Alexandria area native Daryn Kirscht was not a film buff until after he graduated from high school, an experience that was kicked off in part when he went to see "The Dark Knight Rises."
Before that film started, a trailer was shown for Zack Snyder's upcoming film, "Man of Steel."
"There was something about 'Man of Steel' that really caught me, that really resonated with me, and what's true about all the movies that Zack has done," Kirscht said. "It's so different from the norm. It branches out into its own thing. …
"There's something about his style and the way he portrays his characters that really resonated with me, and obviously resonated with other people as well," he said.
It resonated so much that Kirscht has written a book covering the director's work since 2012, "The Snyderverse Saga: The Culture-Shattering Phenomena Behind Zack Snyder's DC Film Universe."
Kirscht is a native of the Alexandria area, having attended high school at Bertha Hewitt. He currently lives in Grand Forks.
"It kind of started off a little bit differently than what it is now," Kirscht said. "It was going to be a book mainly about 'Batman vs. Superman' and the ramifications and fallout, the good and bad that happened after that movie. It was kind of crazy there for a while.
"But then it kind of evolved and turned into more of a story about everything, especially once Zack's 'Justice League' became a thing and was released. It just seemed fitting that I should cover the whole spectrum, the whole series," he said.
Covering that spectrum involved going through many articles from trade magazines and backing up the facts contained within them.
"I'm part of the fandom," Kirscht said. "I'm a Zack Snyder fan. I think you almost have to be to write a book like this. But for the research, being part of the fans, I lived through that, I guess. So I experienced most of this stuff when it happened. I've been following it for a long time. So a lot of it I kind of knew what I was going to write about. The biggest thing with the research was finding the articles and backing everything up. That was a little bit tedious, but definitely worth it."
In addition to the films themselves, the book also discusses the behind-the-scenes stories, including one acutely painful for the director.
When Snyder was editing "Justice League," his daughter committed suicide. Snyder then stepped down from the project, which was retooled in his absence, becoming more of a comedy than it was intended to be, with new footage being shot and other footage being repurposed.
While Warner Brothers assured fans it was still Snyder's movie, it was clearly not the case, Kirscht said.
This resulted in a campaign to release Snyder's cut of the film, which was ultimately done through HBO Max.
"I think the general consensus is that (Snyder's version) is better, but I think it's miles and miles better than the one that was released in theaters," Kirscht said.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two cuts, aside from the tone, was that the "Snyder cut" runs four hours, compared to the original's two.
This gives a chance for much more character development than the original film offered, Kirscht said.
"In this version, everybody had a super-important role," he said. "It was kind of the culmination of everything."
The book also deals with the charitable side of fandom, directly related to the suicide of Snyder's daughter. Since that time, fans have raised approximately $750,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Kirscht said.
Kirscht is donating a portion of the money his book makes in its first two weeks to the foundation, as well.
He is also trying to launch an apparel campaign related to the book, all the proceeds of which will go to the foundation, he said.
Kirscht thanked the company through which he is publishing the book, Paper Raven Books.
"They were really great to work with every step of the way," he said. "They really helped empower me. They kind of gave me all the tools and resources to bring this book to life in a way that I didn't feel like I could before."
He also hopes that news of the book will reach its inspiration.
"I don't know if Zack knows about it yet, but I'm really hoping he does," Kirscht said.
"The Snyderverse Saga" was released Oct. 26. It is available on Amazon digitally, in paperback and hardcover.