Zack Snyder Wanted to Kill Batman

Whether fans like it or not, the DC Extended Universe as Zack Snyder envisioned will never fully come to fruition. Following the disappointing box office performance of Justice League, the slate of DC Comics movies on the way is starting to branch out from building a cinematic universe and trying out some new things, like the origin movie for The Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix.

Of course, Justice League heroes Wonder Woman and Aquaman are continuing on their path, even if Henry Cavill’s Superman may not be sticking around. But we still won’t be seeing what Zack Snyder originally envisioned for the characters, especially since there isn’t a Justice League follow-up in the works.

And that means we won’t get to see one of Snyder’s more bold decisions: to kill off Batman, something we’ve never seen done on the big screen before.

Twitter user Ramesh De Silva recently posted this image on Twitter, imagining what we might have seen if Zack Snyder’s original five-movie arc had played out in the DC Extended Universe as he imagined:

This was also posted to Vero, which is Zack Snyder’s social media outlet of choice, and the director actually saw this post and confirmed that he would have eventually ended up realizing this image on the big screen. Here’s a screenshot:

Zack Snyder Wanted to Kill Batman

Storyboard artist Jay Olivia described Zack Snyder’s five-movie vision for the DC Extended Universe as “epic, grand, emotional, joyful and unforgettable.” And killing The Dark Knight in a movie for the first time ever would have certainly helped accomplish that in some capacity. The question is how he would have done it and what ramifications it might have had on the future of the DCEU.

Originally, Justice League was intended to feature a crazed version of Superman for a much longer period of time than what we saw in the final cut. While Superman has a face off with the rest of the Justice League, Jay Olivia says some of the stuff he worked on had Superman “unhinged” and would have featured some “crazy stuff.” That’s where the black suit would have come into play, and perhaps that’s where the death of Batman would have been featured, leading into what Justice League: Part II would have been.

Considering the fact that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice sets up the idea that Dick Grayson was killed in action as Robin (something else Zack Snyder confirmed), there’s a chance that another version of Robin, perhaps Jason Todd, could have introduced the idea of Nightwing. After all, there’s a movie about Nightwing in the works already, and Zack Snyder might have been involved in that movie as a producer if Warner Bros. Pictures didn’t choose to sever ties with his overall vision.

Even as someone who didn’t enjoy Batman v Superman all that much, I must admit there’s a part of me that’s very curious about what Zack Snyder’s uncompromised version of the DC Extended Universe might have looked like. It would have been fascinating to see where he took these characters and what he brought to the big screen, even if it wasn’t necessarily something that I was on board with. But alas, the DC Extended Universe and DC Comics movies in general are going in a different direction.

In the meantime, The Batman is still in the works with Matt Reeves behind the camera and Ben Affleck apparently reprising the role of the Caped Crusader. The script for the noir-driven comic book movie has been turned in, and word on the street is the studio loves it. Will it actually go into production early next year as planned? Stay tuned.

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