SPOILERS below for Batman v Superman
Early in Batman’s career as a vigilante, back in the Bob Kane days, the Bat killed. Not with abandon, only when it was absolutely necessary.
As the story goes, he started doing so too often and the editors of Detective Comics told the Caped Crusader’s writers to tone it down. They did. So much so that for the past several decades, the Batman has chosen not to kill (as far as the mainstream is concerned). It’s become a rule of his; one he abides by religiously… Unless it’s Michael Keaton’s Batman, those don’t count.
Audiences may go to the theater this weekend shocked at Batman’s brutality. Not only does he kill, he, seemingly, kills without much thought afterwards. It’s a fresh take on the character’s big screen portrayal, and in an interview with HeyUGuys, director Zack Snyder addresses the Bat’s extreme measures.
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!’
He definitely has a point; however, the audience will ultimately decide if it was a step too far. Time to sit back and see if any controversy gets triggered, like a certain scene towards the end of Man of Steel.
You can check out the full interview below, but be wary of spoilers as other plot points from the film were discussed as well.
Image: Warner Bros.