When your main character wears a costume coloured red, blue and yellow, it would seem like an odd idea to make a dark, bleak film. Yet that’s exactly what Zac Snyder did in Man of Steel, making a Superman film that matched the aesthetic of the Dark Knight trilogy. So what would it have looked like without all the desaturation work in post-production? VideoLab have an idea.
For their video “What if Man of Steel was IN COLOR?”, VideoLab restored the colour to Snyder’s images, and also offered an insight as to why Snyder decided to go with the dark, gritty look.
In a nutshell, it was a combination of Batman and The Green Lantern’s fault.
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is one of the most successful film series of all time, winning awards and cleaning up at the box office. Meanwhile, Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern film was a massive flop, being panned by critics and barely making back its $200 million production budget.
So with another Superman reboot to be made, Warner Brothers had a decision to make – copy Nolan’s dark, grim films that made them billions, or follow in Campbell’s bright, colourful footsteps that bombed.
Seems like a pretty straight-forward decision, except that it ignores the other crucial aspects which determine a film’s success, like the script, performances and director.
Regardless, with Nolan acting as Man of Steel’s producer the decision was made, and we got a movie that tried so hard to look gritty and realistic but was about an alien who can fly, has superhuman strength and shoots lasers from his eyes.
VideoLab’s conclusion: “Superman should fly in blue skies, not grey ones”.
Looking at their work, it’s hard to argue. And with over 1.7 million views since going live on April 21, it seems there’s an audience for Superman in colour.
(Ps. VideoLab have updated their original description explaining that the video isn’t intended for anything more than comedy.)