Inspired equally by filmmakers like George Lucas and George A. Romero, writer-director Zack Snyder set out to dazzle audiences from day one of his splashy career. Gaining a reputation as a tireless, inventive and efficient director of sleek commercials for companies like BMW and Nike throughout the 1990s, he eventually made the leap to feature films by directing a hyperkinetic reimagining of Romero's zombie classic "Dawn of the Dead" (2004). Having turned a tidy profit on a modestly budgeted genre picture, Snyder far exceeded studio expectations with his next effort, the highly stylized Spartan epic, "300" (2007), a box-office smash based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller. Nothing if not ambitious, Snyder went on to mount the big-screen adaptation of "Watchmen" (2009), the ground-breaking comic book miniseries written by Alan Moore. Looking to work on something fraught with less potential for controversy, he helmed the CGI family fantasy "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" (2010), then wrote, produced and directed the wildly self-indulgent genre mash-up spectacle "Sucker Punch" (2011), about a young girl (Emily Browning) who escapes the real world horrors of a mental asylum by retreating into her own fantasies. Resuscitating the Superman franchise with the highly-anticipated "Man of Steel" (2013) was merely one more make-or-break challenge for the director. Accused of favoring style over substance by his detractors, Snyder unapologetically offered up his films to the fans as pure popcorn entertainment.