Stampede Ventures CEO Greg Silverman, who previously served as President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production for Warner Bros. Pictures, said on social media yesterday that he thinks Zack Snyder would not get the same level of hate from critics, if he weren't so accepting of the criticism lobbed his way. The film exec responded to a fan's tweet, which suggested that if someone other than Snyder's name had been on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then even with the same films being released, they would have been received less poorly by critics.
Silverman, who was one of the executives during Snyder's time at the lead of the DC Films, quote-tweeted the remarks to say he agreed. It was Snyder's own "openness" that left him vulnerable to criticism, according to Silverman.
"My suspicion always was that Zack's kindness openness and enthusiasm created an environment for critics to undervalue his work," Silverman said. "Because he is a decent approachable humble human, he didn't fit the mold of an auteur. Shitty. Should be the opposite."
You can see his comment in context below.
I couldn’t agree more. My suspicion always was that Zack’s kindness openness and enthusiasm created an environment for critics to undervalue his work. Because he is a decent approachable humble human, he didn’t fit the mold of an auteur. Shitty. Should be the opposite. https://t.co/3OU3NC5CzL— Greg Silverman (@gregsilverman) January 6, 2022
The idea of the snooty, difficult "auteur" filmmaker is one that has fallen under fire in recent years, but there are those who continue to revel in that image.
Snyder first rose to fame as the director of a remake of George A. Romero's zombie classic Dawn of the Dead (a movie which, interestingly enough, had an extended director's cut released on DVD). He would go on to adapt Frank Miller's graphic novel 300 into a movie that wildly outperformed anyone's box office expectations. After 300, he became a hot commodity, but the heavily stylized approach he took to the movie, combined with the movie's content itself being controversial, made him a polarizing figure for critics and fans.
It was 2012 when Snyder was tapped to direct Man of Steel, the first new Superman movie in almost a decade, and the first set outside of the continuity of 1978's Superman: The Movie. After the disappointment of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's critical reception, Warner Bros. executives panicked, and started making changes to Justice League during production, eventually leading Snyder to depart following the death of his daughter, when he thought his time was better spent with his family, than squabbling over edits.
He has since become a singular figure in pop culture, with a cult of personality around him and a devoted fanbase that obsessively follows his social media, and loves his visual style. He segued that not just into getting a director's cut made of Justice League, but a number of other high-profile, big-budget projects at Netflix.