BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Zach Snyder has a bit of a reputation. After 300, The Watchmen, Sucker Punch and Man of Steel we can come to expect a few things from his movies - chief among them being plenty of gloriously detailed slow motion shots. But there may be a newly emerging trend of muted, de-saturated color that the folks behind the new You Tube channel VideoLab have painstakingly pointed out in their inaugural video upload. Have a look...

The video makes a pretty strong case for the film being a bit over-the-top in its dark look - so much so that when compared side-by-side to the altered version, you wonder why people weren't immediately flooding eye doctors for check ups upon leaving Man of Steel screenings. It's also a wonder that people in 3D screenings of Man of Steel were able to see anything at all considering how muted those glasses already tend to make things.

Let There Be Light on Superman

The video makes some good points about why DC and Warner Bros may have decided to go this route - and why even though it may make some illogical business sense, it doesn't necessarily honor the character. You could make a case that this is just the kind of palette Zach Snyder likes to work with, but the video points to the failure of the brightly colored Green Lantern and the success of the Batman movies as the reason the studios may have went dark - literally.

Video Lab sheds some light on Superman in Man of Steel.
Video Lab sheds some light on Superman in Man of Steel.

But it is true that first and foremost you should do right by the character and Superman isn't Batman - hey, we'll soon have a whole movie to explore that premise. It's sad to think that studios believe the failure of Green Lantern had everything or anything to do with the level of brightness and saturation of its colors. It's even more depressing to think that due to the success of The Dark Knight Rises that DC and Warner Bros would jump to the conclusion that all of its comic book properties should have the same look when adapted to movie screens.

Batman vs Superman's Color Spectrum

As I'm sure Batman vs Superman will explore, these two characters couldn't be more different in tone, theme and, yes, color palette. Sure, both characters have been hugely successful for a very long time - but that certainly wouldn't be true if their comic books essentially looked exactly the same. People don't finish reading a Batman comic book and turn to a Superman comic book to get the same thing. Here's hoping Warner Bros and DC don't take this same look to Aquaman and Wonder Woman.

Batman vs Superman trailer gets the Video Lab treatment.
Batman vs Superman trailer gets the Video Lab treatment.

The Video Lab video already takes some shots from the Batman vs Superman trailer to show how the Man of Steel filter is still firmly in place. Suddenly I'm worried by the fact that most of the characters that have their solo movies already scheduled are being introduced in Batman vs Superman - meaning that this dour tone could easily spread to each of their movies quite easily.

Let's hope DC realizes that each of their characters can have different looking movies that reflect the spirit of their unique characters. Look at the difference between the look of Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier - the same character can even have two tonally different movies that also use different cinematic looks. I'm hoping that after the dark tone of Man of Steel and [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), we can get a Superman with some bright red white and blue colors.

What do you think? Has this video shed some light on Superman for you? Did Man of Steel's look work for you - would you buy a copy or watch a "color restored" version of Man of Steel? Let us know in the comments below!


Which version of Man of Steel do you prefer?


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