Exclusive: Zack Snyder’s Justice League visual effects supervisor confirms a connection between the deaths of Silas Stone and Watchmen’s John Osterman.
The visual effects supervisor for Zack Synder’s Justice League, Bryan Hirota, confirms a connection between Silas Stone’s death and WatchmenJohn Osterman. Snyder has made a name for himself by bringing comics / graphic novels to life; the visual style and aesthetics of movies like 300 Y Watchmen feeling like moving panels. The director’s work adapting “unfilmable” by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen, cemented its association with superhero cinema prior to the release of DC Extended Universe.
Snyder’s 4-hour cut League of Justice represents the culmination of a story that began in Iron Man Y Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Snyder Cut has been praised for its narrative, signature visuals, and character development compared to “Josstice League.” For example, most of the Victor Stone, aka Cyborg (Ray Fischer) scenes, were removed / re-filmed in League of Justicetheatrical version. Cyborg is possibly the heart of Snyder’s version thanks to an improved origin story; A key moment in his arc was the death of Silas Stone (Joe Morton), who sacrifices himself by overheating a Mother Box so his son can track down Steppenwolf and save the day. The moment conjures up images of John Osterman’s (Billy Crudup) transformation into Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen.
In our interview with Hirota from Scanline, the visual effects supervisor discussed the challenges of bringing Snyder Cut to HBO Max. He commented that Silas’s death reminiscent of Jon’s was more than a coincidence, saying that Snyder and John Desjardin (the visual effects supervisor at Watchmen) wanted that sacrifice to vaguely resemble the birth of Manhattan:
Zack and DJ thought it could be something like the birth of Dr. Manhattan, so it was definitely a touchstone as an idea. That was definitely one of the things we were thinking about as we developed it. I think one thing that was a little different is that Silas has a close-up where his skin is bubbling like in a microwave and little strands of his hair are on fire and stuff. I think Silas’s death is a bit more disgusting than in Watchman, but there are nuances to that in this.
While Silas ends up in STAR Labs’ transparent cage by choice, John gets trapped in an intrinsic field generator after accidentally leaving a watch inside; his colleague watches helplessly as John’s physical being is disintegrated by a bluish light. Instead of a colleague, Victor himself reaches out to his father (as he did to his mother) when the latter disintegrates. Both moments feature the same bright blue / white lighting style and are a catalyst for their respective heroes believed to be dead. While John’s disappearance gives birth to the seemingly omnipotent Manhattan, Silas’s sacrifice (and faith in his son) helps Victor embrace his identity and powers as Cyborg, a full-fledged hero and member of the League of Justice.
Of many ways, Watchmen provided a blueprint for the DCEU; from its mature tone to the parallels of the real world. With that said, Snyder has called Manhattan his favorite comic book character. In addition to Silas death being a callback to one of Snyder’s most popular films, Cyborg, like Manhattan, is the most popular character in his film. Zack Snyder’s Justice League he was originally supposed to cut a standalone Cyborg movie, but League of JusticeThe lackluster reception in 2017 derailed the Snyder-Verse. If Warner Bros. and DC Films don’t accept Snyder Cut as canon, Cyborg’s future outings would see Silas still alive. Hopefully, Snyder is allowed to continue honing his comic book art.
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