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Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder

Zachary Edward Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He made his feature film debut in 2004 with a remake of the 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead. Since then, he has done a number of comic book and superhero films, including 300 (2006) and Watchmen (2009), as well as the Superman film that started the DC Extended Universe, Man of Steel (2013) and its follow-ups, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017). He also served as co-screenwriter for 300, Sucker Punch (2011), and 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), an executive producer for Suicide Squad (2016) and Aquaman (2018), and as co-writer of the story for Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League.

Snyder 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.[2]

Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Snyder at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International
Zachary Edward Snyder

(1966-03-01)March 1, 1966
Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.
ResidencePasadena, California, U.S.
  • Film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Denise Weber (divorced)
Deborah Snyder (m. 2004)
Children8 (1 deceased, 4 adopted)[1]

Early life

Snyder was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and raised in Riverside, Connecticut. His mother, Marsha Manley (née Reeves), was a painter and a photography teacher at Daycroft School, which Snyder later attended. His father, Charles Edward "Ed" Snyder, worked as an executive recruiter.[3][4][5] He has an older sister, Audrey (Davis), and was raised as a Christian Scientist.[2] Snyder attended Camp Owatonna in Harrison, Maine, during the summer months as a child. Snyder studied painting a year after high school at Heatherley School of Fine Art in England, although he had already begun filmmaking. Afterward, Snyder attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.[6]


Snyder made his feature film debut with the remake of the horror film Dawn of the Dead (2004), and scored a box office hit with the fantasy war film 300 (2006), 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,[7] 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 signed on direct a yet-to-be-produced remake of the 1969 film The Illustrated Man,[8] and produced the prequel/sequel to 300, 300: Rise of an Empire (2014). 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.[9]

During Comic Con 2013, Snyder announced that Batman and Superman would share the screen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, released in 2016. Snyder directed, Cavill reprised his role as Superman, and Ben Affleck played Batman.[10] Snyder directed Warner Bros.' 2017 Justice League, but was replaced with Joss Whedon after having to leave during post-production to deal with the death of his daughter.[11]

As of March 2016, Snyder was working on The Last Photograph, a drama about a war photographer in Afghanistan. He is also currently working on an adaptation of the 1943 novel The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.[12][13][14]

On January 29, 2019, Snyder announced that he has signed on to helm Army of the Dead, a zombie horror thriller, for Netflix. Snyder will direct and produce with his partner and wife, Deborah Snyder, via their newly rebranded production company, The Stone Quarry.[15]


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 slaughtering his enemies, the camera zooming in and out to emphasize each kill and move Leonidas makes.[16]

Personal life

Snyder lives in Pasadena with his second wife, producer Deborah Johnson. The couple first met in 1996, started dating in 2002, and married on September 25, 2004 at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan, New York.[17][18] He was previously married to Denise Weber.

Snyder has eight children, half of whom are adopted: Olivia, Willow, Autumn, Eli, Ezekiel, Jett, Sage and Cash. He and Denise had Olivia and Eli, and adopted Willow and Autumn from China. Two younger sons, Ezekiel and Jett, are from his relationship with Kirsten Elin, who was his line producer on commercials for some time.[2] Snyder and Deborah adopted Sage and Cash during the course of making Man of Steel.[6]

On March 12, 2017,[19][20] the suicide of his daughter Autumn prompted Snyder to withdraw from post-production work on Justice League in May 2017 to be with his family.[21]



2004Dawn of the DeadYesNoNo
2006300YesYesNoCo-screenwriter with Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon
2010Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'HooleYesNoNo
2011Sucker PunchYesYesYesCo-screenwriter with Steve Shibuya
2013Man of SteelYesNoNo
2014300: Rise of an EmpireNoYesYesCo-screenwriter with Kurt Johnstad
2016Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeYesNoNo
2017Wonder WomanNoStoryYesStory co-written with Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs
Justice LeagueYesStoryNoStory co-written with Chris Terrio
2020Wonder Woman 1984NoNoYes
Army of the DeadYesYesYesAlso cinematographer
Co-screenwriter with Shay Hatten and Joby Harold

Executive producer

2016Suicide SquadAlso directed the Flash cameo scene

Short films

2013Superman 75th AnniversaryYesStoryNoAnimated short
Story co-written with Bruce Timm
2017Snow Steam IronYesStoryYesAlso cinematographer

Music videos

1992Peter Murphy"You're So Close"
Soul Asylum"Somebody to Shove"
1993Soul Asylum"Black Gold"
Alexander O'Neal"In the Middle"
1994Dionne Farris"I Know"
2009My Chemical Romance"Desolation Row"


  • 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 were Snyder's cinematographer and film editor, respectively, on the films 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch. Fong is also the cinematographer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

  • John "D.J." Desjardin was the visual effects supervisor on Watchmen, Sucker Punch, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.

  • David Brenner served as film editor on Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League and the short film Snow Steam Iron.


Critical, public and commercial reception to films Zack Snyder has directed as of November 26, 2017:

YearFilmRotten Tomatoes[22]Metacritic[23]CinemaScore[24]BudgetBox office[25]
2004Dawn of the Dead76% (184 reviews)59 (37 reviews)B$26 million$102.4 million
200630060% (229 reviews)52 (42 reviews)A−$65 million$456.1 million
2009Watchmen64% (300 reviews)56 (39 reviews)B$130 million$185.3 million
2010Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole50% (126 reviews)53 (21 reviews)A−$80 million$140.1 million
2011Sucker Punch23% (207 reviews)33 (29 reviews)B−$82 million$89.8 million
2013Man of Steel56% (308 reviews)55 (47 reviews)A−$225 million$668.0 million
2016Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice27% (379 reviews)44 (51 reviews)B$250 million$873.6 million
2017Justice League40% (313 reviews)46 (50 reviews)B+$300 million$657.9 million

Awards and nominations

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 the Society of British Advertisers Award for Humor for his controversial EB Beer commercial "General's Party."[26]

2007Golden Schmoes AwardBest Director of the Year300Nominated
Hollywood Film AwardHollywood Movie of the YearWon
2008Saturn AwardBest DirectorWon
Best Writing
Shared with Michael B. Gordon & Kurt Johnstad
2009ShoWest AwardDirector of the YearWatchmenWon
2010Saturn AwardBest DirectorNominated
SFX AwardBest DirectorNominated
St. Louis Film Critics Association AwardBest Animated Feature FilmLegend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'HooleNominated
2013Hollywood Film AwardHollywood Movie of the YearMan of SteelNominated
2014Jupiter AwardBest International FilmNominated
2017Golden Raspberry AwardWorst DirectorBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeNominated
Jupiter AwardBest International FilmNominated
Satellite AwardsBest Adapted Screenplay
Shared with Allan Heinberg & Jason Fuchs
Wonder WomanNominated
2018American Film InstituteTop Ten Films of the Year
Shared with Charles Roven, Richard Suckle & Deborah Snyder
Producers Guild of America AwardsBest Theatrical Motion Picture
Shared with Charles Roven, Richard Suckle & Deborah Snyder
Saturn AwardBest Writing
Shared with Allan Heinberg & Jason Fuchs


Citation Linkwww.theguardian.com"Justice League: Zack Snyder quits movie after daughter kills herself". The Guardian. 23 May 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.nytimes.comLouie, Elaine (18 February 2011). "Off Screen, a Long-Running Romance". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linknl.newsbank.comEverhart, Bill (8 March 2007). "Fan makes a film". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.legacy.com"Marsha Snyder Obituary – Pittsfield, MA". The Berkshire Eagle. Legacy.com. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.newspapers.com"The North Adams Transcript from North Adams, Massachusetts · Page 15". Newspapers.com. 1958-05-05. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.bloomberg.comLeonard, Devin (1 March 2016). "Zack Snyder's Superhero Life". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linksuicidegirls.com"Zack Snyder: Watchmen". SuicideGirls. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.comingsoon.netDouglas, Edward (4 October 2010). "Updates on The Jetsons & Zack Snyder's The Illustrated Man". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.deadline.comFleming, Mike (4 October 2010). "SCOOP: Zack Snyder Directing 'Superman'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.slashfilm.comFischer, Russ (20 July 2013). "Zack Snyder Will Direct Superman/Batman Movie Inspired by Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns'". /Film. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkblogs.wsj.comFritz, Ben (26 April 2014). "Warner Bros. Plans 'Justice League' Movie Directed by Zack Snyder (Exclusive)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkscreenanarchy.comBrown, Todd (2 August 2011). "BREAKING: Zack Snyder Taking Director's Chair On THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.hollywoodreporter.comSiegel, Tatiana (17 March 2016). "'Batman v. Superman': Married Creative Duo on That R-Rated DVD, Plans for DC Superhero Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.vanityfair.comDesta, Yohana (29 May 2018). "Zack Snyder's Next Project Is an Adaptation of The Fountainhead". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.hollywoodreporter.com"Zack Snyder Returning to Movies With Zombie Action Pic 'Army of the Dead' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkboxoffice.comNicholson, Amy (26 February 2009). "Slow and Steady". Box Office Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkquery.nytimes.comLouie, Elaine (3 October 2004). "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS: VOWS; Deborah Johnson and Zack Snyder – New York Times". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.filmjournal.comFrank Lovece (19 February 2009). "CGI: 'Watchmen'--Zack Snyder brings superhero saga to the finish line". Film Journal International. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkmec.lacounty.gov"Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner – Coroner – Case Detail". Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM
Citation Linkwww.findagrave.com"Autumn Snyder (1996–2017)". Find a Grave. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
Sep 26, 2019, 11:39 AM