I felt he needed to be reintroduced to a generation and I thought this was a great opportunity," Snyder said. "We have great respect for the canon. I would say it is a clashing of stories and ideas. Superman is the king-daddy of all superheroes -- to make him work is a big deal."
Could Snyder be the pick to direct Justice League if, as has been reported, Ben Affleck turns out not to be interested in the film? The pair have a lot in common--they're young filmmakers with some artistic street cred who have been churning out big-budget films for Warner for the better part of the past decade (in Affleck's case Gone Baby Gone, The Town and the forthcoming Argo; for Snyder it's 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch).
"We know Superman is the jewel in the DC crown," Snyder said. "We want to get his house in order. And then? Who knows what's possible?"
Man of Steel is due to hit theaters June 14, 2013.