Zack Snyder Says Batman Needs To Kill People

By Charlene Badasie | Published

zack snyder batman

Although the Dark Knight is commonly portrayed as a superhero with a strict no-kill policy, Zack Snyder believes Batman will become “irrelevant” if he sticks to the rule. During an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, the director questioned whether the Caped Crusader can truly be considered a god if he never faces the moral dilemma of taking a life.

Snyder Says DC Is Coddling Batman

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“Batman can’t kill, right? So, ‘Batman can’t kill’ is canon,” Zack Snyder explained of dealing with the Batman source material. “So, I’m like, ‘Okay, the first thing I want to do when you say that is I want to see what happens [if he kills]. ‘And they go, ‘Well, don’t put him in a situation where he has to kill someone.'”

Zack Snyder believes that keeping Batman in familiar territory invalidates the character’s significance. “I’m like, ‘You’re just protecting your god in a weird way,'” he continued. “You’re making your god irrelevant if he can’t be in that situation. He has to now deal with that. What does it mean? Does he stand up to it? Can he survive that, as a god?'”

He Kills Because He Cares

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According to Zack Snyder, breaking the rule made for a better story in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where the Caped Crusader kills random henchmen with the Batmobile’s machine guns, drives through people on purpose, stabs and breaks the neck breaks of various bad guys. Although none of these killings were significant, fans were not happy.

Touching on the criticisms he has faced for his darker portrayal of DC’s superheroes, Zack Snyder said, “I tend to get in trouble because I take a deconstructionist view because of The Dark Knight Returns, because of Watchmen. If you’ve read those two comics, it’s hard to go back, and it’s because I care that I want to take them apart.”

Neckbreaker Of Steel

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Zack Snyder directed three movies within the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) that focused on a darker Batman and Superman. In 2013, the filmmaker introduced fans to Henry Cavill as the Last Son of Krypton in Man of Steel. The film explores the character’s origin story, the discovery of his powers, and the challenges he faces when General Zod threatens Earth.

Man of Steel received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised its action sequences and visual effects, while others criticized its darker tone and portrayal of the character. Fans had a varied response, with some enjoying the fresh take on Superman, while others missed a more traditional approach to the popular DC superhero.

Batman v Marthaman: Dawn of Martha

zack snyder batman

Zack Snyder went on to direct 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The movie follows the events of Man of Steel and introduces Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The story revolves around the conflict between Batman and Superman while also setting up the formation of the Justice League. The film received mixed to negative reviews – once again for its dark tone.

Justice League

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Justice League, released in 2017, was initially directed by Zack Snyder. However, he had to step down during post-production due to personal reasons. Joss Whedon took over to complete the film. The story follows Batman’s efforts to assemble a team of superheroes, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg, to save the world from an impending threat.

Justice League received mixed reviews, with criticism for its lighter when compared to Zack Snyder’s DCEU films. Following an online campaign, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released on HBO Max in 2021. It received a more positive response from fans and critics, who seemed to have forgotten their initial dislike for Zack Snyder’s morally ambiguous Batman and Superman.

The Rule

The “no-kill” rule has been a fundamental tenet of Batman’s moral code in the comic books for most of his publication history. Rooted in the character’s early stories, which includes witnessing the murder of his parents, this ethical stance distinguishes Batman from other superheroes. His traumatic childhood experience becomes the driving force behind his crusade against crime.

To prevent others from experiencing the pain he endured, Batman adopts a strict policy against taking lives, even those of his adversaries. So, Zack Snyder having Batman break the no-kill rule is often considered disrespectful to the iconic hero as it destroys everything he stands for.