Zack Snyder Breaks Down The Martha Moment From ‘Batman V Superman’

Director Zack Snyder attends The 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice' New York Premiere at Radio City Music Hall on March 20, 2016 in New York City.
Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Zack Snyder is finally speaking out about the choices he made in the DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) first attempt at a shared universe with his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as reported by ComicBook.com. As part of a three-night event at the Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design entitled “The Director’s Cuts,” three of Snyder’s movies were screened. The movies were joined by an enlightening Q&A session with the director himself.

Snyder is the man famously responsible for Warner Bros. unofficial DCEU. The universe began with Snyder’s reinvention of Superman, notably his introduction of Henry Cavill as the character in Man of Steel. His follow up was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, during which he planted the seeds for a team-up film. When Justice League was eventually made, Snyder was in the middle of post-production when a personal tragedy — along with creative differences with WB — saw Snyder replaced by Joss Whedon. This resulted in what’s now known as a “Frankenstein” film, due to the mismatched tone and style of Justice League.

Snyder has been relatively quiet since, but during this new event, he sat down and discussed the details of certain behind-the-scenes thoughts pertaining to one of the most controversial and critiqued sequences of Batman v Superman.

Actors Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, director Zack Snyder, actors Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Jason Momoa speak onstage at CinemaCon 2017.
Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Zack Snyder, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Jason Momoa speak onstage at CinemaCon 2017. Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Batman v Superman saw a direct conflict between the godlike Superman (Henry Cavill), and the non-powered but veteran vigilante Batman (Ben Affleck). The difference in their philosophies brings them to blows, but it ends when a weakened Superman utters his mom’s name, Martha, requesting Batman save her. Martha had been kidnapped at that time by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Coincidentally, Batman’s mother’s name is also Martha, a coincidence which gives the superhero pause and eventually ends the conflict between them. It’s a scene that’s often mocked, as fans were disappointed that such a trivial moment ended a conflict based on drastically divergent perspectives and ideologies — one that had been built up throughout the rest of the movie.

Snyder addressed the rationale behind choosing the name Martha as a point of commonality between the two characters.

“That’s a tough one. And we sort of were just throwing down on their humanity and Batman realizes Superman has humanity, he’s not just a creature, he’s a man — he’s an alien, but he is as human as, in a lot of ways, he’s more human than him, right? He’s sort of embraced all the good parts of the human race, and so Batman’s able to sort of see, in a lot of ways, a thing that he is not. And I think that that was how we started to talk about it.”

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Snyder previously explained the scene immediately after the release of Batman v Superman, as reported by Screen Rant.

“You know, they’re both born and live in a world where someone can care about them and mourn them, and they can love their mother.”

Zack Snyder’s next project will be the Netflix original film Army of the Dead.