Modern Hollywood offers precious few opportunities for auteur directors. Long gone are the days when a big name auteur behind the camera — someone like Hitchcock or Coppola — meant a critical mass of eyeballs. Big franchises have crowded out the idiosyncratic blockbusters of old, either assimilating their directors into the IP fold or shunting them to mid budget indies. Only a handful of directors are left who can draw a crowd for an original idea and, for some reason, one of them is Zack Snyder.
If there is one defining feature of the empire Marvel has built over the last 13 years it would be the homogeneity of their films. After 2008’s Iron Man launched the most popular franchise in the history of film, the MCU has understandably clung to the formula that spearheaded their success. Each installment features some variation of the same fights of good vs evil, the same hero archetype, the same fundamentally evil villain and a staunch avoidance of anything remotely controversial.