Man of Steel is arguably the most polarizing comic book movie of the past decade or so. The final act, in which much of Metropolis was destroyed and many civilians died, was particularly controversial. Many fans have put the blame on Superman – a ludicrous claim, since General Zod inflicted the majority of the actual destruction. Even when saving the human race by destroying the World Engine and killing Zod, Superman is still not seen as a hero in the eyes of many.
Fortunately, that concept – and others spawned by the Invasion of Metropolis – will play a heavy role in the next film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, director Zack Snyder says that these movies should show consequences, and he was surprised by the divisive response to his vision. “I was surprised because that’s the thesis of Superman for me, that you can’t just have superheroes knock around and have there be no consequences.”
Snyder then explains how the tone of DC’s movies differs from, say, Marvel’s. The latter studio has had a more lighthearted approach to its universe, even while dealing with issues such as major destruction. To be fair, Marvel has also shown consequences of these things in its films and television shows, but Batman v Superman will address it in a different light. “There are other superhero movies where they joke about how basically no one’s getting hurt,” says Snyder, “That’s not us. What is that message? That’s it’s okay that there’s this massive destruction with zero consequence for anyone? That’s what Watchmen was about in a lot of ways too. There was a scene, that scene where Dan and Laurie get mugged. They beat up the criminals. I was like the first guy, I want to show his arm get broken. I want a compound fracture. I don’t want it to be clean. I want you to go, ‘Oh my God, I guess you’re right. If you just beat up a guy in an alley he’s not going to just be lying on the ground. It’s going to be messy.”
It turns out that the destruction in Man of Steel also has a personal impact on Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. And no, it’s not Superman and Zod destroying that Wayne Enterprises satellite. Star Ben Affleck says, “One of the things I liked was Zack’s idea of showing accountability and the consequences of violence and seeing that there are real people in those buildings. And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne’s building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event.” Basically, these deaths will lead directly into Batman’s clash with Superman.
Even though Superman did do a lot of good in Man of Steel, there was still much destruction and death in Zod’s invasion. It is great to see that this will not be ignored in future films, and having this plot be the catalyst for Batman confronting Superman – and eventually the formation of the Justice League – is a fascinating concept. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to hit theaters March 25th, 2016. The second installment in the DC Cinematic Universe stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Zack Snyder directs from a script by Chris Terrio and David S Goyer.