Director Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel was one of the most polarizing films of the last few years, with critics and audiences alike either lavishing praise on the film or savagely ripping it apart. One particular point of contention was the film’s grim tone, which was accentuated by a washed-out, dulled color scheme clearly borrowed from Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films.
In a new video posted to YouTube, a team of video editors and designers took it upon themselves to “colorize” the film, adjusting the tone to something a bit brighter and more in line with Superman’s previous big-screen (and small-screen, for that matter) adventures.
Titled “What if Man Of Steel was IN COLOR?” the video created by the team at VideoLab generated more than 1.5 million views over the weekend, and offers up a pretty compelling case for the power of color grading to affect the tone of a movie. While it doesn’t change the most controversial plot points in the film (neck-snapping superheroes and irresponsible acts of carnage chief among them), it does make Henry Cavill’s version of Superman seem a lot more like the Man of Steel many fans know and love as he soars through sunny skies in a blur of bright reds and blues.
After the video went viral, VideoLab offered up an explanation of sorts for their project — likely owing to the scrutiny it received from over a million views.
“Man of Steel is a very dark movie and the footage you see is actually 90% genuine but, at the end of the day, this is a comedy video and no one should be taking it so seriously,” wrote the team in an addendum to the original video’s description. “If the title didn’t give it away, the fact we stop our comparisons every 5 seconds for a dumb joke should have. It’s not a lesson on color grading. It’s not a hit piece against DC. It’s not, ‘Look at us, we ‘fixed’ the movie.’ It’s not an insider expose on the inner workings of corporate filmmaking.”
“It’s a 3 minute YouTube video intended to get a few laughs and maybe shed some light on the importance of color grading for those outside of film & video production,” they continued. “We also think it makes some important points about Superman and Man of Steel.”
In the end, though, the sentiments of the team expressed in the closing moments of the video probably echo those of a great many Superman fans who were disappointed by Man Of Steel:
“The bottom line: Superman should fly in blue skies, not gray ones.”