Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder Biography

Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter, best known for action/science fiction films. After making his feature film debut with the 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead, he gained wide recognition with the 2007 box office hit 300, adapted from writer-artist Frank Miller's Dark Horse Comics miniseries of the same name, and later went on to direct the 2009 superhero film Watchmen, an adaptation of the comic book of the same name. He 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. His first family film was the 2010 animated family adventure film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, based on the first three books of the series by Kathryn Lasky. His most recent film is Man of Steel, directed by him and written by David S. Goyer. It was released in the United States on June 14, 2013.

Personal life

Snyder was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. His father was an executive recruiter and his mother was a painter and a photography teacher at Daycroft School, which Snyder later attended. 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 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.


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 Dawn of the Dead (2004), and scored a box office hit with 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, 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 is set to produce a prequel to 300. 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.

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. Speculation swirled again in January 2013, when Vulture reported that he would be developing a Star Wars spin-off film inspired by Seven Samurai. However, this report was later denied as rumor by Snyder's representative. As of March 2013, it was rumored that Zack Snyder might be attached to the long in progress Justice League movie. 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. Snyder is set to direct a Man of Steel sequel. During Comic Con 2013, Snyder announced that Batman and Superman will share the screen in the Man of Steel sequel coming in 2015. Cavil will reprise his role as Superman and announced in August 2013 that Ben Affleck would play Batman.

300 controversy

Before the opening of 300, Warner Bros. expressed concerns about the political aspects of the film's theme. Snyder recalls that there was "a huge sensitivity about East versus West with the studio." Media speculation about a possible parallel between the historic Greco-Persian conflict and the US-invasion of Iraq at the time appeared in an interview with Snyder during the Berlin Film Festival in 2007. The interviewer remarked that "everyone is sure to be translating this [film] into contemporary politics." Snyder replied that, while he was aware that people would read the film through the lens of contemporary events, no parallels between the film and the contemporary world were intended.


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.


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".


Music videos

  • "Love Is A Crime" performed by Lizzy Borden (1990)
  • "Tomorrow" performed by Morrissey (1992)
  • "Black Gold" performed by Soul Asylum (1993)
  • "World Class Fad" performed by Paul Westerberg (1993)
  • "I Know" performed by Dionne Farris (1994)
  • "Walk This World" performed by Heather Nova (1995)
  • "Desolation Row" performed by My Chemical Romance (2009)


Year Film Director Producer Writer Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
2004 Dawn of the Dead 75% 58/100
2007 300 60% 51/100
2009 Watchmen 64% 56/100
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole 50% 53/100
2011 Sucker Punch 23% 33/100
2013 Man of Steel 56% 55/100
2014 300: Rise of an Empire TBC TBC
2015 Untitled Batman / Superman film TBC TBC



Actors Dawn of the Dead
Legend of the Guardians:
The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Sucker Punch
Man of Steel
Michael Adamthwaite
Richard Cetrone
Abbie Cornish
Matt Frewer
Carla Gugino
Alessandro Juliani
Michael Kelly
Stephen McHattie
Patrick Sabongui
Eli Snyder
David Wenham


  • 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 was Snyder's cinematographer and film editor, respectively, on the films 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch.
  • John "D.J." Desjardin has been the visual effects supervisor on Snyder's film since Watchmen.

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