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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.

Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Zachary Edward Snyder

(1966-03-01) March 1, 1966 (age 53)
ResidencePasadena, California, U.S.[citation needed]
  • Film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Denise Weber (divorced)
Deborah Snyder (m. 2004)
Children8 (1 deceased, 4 adopted)[1]

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]

Early lifeEdit

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 lifeEdit

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]



Year Film Director Writer Producer Notes
2004 Dawn of the Dead Yes No No
2006 300 Yes Yes No Co-screenwriter with Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon
2009 Watchmen Yes No No
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Yes No No
2011 Sucker Punch Yes Yes Yes Co-screenwriter with Steve Shibuya
2013 Man of Steel Yes No No
2014 300: Rise of an Empire No Yes Yes Co-screenwriter with Kurt Johnstad
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Yes No No
2017 Wonder Woman No Story Yes Story co-written with Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs
Justice League Yes Story No Story co-written with Chris Terrio
2020 Wonder Woman 1984 No No Yes
Army of the Dead Yes Yes Yes Also cinematographer
Co-screenwriter with Shay Hatten and Joby Harold

Executive producer

Year Film Notes
2016 Suicide Squad Also directed the Flash cameo scene
2018 Aquaman

Short filmsEdit

Year Film Director Writer Producer Notes
2013 Superman 75th Anniversary Yes Story No Animated short
Story co-written with Bruce Timm
2017 Snow Steam Iron Yes Story Yes Also cinematographer

Music videosEdit

Year Artist Song
1992 Peter Murphy "You're So Close"
Morrissey "Tomorrow"
Soul Asylum "Somebody to Shove"
1993 Soul Asylum "Black Gold"
Alexander O'Neal "In the Middle"
1994 Dionne Farris "I Know"
2009 My 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:

Year Film Rotten Tomatoes[22] Metacritic[23] CinemaScore[24] Budget Box office[25]
2004 Dawn of the Dead 76% (184 reviews) 59 (37 reviews) B $26 million $102.4 million
2006 300 60% (229 reviews) 52 (42 reviews) A− $65 million $456.1 million
2009 Watchmen 64% (300 reviews) 56 (39 reviews) B $130 million $185.3 million
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole 50% (126 reviews) 53 (21 reviews) A− $80 million $140.1 million
2011 Sucker Punch 23% (207 reviews) 33 (29 reviews) B− $82 million $89.8 million
2013 Man of Steel 56% (308 reviews) 55 (47 reviews) A− $225 million $668.0 million
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 27% (379 reviews) 44 (51 reviews) B $250 million $873.6 million
2017 Justice League 40% (313 reviews) 46 (50 reviews) B+ $300 million $657.9 million

Awards and nominationsEdit

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]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2007 Golden Schmoes Award Best Director of the Year 300 Nominated
Hollywood Film Award Hollywood Movie of the Year Won
2008 Saturn Award Best Director Won
Best Writing
Shared with Michael B. Gordon & Kurt Johnstad
2009 ShoWest Award Director of the Year Watchmen Won
2010 Saturn Award Best Director Nominated
SFX Award Best Director Nominated
St. Louis Film Critics Association Award Best Animated Feature Film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Nominated
2013 Hollywood Film Award Hollywood Movie of the Year Man of Steel Nominated
2014 Jupiter Award Best International Film Nominated
2017 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Director Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Nominated
Jupiter Award Best International Film Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Adapted Screenplay
Shared with Allan Heinberg & Jason Fuchs
Wonder Woman Nominated
2018 American Film Institute Top Ten Films of the Year
Shared with Charles Roven, Richard Suckle & Deborah Snyder
Producers Guild of America Awards Best Theatrical Motion Picture
Shared with Charles Roven, Richard Suckle & Deborah Snyder
Saturn Award Best Writing
Shared with Allan Heinberg & Jason Fuchs


  1. ^ "Justice League: Zack Snyder quits movie after daughter kills herself". The Guardian. 23 May 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Louie, Elaine (18 February 2011). "Off Screen, a Long-Running Romance". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  3. ^ Everhart, Bill (8 March 2007). "Fan makes a film". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Marsha Snyder Obituary – Pittsfield, MA". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  5. ^ "The North Adams Transcript from North Adams, Massachusetts · Page 15". 1958-05-05. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b Leonard, Devin (1 March 2016). "Zack Snyder's Superhero Life". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Zack Snyder: Watchmen". SuicideGirls. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009.
  8. ^ Douglas, Edward (4 October 2010). "Updates on The Jetsons & Zack Snyder's The Illustrated Man". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike (4 October 2010). "SCOOP: Zack Snyder Directing 'Superman'". Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  10. ^ Fischer, 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.
  11. ^ Fritz, Ben (26 April 2014). "Warner Bros. Plans 'Justice League' Movie Directed by Zack Snyder (Exclusive)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  12. ^ Brown, Todd (2 August 2011). "BREAKING: Zack Snyder Taking Director's Chair On THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  13. ^ Siegel, 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.
  14. ^ Desta, Yohana (29 May 2018). "Zack Snyder's Next Project Is an Adaptation of The Fountainhead". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Zack Snyder Returning to Movies With Zombie Action Pic 'Army of the Dead' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  16. ^ Nicholson, Amy (26 February 2009). "Slow and Steady". Box Office Magazine. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  17. ^ Louie, 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.
  18. ^ Frank Lovece (19 February 2009). "CGI: 'Watchmen'--Zack Snyder brings superhero saga to the finish line". Film Journal International. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
  19. ^ "Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner – Coroner – Case Detail". Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Autumn Snyder (1996–2017)". Find a Grave. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  21. ^ Kit, Borys (22 May 2017). "Zack Snyder Steps Down From 'Justice League' to Deal With Family Tragedy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Zack Snyder". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Zack Snyder Movies Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Zack Snyder Movie Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  26. ^ "Music and Sound for Picture". Hayden Clement.

External linksEdit