Entertainment Earth

Zack Snyder wants Batman as a Murderer

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1 Response

  1. David Bracey says:

    Snyder has a cynical point of view that’s common in today’s world, but I don’t necessarily agree that believing in “innocent” heroes is akin to believing in unicorns. Is it possible that studio “fix it” men had Snyder’s daughter killed to save hundreds of millions of dollars? Yeah. We live in that kind of world. Does it mean it must’ve happened that way? No.

    We do live in an era where everyone has “dirt” on them, and worse, ANYONE could believe it with little or no convincing. Before JFK, the American Dream was ALIVE. Since the assassination, more assassinations, Watergate, Iran-Contra, sex in the White House (probably not new, but reporting it is), plots to invade Iraq and fool the American public. Major companies – like big pharma – swinging their money around to the detriment of patients… cynicism is easy.

    Even if you’ve never been convicted of a crime, and you’re a pretty decent person who doesn’t lie about anything major (birthday surprises and other “little white lies” aside), maybe you tried alcohol when you were underage, or smoked pot in a state where it’s illegal, or stole something, or drove a hundred miles an hour or something. Nobody’s perfect. But if they TRY to overcome their base humanity, they’re heroes. Some high school/ college jerk has kids and decides to stop smoking and drinking and partying, and suddenly starts working two jobs and doing ANYTHING to help his kids or others… it happens.

    And while overall, I enjoyed Batman as portrayed by both Keaton and Affleck – both of whom killed some of their opponents – the whole point of “Super” heroes is to create fictional characters who rise above the rest of us.

    In the “real” world, a vigilante like Batman would inevitably kill. Good cops get amped on adrenaline and shoot innocent people. Two typically good guys get in a fist fight in the fast food parking lot and one of them dies from a concussion – SOMEBODY would likely die if there was a real Batman. But the whole point comic book heroes is to provide FANTASY. In the comics, Harvey Dent doesn’t die (or stay dead long). In Nolan’s Dark Knight, Batman not only couldn’t save Harvey, but physically killed him. In that case, I would’ve preferred a Batman who was smart enough to both save the kid AND Harvey. But that’s me. I ALSO enjoyed seeing Affleck take off the “kid” gloves and just blow people away, or ride such a fine line that he was blowing away their car, and the EXPLOSION killed the criminals.

    Bob Kane envisioned the Bat as a guy who WOULD use a pistol (he was kind of a knock off of Zorro and The Shadow – both of whom killed). Siegel and Shuster had Supes throwing a crooked landlord off the roof of his tenement for raising rent too much. The World’s Finest both killed Nazis, I believe. The “no kill” rule came later, both as a result of pressure from parents to tone down the violence that was influencing their impressionable kids, and because it provided interesting challenges for the story-tellers. The Batman in Nolan’s Batman Begins – who WANTS to kill but then rises above it – makes perfect sense… as does a Batman who doesn’t mind throwing a guy on his own grenade.

    I grew up on the “no kill” rule for DC’s heroes, but I also on 007 and G.I. Joe, who killed all the time. What I LOVED about those DC characters though was the ESCAPE from an oppressively cynical reality. Through Batman and Superman, I could imagine guys like Jim Garrison living up to the hype in real life. He was the CIA’s worst nightmare in the case against Clay Shaw BECAUSE he didn’t have any real dirt. He loved and was faithful to his wife. He didn’t embezzle. He had values and generally lived up to them.

    For most people? Yeah, we’re human. We fail. But Superman didn’t have to. Batman could – believably – choose not to kill as he did in Nolan’s Batman Begins. Very heroic. Very DC. And he STILL rode the line by NOT saving Ra’s Al Ghul at the end. I thought the “Saving Martha” sequence was one of the most thrilling, exciting, jaw-dropping Batman fights ever put on film, and his sheer brutality really worked for the most part, but in that warehouse fight scene, he doesn’t snap necks, or pick up a gun and start shooting like he did during the dream sequence. I preferred that Bat to the one blowing up cars and their occupants, but if I were alone in wanting DC heroes to strive for higher standards, Snyder would’ve finished his trilogy, and fans wouldn’t have thrown so much shade at Man of Steel and B v S.

    I’m not saying that DC heroes can’t play rough – I LOVED Dick Grayson in the show Titans (and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more brutal) – but I think there’s an acceptable limit, and overall, Snyder’s Superman and Batman crossed over the limit. Iron Man and Captain America? They can kill. Superman and Batman? Don’t have to. They have augmented minds and super powers. Just my take on it anyway. I didn’t hate Snyder’s take, but I thought it was a bit too dark and cynical for FANTASY heroes. At the same time, I don’t want future iterations to fail in the opposite direction and go too Schumacher again. It’s a tightrope, but that’s why it’s so impressive when writers, directors, and actors manage to walk it.

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