Ok, before we begin, there are MASSIVE SPOILERS in here if you haven’t seen Batman V Superman yet, ok?
You’ve been warned…
Before I went in to see Batman V Superman (I was very underwhelmed by much of it and also adored some of it in case you’re wondering) I learned a piece of information that really knocked me off-centre for my viewing.
Do you remember Burton’s ’89 movie? And how the fact that Batman was a killer annoyed people? Well, as much as I love that movie and would say it was the movie that cemented me in the Nerdy foundation I find myself in now, it annoys me to this day that he’s bowing people up and dropping them down cathedral spires.
Nolan’s Dark Knight series established that he would never kill (although with Ra’s Al Ghul he didn’t feel obliged to save him either) in the confines of that world.
Bruce Wayne in the comics took a vow before putting on the suit that, no matter what, he would not become a killer.
But in Batman V Superman he is a cold-blooded and vicious killer (I loved how dark and dangerous he was but man, the killing is a major disregard of what makes him Batman in my eyes).
Talking to Hey U Guys, director Zack Snyder explained why this was the case (the full video is below): “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 [Ed’s note – no it doesn’t].
“So, I tried to do it by proxy. 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.
A little more like manslaughter than murder, although I would say that in the Frank Miller comic book that I reference, he kills all the time. There’s a scene from the graphic novel where he busts through a wall, takes the guy’s machine gun…I took that little vignette from a scene in The Dark Knight Returns, and at the end of that, he shoots the guy right between the eyes with the machine gun. One shot. Of course, I went to the gas tank, and all of the guys I work with were like, ‘You’ve gotta shoot him in the head’ because they’re all comic book dorks, and I was like, ‘I’m not gonna be the guy that does that!’”
Honestly, we think that’s nonsense – sorry Zack – just say your Batman is a killer now, we don’t have to like it but don’t try to say that if he shoots a car and it blows up killing the bad guys, it’s directly murder.
Am I wrong? Let us know…
It seems Snyder is dealing in degrees of greyness, similar to how Batman in Batman Begins was unwilling to kill, but was just fine with leaving Ra’s al Ghul to die.