Zack Snyder’s Batman Was Always Designed to Be Divisive

After a string of solo movies, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice saw the Dark Knight finally enter the larger DC cinematic universe. Ben Affleck’s take on Batman in Zack Snyder’s movie was considered quite divisive, as this version of the character was older, bitter, and intent on killing Superman. In a new interview, Snyder gave his thoughts on why his version of Batman was a tough pill for general audiences to follow.

“I don’t have a dog in the hunt. When I made “Watchmen,” it’s deconstructionist. It’s a movie that pokes holes in your heroes. And “BvS” is the same thing. It’s meant to say, Oh, Batman’s drunk and taking painkillers and he’s sleeping with some anonymous girl. He’s a broken person. He dresses up as a bat and he goes out at night and he beats people up. He has issues. I do think the movie came along at a point where everyone was like, oh, we don’t want that Batman. We want Batman to be the warrior-monk who’s cool. And I personally am fine with that.”

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While previous movies had played up Batman’s playboy alter-ego persona, BvS showed Bruce Wayne barely able to cope with the two sides of his life, the old rich man living alone, and the vigilante who has taken to branding and killing criminals. The portrayal shocked many fans who were unfamiliar with The Dark Knight Rises comics that this version of Batman was clearly modeled after.

Eventually, the negative reception to Batman v. Superman led to the derailment of Snyder’s plans for a Justice League trilogy of films. But the filmmaker appears to have no regrets, admitting that he is uninterested in making crowd-pleasing blockbusters, and prefers the notoriety that BvS has gained among comic book movie circles since its release.

“BvS, love it or hate it, it’s probably the most mentioned movie in hashtags and references. It’s the closest thing to a cult film that could exist at this level of pop culture. Am I a provocateur? A little bit. Is my job to make some pop-culture piece of candy that you eat and forget about the next day? Nah. I would rather [expletive] you up in a movie than make it nice and pretty for everybody. Let’s be frank, there’s no cult of Aquaman. Jason is a force of nature, and by all means, I want there to be 100 Aquaman movies because he’s an awesome guy. But it’s not controversial. And I have purposely, because I love it, made the movies difficult.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ray Porter as Darkseid, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. This news orighinated at the New York Times.

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