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Justice League's Cinematographer Talks the Film's Lighter Style

Justice League's Cinematographer Talks the Film's Lighter Style
From Gizmodo - November 11, 2017

Fans have noticed one important thing about Justice League since the film was first shown: Its not as dark as Zack Snyders older work. Like, not nearly as dark. Apparently, that was the intention from day one.

In an in-depth interview with Kodak, the films cinematographer, Fabian Wagner, talks the films style, his approach to filming, and the benefits of the 35mm film, which Justice League was shot with. According to him, the films lighter visual style, which many of us assumed was a response to the less-than-stellar reception of Batman V. Superman and Suicide Squad, was in place from the beginning of shooting in April 2016.

As discussed in the article, Wagner replaced Larry Fong, Snyders longtime cinematographer. Wagner, who earned a 2015 Primetime Emmy nomination for his work on Game of Thrones, relates how he met with Snyder very early on to discuss his vision for the film:

He is a huge fan of the original comic books and the characters and has a fantastic knowledge of that world. We chatted for an hour or so about his general ideas for the production, moving the look forwards. Zack wanted to get away from the stylized, desaturated, super-high contrast looks of other films in the franchise. I am someone who likes to light very naturally, so that fitted my work ethic. It had already been decided that Justice League would shoot on 35mm film, and although I had not shot celluloid for several years, I was excited by the prospect.

So the lighter visual style isnt necessarily a reaction to the other films, or an indication of studio changes after Snyder left the film. This is, apparently, what he always intended. It makes sense, really. Batman V. Superman is a film largely interested in trying to move from bleak pessimism to a more traditionally superheroic optimism. Using lighter tones for the followup is a natural choice.

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