There is a number of controversial plot points in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. At a whopping 153 minutes long, Zack Snyder’s film packed in plenty of elements that will have fans bickering for weeks and months to come. Undoubtedly, the most contentious moment was the ‘Death of Superman.’
While it’s abundantly clear that the Man of Steel will return in Justice League, his shocking (okay, not so shocking) demise at the hands of Doomsday was a powerful and poignant moment for comic book fans and should be remembered for a long time.
During an interview (below) with Collider (via Squareeyed), director Zack Snyder revealed that he had a ‘philosophical’ conversation with executive producer Christopher Nolan about thew bold decision to kill Superman: “It was pretty early, and [Christopher] Nolan and I had long conversation about it, a really great, sort of philosophical conversation about it. He was really cool because he played an amazing devil’s advocate about why not to do it, and then in the end was like, ‘No you’re right, it’s better to do it.’”
It’s interesting that Snyder was able to coax Nolan over to his way of thinking, but what happened when the director revealed his plans to Warner Bros.?
“The studio was like, ‘What?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah but, how about I called the movie Dawn of Justice?’, and they’re like ‘Okay, okay, I like what you’re doing, I see what you’re doing.’”
“I thought for the evolution of Superman’s character, there’s a crucible that he has to go through to really embrace his humanity or find what is the ultimate thing about being human? The ultimate thing you face is your mortality, and that’s a thing that I think is really cool about this.”
Batman v Superman ended with a momentary frame, showing the dirt on Superman’s coffin starting to rise, teasing his inevitable return. When asked why he included that specific moment, Snyder’s response was: “I’m gonna say this: the second you do the first part of it, the death and resurrection are the same thing in a weird way. You have to know. The reason I wanted to do it the way we did it is because I don’t want the audience completely off the hook with it. They still have to go like, ‘What the [frick]? Are you kidding me?’.
“There’s a way to signal towards a more definitive resurrection concept, but I didn’t wanna do that because I want that to be real for them when they see it, I want the experience to be real and then the sort of need to be real later on. Suffice it to say there is a plan, but that’s gonna be—you need to wait and see.”
Was there any time when the movie wasn’t going to be The Death of Superman AKA Doomsday kills the man of Steel?: “We had a version that we talked about where [Superman] just—this isn’t it, but where he got frozen and shot into space or something, so he’s kinda gone.
“Because one of the big things I wanted to make sure of was that as we went into Justice League, Bruce Wayne was the one who was gathering the Justice League. I thought it was really important to have Bruce Wayne be the samurai who goes and finds the other samurai, that to me was important. And with Superman around it’s kinda hard, because Superman’s Superman so it’s kinda hard for Bruce to be like, ‘Yeah I wanna put a Justice League together’. It’s like, ‘Okay, but maybe Superman should be doing that. You’re just a guy. You’re a cool guy, don’t get me wrong, but you’re just a guy.’”
Adding more to it, Snyder talks to EW, Snyder added: “I wanted Bruce Wayne to build the Justice League. I felt like with Superman around, it’s a different conversation when you create the Justice League, right? It’s like, ‘Me and Superman, we want to make a Justice League.’ [Other heroes would be] like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ll join!’ I just feel like Bruce Wayne having to go out and find these seven samurai by himself, that’s a lot more interesting of a premise.”
But how does Snyder plan to bring Superman back? “He comes very close to death in space and the reason why we did that is because I wanted to show — and keep the idea in the viewer’s mind – that he can come pretty close to death and the sun can revive him, or he can be revived,” Snyder says, although after Doomsday, the Justice League is going to have to take more drastic measures of resuscitation. “I think something more is gonna need to be done.
“I felt like there’s a mythological journey for Superman. There’s the birth, death, and resurrection thing. And when you bring him back, who knows what he is when he comes back.”
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The cast of the movie have chipped in on the ending too and what they think it means for the movies going forward.
“The comic book was fantastic, and I think that was a poignant moment in comic book history,” says Superman himself, Henry Cavill says.
Adding to this, Batman, Ben Affleck, added: “One of the themes is, ‘How far is it OK to go, preventatively, to stop someone who you think might be a threat to you in the future?’ And I think the more you go down that road, the darker it gets.”
Cavill adds: “Superman lives in all of us, and it’s the example he set. And he never goes anywhere as long as we believe in him.”
Watch the full interview below: