Snyder chatted with Forbes about a variety of genre topics, with much of the time focused on the upcoming Man of Steel followup Batman vs. Superman. Love him or hate him, Snyder is an astute fan of the genre, and he offered some pretty good insight into the decision-making process to have the Man of Steel sequel introduce Batman in an adversarial way:
“I gotta be honest, it definitely was a thing that… after Man of Steel finished and we started talking about what would be in the next movie, I started subtly mentioning that it would be cool if he faced Batman. In the first meeting, it was like, ‘Maybe Batman?’ Maybe at the end of the second movie, some Kryptonite gets delivered to Bruce Wayne’s house or something. Like in a cryptic way, that’s the first time we see him.
But then, once you say it out loud, right? You’re in a story meeting talking about, like, who should [Superman] fight if he fought this giant alien threat Zod who was basically his equal physically, from his planet, fighting on our turf… You know, who to fight next? The problem is, once you say it out loud, then it’s kind of hard to go back, right? Once you say, ‘What about Batman?’ then you realize, ‘Okay, that’s a cool idea. What else?’ I mean, what do you say after that? …But I’m not gonna say at all that when I took the job to do Man of Steel that I did it in a subversive way to get to Batman. I really believe that only after contemplating who could face [Superman] did Batman come into the picture.”
Looking back at the comic canon, and what Frank Miller did with his seminal work The Dark Knight Returns, we can see Snyder’s reasoning to match up Supes against the best hero humanity has to offer (which is apparently Batfleck? Whatever, we digress) in the wake of his battle with Zod.
For fans wondering what we’ll get from Gal Gadot’s version of Wonder Woman, Snyder also dropped a bombshell — confirming we’ll get to see Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all on screen together, in costume. There had been rumblings that Gadot’s role might be a small cameo to set up Justice League, outside of her traditional hero garb, but Snyder confirms they’ve already done costume tests with the trio together:
“We just went through Superman’s 75th, and it was very exciting… and to me, it was just really awesome. And the idea of having the Batman 75th and the Wonder Woman 75th together is kind of an amazing thing, too… The thing also that’s really fascinating for me is that, even just in the tests we’ve been doing, the costumes, right? You basically have Batman and Superman — and this is without Ben [Affleck] and Henry [Cavill] in the costumes, but just like the stand-ins, just testing to see what the costumes look like. And you have them standing there and they’re standing in the same shot — and then we have Wonder Woman, you know, all three of them in the same shot.
Even just for a test, you really have to go, ‘Wow, that’s crazy!’ Not only is it the first time that I’m seeing them, it’s the first time they’ve ever existed together on screen in a movie. And that’s kind of a huge deal. Even just Batman and Superman standing next to each other… [I]t’s kind of epic. You do sort of sense the weight of the pop culture iconography jumping out of its skin when you’re standing there looking at the two of them and Wonder Woman. It’s crazy. But it’s fun. I mean, I have the first photo, I’ve got it in my archive because I was like, ‘Okay, I better keep this, it’s gonna be worth something.’”
Okay, yeah, that sounds pretty awesome. Fans have been waiting decades to get DC’s big three on screen together, and we have to throw some respect to Snyder for being the guy to finally make it happen (assuming Batman vs. Superman doesn’t suffer from a mid-2000s Justice League-level implosion within the next year or so -- hey, crazier things have happened).
In addition to looking forward at the sequel, Snyder also touched on his adaptation of Superman in Man of Steel, once again defending his decision to have Supes snap Zod’s neck in the climactic battle. According to Snyder, he was drawing inspiration from the comics, and didn’t expect so much pushback from moviegoers still holding on to the Christopher Reeve vision of Superman:
“I think with Superman we have this opportunity to place this icon within the sort of real world we live in. And I think that, honestly, the thing I was surprised about in response to Superman was how everyone clings to the Christopher Reeve version of Superman, you know? How tightly they cling to those ideas, not really the comic book version but more the movie version… If you really analyze the comic book version of Superman, he’s killed, he’s done all the things– I guess the rules that people associate with Superman in the movie world are not the rules that really apply to him in the comic book world, because those rules are different.
He’s done all the things and more that we’ve shown him doing, right? It’s just funny to see people really taking it personally… because I made him real, you know, I made him feel, or made consequences [in] the world. I felt like, it was the same thing in Watchmen. We really wanted to show it wasn’t just like they thought, like the PG-13 version where everyone just gets up and they’re fine. I really wanted to show the violence is real, people get killed or get hurt, and it’s not fun or funny. And I guess for me, it was like I wanted a hero in Superman that was a real hero and sort of reflected the world we live in now.”
Along with these Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman excerpts, the full interview is loaded with additional goodies about Watchmen, Sucker Punch and the comic-book genre as a whole. We highly recommend you give it a read.