Zack Snyder Talks Purity Of Animation Over Live Action At ‘Twilight Of The Gods’ Netflix Presentation – Annecy

Zack Snyder touched down at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on Wednesday to offer a sneak peak of his upcoming Norse mythology animated series Twilight of the Gods as part of the Next at Netflix showcase.

Aside from the 2010 animated fantasy adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, the Justice League director has worked mainly in live action across his career.

More from Deadline

Snyder suggested the process of developing an animation was similar in many ways to that of setting up an action film.

“We do a lot of drawings, and I do love the process before shooting, storyboarding and layout and all that. I like that part of the process when I make a live action film,” he said.

One advantage of animation he suggested was that the director had more direct control over what ended up on the screen.

“You draw something that’s cool, and then the actors will come and f**K it up. Just kidding. I love actors… but you can really say this is it and we’re going to make this… it’s amazingly sort of pure. It’s from brain to celluloid, I guess not celluloid, but anyway, brain to animation process.”

Snyder, who announced director’s cuts this week for Netflix hits Rebel Moon – Chapter One: Chalice of Blood and Rebel Moon – Chapter Two: Curse of Forgiveness, said he saw animation as complementary to his live action work.

“It really is a natural fit for us. I wouldn’t say it’s different in a lot of ways, but it’s definitely incredibly rewarding and the discoveries that happen along the way are really awesome.”

Long-time collaborator Jay Oliva, who storyboarded Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, is a co-creator and executive producer alongside Snyder on the animated series.

Joining the Netflix presentation panel alongside executive producer Deborah Snyder and third co-creator Eric Carrasco, he seconded Snyder’s comment.

“I was on set with Zack on Man of Steel and he said something that’s very profound to me, which was, animation is the closest form to cinema as it comes in your head as to what’s on screen, because there’s an interpretation, the director, the writer, the interpretation of whatever the medium is, and then the actor, photographer might not see it exactly the way he sees it, or even how I storyboard or I draw it out,” explained Oliva.

“It becomes a combination. So, when you see it in the film with the actors, it’s all an interpretation of somebody’s interpretation of somebody’s interpretation, whereas in animation, the artist draws it and then it’s there.”

Netflix-backed Twilight of the Gods was produced by Stone Quarry Animation, an off-shot of The Stone Quarry, Zack and Deborah Snyder’s joint company with Wesley Coller, who also takes an executive producer credit on the series. French company Xilam Animation oversaw the animation.

Deborah Snyder said the production process had been very different from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, which was made with Australian animation and VFX studio Animal Logic.

“We really had a great time working with Animal Logic on Legends of the Guardians, but the difference was actually really large. Animal Logic kind of did everything, the design work we did in collaboration with them. It was all the in- house team,” she said.

For Twilight of the Gods, Stone Quarry Animation oversaw the research and development before partnering with Xilam.

“We compiled the team. We had over 48 artists working in-house. When I say in-house, part of this was done during the pandemic so people were all over the world… we were able to develop our style and every prop, every environment. And then we got to work with Xilam.  Once we got to the layout phase, then we had a whole collaboration with them. We went back and forth and redid things, and then worked through compositing with them,” she said.”

Twilight of the Gods is due to hit Netflix on September 19.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.