With hits like Aquaman and Shazam! under its belt, the DC Extended Universe is finally starting to stabilize. The franchise had a bit of a rough start. Early releases such as Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and especially Suicide Squad faced harsh words from some fans and most critics. And director Zack Snyder took the blame for much of it.
Even so, Snyder’s long-term vision for the DCEU certainly has its defenders. But the theatrical cut of 2017’s Justice League — which was completed by Joss Whedon — abandoned his five-film arc midway through. Snyder is still intent on letting fans know what he had in mind.
Now he has dropped a new detail that finally explains the true meaning behind the ending of Batman v Superman.
Zack Snyder kicked off the DC Extended Universe
Although Snyder only had true creative control on two DCEU projects, the director has long been the franchise’s scapegoat. Part of this is perhaps unfair, given his short-term involvement in the brand. But critics blame his “style over substance” approach to action and self-serious treatment of the source material for setting the DCEU’s tone as a whole.
Indeed, Snyder’s movies bear a much darker — aesthetically and narratively — focus than that other superhero mega-franchise. Yet, Batman and Superman have been brought to life on the big screen countless times before. And Snyder needed to find a new way to approach these iconic heroes. He opted to take a more morally complex look at the DC characters.
Truly, few would argue Batman v Superman executed Snyder’s vision in the best way possible, though the Ultimate Edition is a notable improvement. But the director at least delivered a Batman and Superman fans hadn’t seen. Moreover, he united the pair with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. If Snyder’s story had played out as intended, it likely would have worked much better.
The director hosted a ‘Batman v Superman’ watch party
In just the four years since Batman v Superman‘s release, the film has developed quite a reputation. As a standalone superhero epic, it might leave something to be desired. But as the last vestige of Snyder’s original story arc, Batman v Superman is nothing short of fascinating. Fans continue to obsess over it, and Snyder has heavily contributed to its mythologizing.
With coronavirus putting Hollywood on hold, Snyder hosted a Batman v Superman watch party on Vero. During the live event, he revealed many tidbits about the production. Fans learned that Martian Manhunter — disguised as General Swanwick (Harry Lennix) — knows Superman’s true identity. And Snyder discussed the infamous “Knightmare” sequence.
But the most interesting plot point he revealed concerns the death of Superman. Realizing only he can defeat Doomsday, Superman strikes the fatal blow, sacrificing himself in the process. As he is impaled by Doomsday, the Man of Steel lets out a scream that was intended to awaken the Mother Boxes, the cosmic devices that drive the story directly into Justice League.
Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ would have made a lot more sense
Even in his explanation, Snyder doesn’t clarify exactly why the last son of Krypton’s final moments would affect the Mother Boxes this way. However, at least his take creates a direct connection between Batman v Superman and Justice League. In the theatrical cut, the death of Superman isn’t really connected to why Steppenwolf has begun collecting the Mother Boxes.
But the often-rumored Snyder cut would have featured a more direct link between the two films. The director reportedly had outlined an ambitious arc for the DCEU, one with a tragic conclusion. Just as the big battle at the end of Man of Steel kicked off Batman v Superman, it stands to reason the consequences of Superman’s death would continue that trend.
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