Born: March 1, 1966
Birthplace: Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.
Zachary Edward Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American filmmaker and producer. He made his feature film debut in 2004 with a remake of the 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead. Since then, he has done a number of comic book and superhero films, including 300 (2006) 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) and Justice League (2017). He also served as co-screenwriter for 300, Sucker Punch (2011), and 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), and as co-writer of the story for Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League.
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.
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 has an elder sister, Audrey (Davis), and 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 Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
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 (2006), 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.
During Comic Con 2013, Snyder announced that Batman and Superman would share the screen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, released in 2016. Snyder directed, Cavill reprised his role as Superman, and Ben Affleck played Batman. Snyder shared directing of Warner Bros.' 2017 Justice League with Joss Whedon.
As of March 2016, Snyder is working on The Last Photograph, a drama about a war photographer in Afghanistan. He is also currently working on an adaptation of the 1943 novel The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
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 lives in Pasadena with his second wife, producer Deborah Johnson. The couple first met in 1996, started dating in 2002, and married on September 25, 2004 at the St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan, New York. He was previously married to Denise Weber.
Snyder has eight children Olivia, Willow, Autumn, Eli, Ezekiel, Jett, Sage, and Cash, half of whom are adopted. He and Denise had Olivia and Eli and adopted Willow and Autumn from China. Two younger sons, Ezekiel and Jett, are from his relationship with Kirsten Elin, who was his line producer on commercials for a while. Snyder and Deborah adopted Sage and Cash during the course of making Man of Steel.
On March 12, 2017, the suicide of his daughter Autumn prompted Snyder to withdraw from post-production work on Justice League in May 2017 to be with his family. Joss Whedon was brought in to finish reshoots as well as oversee the remainder of the film's post-production.
|2004||Dawn of the Dead||Yes||No||No||Directorial debut|
|2006||300||Yes||No||Yes||Co-screenwriter with Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon|
|2010||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole||Yes||No||No|
|2011||Sucker Punch||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-screenwriter with Steve Shibuya|
|2013||Man of Steel||Yes||No||No|
|Superman 75th Anniversary||Yes||No||Story||Animated short film
Story co-written with Bruce Timm
|2014||300: Rise of an Empire||No||Yes||Yes||Co-screenwriter with Kurt Johnstad|
|2016||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Yes||No||No|
|2017||Wonder Woman||No||Yes||Story||Story co-written with Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs|
|Snow Steam Iron||Yes||Yes||Story||Short film|
|Justice League||Yes||No||Story||Story co-written with Chris Terrio|
|2019||Wonder Woman 2||No||Yes||No|
|1992||"You're So Close"||Peter Murphy|
|"Somebody to Shove"||Soul Asylum|
|1993||"Black Gold"||Soul Asylum|
|"In the Middle"||Alexander O'Neal|
|1994||"I Know"||Dionne Farris|
|2009||"Desolation Row"||My Chemical Romance|
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Critical, public and commercial reception to films Zack Snyder has directed as of November 26, 2017:
|Year||Film||Rotten Tomatoes||Metacritic||CinemaScore||Budget||Box office|
|2004||Dawn of the Dead||76% (184 reviews)||59 (37 reviews)||B||$26 million||$102.4 million|
|2006||300||60% (229 reviews)||52 (42 reviews)||A-||$65 million||$456.1 million|
|2009||Watchmen||64% (300 reviews)||56 (39 reviews)||B||$130 million||$185.3 million|
|2010||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole||50% (125 reviews)||53 (21 reviews)||A-||$80 million||$140.1 million|
|2011||Sucker Punch||23% (207 reviews)||33 (29 reviews)||B-||$82 million||$89.8 million|
|2013||Man of Steel||55% (307 reviews)||55 (47 reviews)||A-||$225 million||$668.0 million|
|2016||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||27% (375 reviews)||44 (51 reviews)||B||$250 million||$873.6 million|
|2017||Justice League||40% (305 reviews)||46 (50 reviews)||B+||$300 million||$657.8 million|
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".
|2007||Golden Schmoes Award||Best Director of the Year||300||Nominated|
|Hollywood Film Award||Hollywood Movie of the Year||Won|
|2008||Saturn Award||Best Director||Won|
|2009||ShoWest Award||Director of the Year||Watchmen||Won|
|2010||Saturn Award||Best Director||Nominated|
|SFX Award||Best Director||Nominated|
|St. Louis Film Critics Association Award||Best Animated Feature Film||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole||Nominated|
|2013||Hollywood Film Award||Hollywood Movie of the Year||Man of Steel||Nominated|
|2014||Jupiter Award||Best International Film||Nominated|
|2017||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Director||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay
|2018||American Film Institute||Top Ten Films of the Year
|Producers Guild of America Awards||Best Theatrical Motion Picture