WTF? Fans launch petition to let Zack Snyder direct The Batman

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May 2, 2017, 3:18 PM EDT (Updated)

Boy, do some fans have a short memory.

Zack Snyder is a very talented filmmaker in many ways. He's got an often great visual style and an ability to pull off terrific -- if often hollow -- imagery. But judging by his work on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he lacks a fundamental understanding of how to handle superheroes -- especially two of the genre's most iconic figures (one could argue that this is why his superhero deconstruction movie, Watchmen, works much better). He is also not able to tell a coherent story unless he's got a really solid script, something that was lacking on both of those pictures as well.

In addition, Snyder has been raked over the coals for the somber, joyless, ultraviolent and often nihilistic tone that has largely permeated the DC Extended Universe so far, which is what makes this even more bewildering: a petition has been launched to let him direct The Batman in the wake of Ben Affleck stepping down from the director's chair to concentrate solely on playing the title role.

Here's part of the argument that goes along with the petition, which is currently taking up space at, ironically enough,

(Snyder)'s created a beautifully dark DCEU and populated it with characters and stories who fit the narrative perfectly. Some may not care for the darkness he's brought to the founders of the Justice League, but I would advise those people to read more comics. Batman is an incredibly dark character (they don't call him The Dark Knight for nothing, you know), and Snyder's unique vision for his films is perfect for the tragic tale of Bruce Wayne – even more so for this Bruce Wayne, the harder, more vengeful version he becomes after the death of Jason Todd. His world simply isn't a light and happy place. Gotham City seems to live entirely by night (no pun intended), and this makes him a perfect fit.

So these folks seem to like the fact that Snyder has turned the DCEU into a round-the-clock funeral parlor, and suggest that people read more comics if they disagree. Go ahead, go flip through a few, we'll wait.

Let's be clear again: Snyder can be a good and even exceptional director, and his earlier films (barring the unwatchable Sucker Punch) are all fine. Even Man of Steel has its moments, although it misses the very point of Superman. But Batman v Superman was a hot mess, and we can only hope that Justice League somehow acts as a corrective, but we're not holding our breath.

So once he wraps work on Justice League, it's frankly time for Snyder to move on. He and comic book movies don't mesh well, and since he doesn't have a real feel for DC's two biggest characters, why should he keep making movies about them? Everyone needs a break -- Snyder, us, DC and the material itself. Strangely, the person who launched the petition almost goes as far as to suggest that Snyder should direct everything in the DCEU -- is this his wife posting under a different name?

As I write this, more than 3,500 lost souls have signed on, with 5,000 being the goal. It's a funny thing about a certain segment of fans: They often complain about their favorite franchises doing the same thing over and over but scream like holy hell when faced with change. Does anyone else out there think -- this petition notwithstanding -- that change would be a good thing in this case, and that Zack Snyder needs to step away from the DCEU and let someone else direct The Batman?

(via Slashfilm)