Just when you thought that the debate was done and buried, Zack Snyder digs it back up again. Thanks to The Playlist, we learned that over the weekend Snyder hosted an event showcasing several of his films in extended editions. This included his sophomore DCEU effort Batman v Superman. During a Q&A session with the audience, Snyder shared his thoughts on superhero films and proved yet again that he doesn’t understand the characters he was directing and writing for.

It’s unclear what comment or question set him off on his profanity laced rant but he started with the following. “Someone says to me, ‘Batman killed a guy.’ I’m like, ‘f**k, really? Wake the f**k up. I guess that’s what I’m saying. Once you’ve lost your virginity to this f**king movie and then you come and say to me something about like, ‘My superhero wouldn’t do that.’ I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ I’m like down the f**king road on that.” There’s a lot to unpack with that comment, but he continued. “It’s a cool point of view to be like, ‘My heroes are still innocent. My heroes didn’t f**king lie to America. My heroes didn’t embezzle money from their corporations. My heroes didn’t f**king commit any atrocities.’ That’s cool. But you’re living in a f**king dream world.”

I greatly disagree with Snyder here. In fact, I would go ahead and say that Zack Snyder has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to these characters. It’s not living in a dreamworld to imagine that superheroes are inherently good people, that’s how they’ve been written. Especially for a character like Batman where it’s been written in to the character’s DNA that he doesn’t kill. Why? It will put him on the same level as the man who killed his parents. It makes him no better than the criminals on the streets. He’s a vigilante with a code. If you take the code away, what are you left with? A murderer. 

Yes, Batman has a dark side and yes, it’s been explored in other films. Tim Burton‘s Batman killed while Christopher Nolan‘s Batman didn’t always save people. However, the brutality and near sociopath behavior Snyder’s Batman is on an entirely new level. Given Snyder’s comments, it’s easy to see why we got the version that we did – because it appears Zack Snyder doesn’t understand that superheroes exist as escapism. They are super-heroes; they are above the average person because with their powers, they make the right choice – no matter the cost. They’re not so easily corrupted or beings who do one good thing and never appear again. They continually fight against evil again and again.

It’s clear he wanted to show people what those characters look like in the modern age. However his approach was off the mark. Creators have accurately represented the times that we’re living in without giving up the characteristics of these characters. Just look to Tom King‘s current Batman run to see how the real world can seep into the story without giving up his morals. Hell, Nolan’s is a modern day take and he didn’t leave a massive body count in his wake. With all this said, let’s hope that we can put this issue to bed for good and move on to upcoming DC films. 

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Erin Lynch