[Some of the content below could be considered spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Discretion advised.]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s Zack Snyder has done what comic book fans have said is never done once more. In the previous film, Man of Steel had Superman directly killing General Zod, something that fans argued over.
Some felt that Superman’s code doesn’t allow him to kill, and others said that Zod was one character he actually did kill in the comics. The same could be said for Batman, and while he won’t kill directly, Bruce Wayne has contributed to his share of deaths. Technically, Batman’s (Ben Affleck) problem with the Kryptonian orphan (Henry Cavill) turned out ironic, according to Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder.
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Snyder looked back on previous incarnations of Batman to prove his point. The caped crusader has killed, but it was rarely a direct result of his actions. Even the 2015 video game hit, Batman: Arkham Knight, had the dark knight struggling with his violation of the code. One key scene in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy involved Batman telling Ra’s al Ghul, “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you.”
This is the basis for Zack Snyder’s point about Dawn of Justice‘s death toll. The ironic part of it all is that Bruce Wayne saw the destruction Superman created in Metropolis and felt he needed to be stopped. By the end, he turns out to have killed his share of people, as well.
Going back to Tim Burton’s take on the character, Snyder revealed a disturbing trend he found, in an exclusive interview with Hey U Guys.
“I tried to do it in a technical way. There’s a great YouTube video that shows all the kills in the Christopher Nolan movies even though we would perceive them as movies where he doesn’t kill anyone. I think there’s 42 potential kills that Batman does! Also, it goes back and includes even the Tim Burton Batman movies where this reputation as a guy that doesn’t kill comes from.”
Zack Snyder continues with an explanation that he would let Batman kill, but only as an indirect consequence.
“Shoot the car they’re in, the car blows up, or the grenade would go off in the guy’s hand, or when he shoots the tank and the guy pretty much lights the tank [himself]. I perceive it as him not killing directly, but if the [bad guys] are associated with a thing that happens to blow up, he would say that that’s not really [his] problem.”
In that way, Zack Snyder says Dawn of Justice is reminiscent of the Frank Miller comics, where the dark knight “kills all the time.” There was a scene where he intentionally held back, though, in spite of comic book enthusiasts insisting that was how it was done in The Dark Knight Returns.
— Red Hood (@BornAgainRobin) March 24, 2016
In the scene in question, Batman broke through a wall and grabbed a machine gun. Then he proceeded to shoot a man between the eyes, and the bullet went straight into the gas tank. While filming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder told his team that “I’m not gonna be the guy that does that!”
According to Zack Snyder, Dawn of Justice‘s caped crusader is indeed a killer, but much like in Man of Steel, the death toll is the result of indirect consequences.
This version of Batman is sure to raise some controversy when Batman v Superman hits theaters tomorrow.
[Image via Batman v Superman/Warner Bros. Pictures]