Netflix Turned Down Zack Snyder's First-Ever TV Show Idea

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Zack Snyder Netflix

Zack Snyder wants to make a TV show for Netflix, but his idea is allegedly too "taboo." 

Following the long-awaited release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, the former DCU director has kept busy with a new slate of cinematic projects, such as Army of the Dead and Rebel Moon - Part One with Part Two expected to release this year. 

However, the filmmaker's interests are not limited to the big screen. According to him, he has an idea for a television series that streamers just won't pick up. 

[ Rebel Moon: Release, Cast and Everything We Know ]

Zack Snyder's Rejected TV Show Pitch

When Zack Snyder was asked by Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience whether he ever considered doing a Netflix series, Snyder answered, "I pitched them Fountainhead" but "no one wants to make it:"

"Yeah, yeah we've talked about it a lot. I mean nobody wants 'Fountainhead' but that's what I wanted to do. I pitched them 'Fountainhead' because I've written this super adaptation of that book. I think it would be amazing but no one wants to make it because they think it's taboo. Ayn Rand is taboo."

For reference, The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel written by Russian-American author Ayn Rand which follows an architect who refuses to give in to accepted, conventional standards and pressures. 

When Rogan asked why Ayn Rand is considered "taboo," the director admitted some think "the book's a Fascist propaganda piece;" but to him, it is "a direct comment on making a movie:"

"I don't know. She's taboo amongst the intelligencia because they think she's a Fascist and they think the book's a Fascist propaganda piece. That's not why I like the book. I happen to like it because, to me, it's a direct comment on making a movie, right? A movie about an architect who won't make the buildings everyone wants them to make and the struggle he goes through to get the buildings made the way he wants to make them. Of course, I like that. I'm sure there's plenty of movie directors that don't like 'Fountainhead,' but I just think it says so much."

Given that Snyder is known for his trademark style, and fans fought for him to release his Justice League vision, it is easy to understand why such a story speaks to the filmmaker. 

Snyder went on to explain how Ayn Rand arrived at her story for The Fountainhead and why it is "one thing [he] had that [he has] always wanted to do:"

"Ayn Rand wrote 'Fountainhead' in direct response to being noted on a script that she had written. She had been studying this movie about skyscrapers and she kept submitting versions of the script and they kept noting her, noting her until it was unrecognizable. And then she was like this is what happens to work. It gets noted til it disintegrates or disappears. So yeah, that's one thing I had that I've always wanted to do. But I don't know that the world will allow that."

As to why the writer and her work is supposedly a touchy subject, Zack Snyder admitted he's "exclusively a Fountainhead fanatic:"

"'Atlas Shrugged?' Fair. I mean, you can play with that. I'm pretty exclusively a 'Fountainhead' fanatic. Also, because it's melodrama too. It's the most melodramatic thing ever."

It is worth noting that Zack Snyder had not always planned for his adaptation of The Fountainhead to be a TV show. 

In talking with The New York Times in 2021, he referred to the project as a "movie" and noted its potential for divisiveness, saying, "We need a less divided country:"

“'Fountainhead' right now is on the back burner, and I don’t know how that movie gets made, at least not right away. We need a less divided country and a little more liberal government to make that movie, so people don’t react to it in a certain way."

When asked if it would strike the wrong tone given recent political events, he said, "I think so. But we’ll see. I’m in no rush."

"No rush" is right and nothing new for the filmmaker. 

Back in 2018, Deadline reported that The Fountainhead was supposed to be Zack Snyder's next project. 

But it goes even farther back than that. He discussed the project with The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, calling the book "a thesis on the creative process and what it is to create something:"

"We have 'The Last Photograph' that I’ve been working on for a long time. It’s a small, sort of weird project about a war photographer in Afghanistan. I have been working on 'The Fountainhead.' I’ve always felt like 'The Fountainhead' was such a thesis on the creative process and what it is to create something. Warner Bros. owns [Ayn Rand’s] script and I’ve just been working on that a little bit."

[ Marvel Phase 4 Director Criticizes Zack Snyder's DC Movies ]

Why Netflix Doesn't Want Snyder's The Fountainhead

Anyone who knows Zack Snyder's story gets why The Fountainhead is appealing to the filmmaker. 

And, since the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director is best known for stylized, action movies, it would be refreshing to see him tackle a message-heavy book adaptation through a TV series format. 

But due to the book's divisiveness and the current political climate, Snyder's narrative - no matter how innocent - would likely be overshadowed by politics, regardless of his and Netflix's best efforts and intentions. 

Plus, Snyder's fans are known for their loyalty and fervor and would likely bring even more attention to a potentially contentious project.

Fans will, however, get an idea of a Snyder-style television show sometime this year when Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, an anime-horror series based in his Army of the Dead universe, drops on Netflix.

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is streaming now on Netflix.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.