Zack Snyder

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Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder.jpg
Snyder at the Sydney premiere
of Man of Steel in June 2013
Born Zachary Edward Snyder
(1966-03-01) March 1, 1966 (age 53)
Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.
Occupation Filmmaker
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Denise Snyder (divorced)
Deborah Snyder (m. 2004)
Partner(s) Kirsten Elin
Children Six children (4 eldest from first marriage, 2 youngest from Elin)

Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American filmmaker, best known for 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 upcoming 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.[1][2][3] He was raised as a Christian Scientist.[4] Snyder attended Camp Owatonna in Harrison, Maine, during the summer months as a child. Snyder's mother inspired him to study paintings 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 (where he was classmates with Michael Bay).


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, among 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,[5] 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.[6]

In October 2012, Warner Bros. announced a planned 2015 release for their Justice League film. It remains unknown at this point whether or not Henry Cavill is expected to reprise his role. 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.[7] However, this report was later denied as rumor by Snyder's representative.[8] 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.[9] Snyder is set to direct a Man of Steel sequel.[10] During Comic Con 2013, Snyder announced that Batman and Superman will share the screen in the Man of Steel sequel titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, coming in 2016. Cavill will reprise his role as Superman and announced in August 2013 that Ben Affleck would play Batman.[11] In April 2014, Snyder was announced by Warner Bros. to direct the Justice League films after finishing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[12]


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 walking down as he slaughters his enemies, and the camera only dollys in and out to emphasize each kill and move, though he has proven capable of directing a fast-paced combat scene, as shown first in Watchmen, and later on in Man of Steel.[13]


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.[14][15]

Snyder has six children. The four eldest are from a marriage to Denise Weber that ended in divorce. The two youngest are from another relationship, with Kirsten Elin, who was his line producer on commercials for a while.[16]


Music videos


Year Film Director Producer Writer
1990 Michael Jordan's Playground Yes No No
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 Yes
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 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Matt Frewer Yes Yes
Michael Kelly Yes Yes
Stephen McHattie Yes Yes
Patrick Sabongui Yes Yes Yes
Eli Snyder Yes Yes Yes
David Wenham Yes Yes
Michael Adamthwaite Yes Yes
Carla Gugino Yes Yes Yes
Alessandro Juliani Yes Yes
Jeffrey Dean Morgan Yes Yes
Abbie Cornish Yes Yes
Jena Malone Yes Yes
Henry Cavill Yes Yes Yes
Amy Adams Yes Yes Yes
Diane Lane Yes Yes
Christina Wren Yes Yes
Laurence Fishburne Yes Yes
Harry Lennix Yes Yes
Gal Gadot Yes Yes
Ben Affleck Yes Yes
Jason Momoa Yes Yes
Ray Fisher Yes Yes
Ezra Miller Yes Yes


  • 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 and Man of Steel.
  • David Brenner served as film editor on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.


Critical, public and commercial reception to films Zack Snyder has directed as of April 26, 2015.

Year Film Rotten Tomatoes[17] Metacritic[18] CinemaScore[19] Budget Box office[20]
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% (288 reviews) 55 (47 reviews) A- $225 million $668.0 million
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A


  1. "Fan makes a film". Berkshire Eagle, The. March 8, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Marsha Snyder Obituary - Pittsfield, MA |". Retrieved 2015-08-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The North Adams Transcript from North Adams, Massachusetts · Page 15". 1958-05-05. Retrieved 2015-08-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Off Screen, a Long-Running Romance New York Times, FEB. 18, 2011.
  5. "Zack Snyder: Watchmen". 5 March 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Fleming, Mike (October 4, 2010). "SCOOP: Zack Snyder Directing 'Superman'". Retrieved October 4, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Zack Snyder to direct a Star Wars movie". 3 News NZ. January 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Hudson, Laura (January 14, 2013). "Zack Snyder Denies Report of New Star Wars Film Based on Seven Samurai". Wired News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Mayimbe, El. "EXCLUSIVE: The DCU Takeover & HUGE Developments on 'Justice League'". Retrieved 2013-06-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief. "'Man Of Steel' Sequel Underway With Zack Snyder And David S. Goyer". Retrieved 2013-06-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Zack Snyder Will Direct Superman/Batman Movie Inspired by Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns'".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Warner Bros. Details Plans for 'Justice League' Movie (Exclusive)". Wall Street Journey. April 26, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "(Archived version) Back away from the zoom lens and AVID". February 26, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Louie, Elaine (October 3, 2004). "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS: VOWS; Deborah Johnson and Zack Snyder - New York Times". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Frank Lovece (2009-02-19). "CGI: 'Watchmen'--Zack Snyder brings superhero saga to the finish line". Film Journal International. Retrieved 2009-02-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Off Screen, a Long-Running Romance New York Times, FEB. 18, 2011.
  17. "Zack Snyder". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Zack Snyder's Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved April 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "CinemaScore". Retrieved April 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Zack Snyder Movie Box office". Retrieved April 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links