In “Batman v Superman,” an all-new Batman is introduced into DC’s new, expanding cinematic universe. We’ve seen this version, played by Ben Affleck, in action in the final trailer — and it was a brutally efficient affair. But despite many comic book interpretations of the Dark Knight portraying the character as one opposed to killing, the Batman featured in Zack Snyder’s film has developed a justification for using lethal force..
While talking to HeyUGuys, Snyder explained his justification for Batman’s use of deadly force, citing previous onscreen incarnations by directors Tim Burton and Chris Nolan as well as Frank Miller’s classic “The Dark Knight Returns.” Snyder says:
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!’
Snyder previously defended his decision to show Superman taking a life in 2013’s “Man of Steel,” saying that the rule that Superman doesn’t kill “doesn’t exist in the comics. In the comics, he’s actually killed Zod a couple of times. In the comics he’s more of a practical hero. His aversion to killing won’t stop him from doing it if it’s the only solution.”
You can check out the entire interview with Snyder, which includes some spoilers for “BvS,” below. “Batman v Superman” opens in theaters on March 25.