Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder

Born: March 1, 1966
Age: 58
Birthplace: Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
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Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American filmmaker, best known for his action and science fiction films. Snyder made his feature film debut with the 2004 remake of the horror film Dawn of the Dead, which earned a good box office return and positive reviews from critics. He has gone on to be known for his comic book movies and superhero films, including 300 (2007) and Watchmen (2009), as well as the Superman film that started the DC Extended Universe, Man of Steel (2013), and its follow-ups, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Justice League Part One (2017) and Justice League Part Two (2019).

Snyder is the co-founder of Cruel and Unusual Films, a production company he established in 2004, alongside his wife Deborah Snyder and producing partner Wesley Coller.


Early life

Snyder was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and raised in Riverside, Connecticut. His mother, Marsha Manley (née Reeves), was a painter and a photography teacher at Daycroft School, which Snyder later attended. His father, Charles Edward "Ed" Snyder, worked as an executive recruiter. He was raised as a Christian Scientist. Snyder attended Camp Owatonna in Harrison, Maine, during the summer months as a child. Snyder's mother inspired him to study painting a year after high school at Heatherley School of Fine Art in England, although he had already begun filmmaking. Afterward, Snyder attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.


Snyder went on to shoot, as a director and as a cinematographer, television commercials for such clients as the automobile companies Audi, BMW, Subaru and Nissan, amongst others. Other commercial work has been for clients including Nike, Reebok, and Gatorade.

Snyder made his feature film debut with the remake of the horror film Dawn of the Dead (2004), and scored a box office hit with the fantasy war film 300 (2007), adapted from writer-artist Frank Miller's Dark Horse Comics miniseries of the same name. His Warner Bros. film Watchmen was released on March 6, 2009 and grossed $185 million worldwide. His follow-up project/animation debut titled Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole was released on September 24, 2010. Snyder produced, co-wrote, and directed Sucker Punch, which was released on March 25, 2011. The film, based on a script written by Snyder and Steve Shibuya, was about a young woman in a mental hospital who fantasizes of escape with her fellow inmates.

He directed 2013's Man of Steel for Warner Bros., a reboot of the Superman franchise. He will direct a yet-to-be-produced remake of the 1969 film The Illustrated Man, and produced the prequel/sequel to 300, 300: Rise of an Empire (2014). He also wants to direct a segment for an upcoming Heavy Metal 3, and plans to write and direct a sequel to Legend of the Guardians.

In October 2012, Warner Bros. announced a planned 2015 release for their Justice League film. During an interview with the New York Post in November 2012, director Zack Snyder stated, “I don’t know how ‘Justice League’ is going to be handled. Honestly, I don’t. But ‘The Man of Steel’ exists, and Superman is in it. I don’t know how you’d move forward without acknowledging that,” and claimed that Warner Bros. expects him to "keep them on course" as regards to a potential cinematic universe. It was rumored in early March 2013 that Snyder would direct the Justice League film and that Christopher Nolan would again be producing.

In November 2012, Snyder proclaimed that he would not be involved with the development of Star Wars: Episode VII (Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Speculation swirled again in January 2013, when Vulture reported that he would be developing a Star Wars spin-off film inspired by Seven Samurai. However, this report was later denied as rumor by Snyder's representative. As of March 2013, it was rumored that Zack Snyder might be attached to the long in progress Justice League film. As reported by Latino Review, Snyder might either step in as a producer or he might direct the project itself. These reports have not been confirmed yet. Snyder is set to direct a Man of Steel sequel. During Comic Con 2013, Snyder announced that Batman and Superman would share the screen in the Man of Steel sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, released in 2016. Cavill reprised his role as Superman, and Ben Affleck played Batman. In April 2014, Snyder was announced by Warner Bros. to direct the Justice League films after finishing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder is also committed to making The Last Photograph, a drama featuring Christian Bale and Sean Penn.


Snyder often uses slow motion in and out of the fight scenes in his films, which Amy Nicholson of Boxoffice magazine remarked separates the director from other filmmakers who make multiple cuts and close-ups during a fight. A minute-long shot from 300 shows King Leonidas slaughtering his enemies, the camera zooming in and out to emphasize each kill and move Leonidas makes.


Snyder's body of work has earned him a number of awards, including two Clio Awards and a Gold Lion Award for his Jeep "Frisbee" commercial. He also won an award for his humorous commercial "General's Party".

Personal life

Snyder lives in Pasadena with his second wife, producer Deborah Snyder. The couple first met in 1996, and married on September 25, 2004 at the St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan, New York.

Snyder has eight children. The four eldest are from a marriage to Denise Weber that ended in divorce. Two are from another relationship, with Kirsten Elin, who was his line producer on commercials for a while. Snyder and his current wife adopted two children during the course of making Man of Steel.


Music videos

  • "You're So Close" performed by Peter Murphy (1992)
  • "Tomorrow" performed by Morrissey (1992)
  • "Somebody to Shove" performed by Soul Asylum (1992)
  • "Black Gold" performed by Soul Asylum (1993)
  • "In the Middle" performed by Alexander O'Neal (1993)
  • "I Know" performed by Dionne Farris (1994)
  • "Desolation Row" performed by My Chemical Romance (2009)


Year Film Director Producer Writer
2004 Dawn of the Dead Yes No No
2007 300 Yes No Yes
2009 Watchmen Yes No No
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Yes No No
2011 Sucker Punch Yes Yes Yes
2013 Man of Steel Yes No No
2014 300: Rise of an Empire No Yes Yes
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Yes No No
Suicide Squad No Executive No
2017 Wonder Woman No Yes No
Justice League Part One Yes No No
2018 The Flash No Executive No
Aquaman No Yes No
2019 Justice League Part Two Yes No No



Actors Dawn of the Dead
Legend of the Guardians:
The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Sucker Punch
Man of Steel
Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice

Justice League
Part One

Richard Cetrone
Matt Frewer
Michael Kelly
Stephen McHattie
Patrick Sabongui
Eli Snyder
David Wenham
Michael Adamthwaite
Carla Gugino
Alessandro Juliani
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Patrick Wilson
Abbie Cornish
Jena Malone
Henry Cavill
Amy Adams
Diane Lane
Laurence Fishburne
Harry Lennix
Christina Wren
Ben Affleck
Gal Gadot
Jason Momoa
Ray Fisher
Ezra Miller


  • Snyder's wife Deborah Snyder, has produced all of his films dating back to 300 (executive producer on 300 and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole).
  • Larry Fong and William Hoy were Snyder's cinematographer and film editor, respectively, on the films 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch. Fong is also the cinematographer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • John "D.J." Desjardin was the visual effects supervisor on Watchmen, Sucker Punch, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • David Brenner served as film editor on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.


While his visual direction is often praised by critics, Snyder is often criticized for his subpar storytelling and excessive iconography. Snyder has also been criticized for his lack of respect for comic book characters, as noted in his handling of Superman, Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, and the bending of Batman's famous rule against killing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Shortly after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, many fans expressed their displeasure about the direction of the DC Extended Universe under Snyder's vision. Two separate petitions were created to keep Snyder off the next installment of the franchise, Justice League Part One, and his role as the chaperone of the DC Extended Universe.

Critical, public and commercial reception to films Zack Snyder has directed as of April 26, 2016:

Year Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore Budget Box office
2004 Dawn of the Dead 75% (180 reviews) 58 (32 reviews) B $26 million $102.4 million
2007 300 60% (226 reviews) 51 (35 reviews) A- $65 million $456.1 million
2009 Watchmen 65% (294 reviews) 56 (39 reviews) B $130 million $185.3 million
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole 55% (122 reviews) 53 (21 reviews) A- $80 million $140.1 million
2011 Sucker Punch 23% (202 reviews) 33 (29 reviews) B- $82 million $89.8 million
2013 Man of Steel 56% (292 reviews) 55 (47 reviews) A- $225 million $668.0 million
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 27% (329 reviews) 44 (50 reviews) B $250 million $871.0 million
2017 Justice League Part One N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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