Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is clearly divisive, but if there’s one thing you can guarantee fans will be bickering about for years to come, it’s the fact that this version of The Dark Knight kills. Of course, he’s not the first Batman to do so; Christopher Nolan’s take on the Caped Crusader left Ra’s al Ghul to die on a train in his very first solo outing in 2005!
When we caught up with the filmmaker today, he shed some light on why this version of Batman takes such extreme measures, and honestly, it’s hard to argue with his justification.
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.
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 guy’s are associated with a thing that happens to blow up, he would say that that’s not really my 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!’
Batman v Superman producer Charles Roven confirmed that this take on the character serves as “the jury and executioner” earlier this year, and the fact that the hero kills many of the crooks he comes in contact with is never directly addressed in the movie; it’s just something he does! Regardless, you can bet your life it will create some controversy.
However, what Snyder is saying here isn’t wrong. All of the previous incarnations of Batman have killed, while the fact that the critically acclaimed comic book this movie is based on features a murderous Dark Knight should mean that fans really don’t get all that upset about the same thing happening in the movie. Regardless, you can check out the interview below.
Needless to say, the video does include some other spoilers for the movie, so be warned!