Zack Snyder has been doing some serious publicity lately around his efforts in the DCEU. The clamour for the SnyderCut of Justice League to be released grows and Snyder does nothing to dampen this enthusiasm.
He keeps dropping hints around what his plans were for the movie and how the rest of the DCEU would have been influenced.
On Sunday Snyder provided a live commentary for Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and A LOT of detail was forthcoming on his choices, his plans and what he was trying to convey.
He talks of the scream Kal-El let out when he died at the hands of Doomsday. He says this was to be heard across the galaxy and was responsible for waking up the motherboxes hidden on Earth. This is what was going to draw the attention of certain parties to the previously unknown Earth. They would be very aware that the Earth was no longer protected following Superman’s death.
This would have been the driving force behind Bruce Wayne’s commitment to create a team as he knew what was coming. This was the bell ringing out across space that Lex Luther mentioned in his jail cell in the final scene.
He mentioned that the Flash scenes were genuine and not, as Bruce thought, a dream. Barry Allen was to travel back and warn him that Lois was the key and her death further on in the timeline needed to be prevented to stop a reborn Superman’s rage. Barry really did appear too early and would need to try again.
He also confirmed the 9/11 imagery of the very first sequence in Batman v Superman was very deliberate. By using imagery that forces an emotional reaction from the audience and it serves as a proxy for the “psychic trauma” Bruce felt watching Wayne Tower collapse.
For Wayne this was a second major trauma following his parents murder and is instrumental in him starting to lose his grip. He responds by doing the only thing he has ever done, fighting.
He stated it is important that the three key men in the movie – Clark, Bruce and Lex – are all fixated with their fathers in some way.
A really interesting point was around Superman’s entrance in Africa. This was apparently going to be a much bigger scene with more action but was toned down in the edit. The intention here, and in other places in the movie, was to pose challenging questions about Superman’s place in the world and, early in his career as this was, his morality through the lens of things like geopolitical reality, civil wars in far away lands and closer to home through political select committees. All this continues the theme of how a modern, cynical world really would react to the appearance of a super-powered God walking among us.
Snyder also said General Swanick (Harry Lennix) was to be revealed in a future instalment as J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter.
Before World War I was chosen as the setting for Wonder Woman they apparently discussed the Crimean War and the American Civil War.
He spoke at length regarding the infamous “Save Martha” scene and dialogue. He said it’s important to note that going into the fight Batman is lost, no longer in control and his moral compass is broken. He is all Batman and no Bruce Wayne. All monster, no human.
Snyder says it is important to note that piece by piece Batman’s mask is smashed away during the fight, revealing more of the human underneath and symbolising his return as Clark starts to get through to him and as he works out his rage. Eventually, come the Martha scene, it is almost his entire face on display.
At this point what makes him pause is not that their mothers shared a name, but that it allows Bruce to see Superman as someone with a mother, and thus a human, despite his alien origin. This gives Lois enough time to intervene.
Tantalisingly Snyder mentioned that he doesn’t think that the movie means an adaption of The Dark Knight Returns is off the menu.
“I still think you could make a Dark Knight Returns movie. I don’t think this movie negates a Dark Knight Returns movie because I think Dark Knight Returns probably, in my opinion, is like, the greatest comic book ever written. That and Watchmen, for me, some of the greatest work, graphic fiction, ever written. It’s just amazing to me, and I think that, by all means, that movie can still be made. That would be fun to do. Someone should do it. But I think it would be great, and it’s certainly still to be done.”
Snyder has a Vegas set heist movie, with zombies, underway at Netflix called Army Of The Dead so any return to the DCEU in any form will be some way off.
It certainly sounds like he put considerably more thought into things than we gave him credit for. Unfortunately it may have been all a bit too subtle and deep for our brains to find in a superhero smash ‘em up?