Superman's Fate Explained: Why Batman v Superman Ended The Way It Did
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you haven’t seen the film yet, and don’t wish for any of the elements to be ruined, please click away to another one of our wonderful articles.
By the time Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice draws to a close, the titular Kryptonian loses his life. Even with Batman and Wonder Woman fighting by his side, the Man of Steel finds that the monstrous Doomsday is just too much to handle, and they both manage to kill each other in their final moments (a Kryptonite-tipped spear doing neither of them any favors. As you might imagine, this was easily the most debated course of events behind the scenes of the film, but it was ultimately believed to be necessary in order to show the DC Cinematic Universe and audiences the importance of Superman.
I had the opportunity to touch on many Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice-related topics when I sat down one-on-one with producer Charles Roven earlier this month at the film’s press junket in Los Angeles, California – but it was at the very end of the interview that I brought up the blockbuster’s biggest spoiler. I asked about the debate that went into the decision to kill Superman in the film, and the filmmaker explained what went on in the movie’s production offices, and why the particular creative decisions were made. Said Roven,
We spent a tremendous amount of time talking about it. We felt it was necessary, first of all, it was part of the canon and we liked that. Second of all, we needed to really remind the audience what a special character this guy is, and it doesn’t get more emotional in that moment.
Of course, the final moments of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice leave some wiggle room about the permanence of the eponymous aliens’ fate – specifically with a few specs of dirt. In the movie’s closing moments, particles of dirt that are resting on Superman’s coffin begin to vibrate and levitate, suggesting that the character’s death doesn’t mean he’s story is over. According to Charles Roven, this was a particular moment that was heavily discussed in the editing room, and many questions were raised about how exactly the sequence should go down:
The thing that we spent a really long time talking about was the very last beat of the movie. The dirt, and I can’t tell you how much discussion there was about do we see the dirt rise up. Do we see the dirt rise up? How much do you see the dirt? How many milliseconds? How many frames? I think it was important to let the audience know you haven’t seen the last of him.
Because the DC Cinematic Universe is really just starting to get off the ground, few probably expected that Superman would just be dead – especially with the Justice League movie coming out next year. What adds an extra bent to his death, however, is that it seems it happened in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because it also works to narratively enrichen the 2017 team-up, which will be going into production in the next few weeks. As Zack Snyder explained to Entertainment Weekly,
I wanted Bruce Wayne to build the Justice League. I felt like with Superman around, it’s a different conversation when you create the Justice League, right? It’s like, ‘Me and Superman, we want to make a Justice League.’ [Other heroes would be] like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ll join!’ I just feel like Bruce Wayne having to go out and find these seven samurai by himself, that’s a lot more interesting of a premise.
The DC Cinematic Universe definitely took a bold step adapting "The Death of Superman" in just its second film… but what did you make of the decision? Did Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice make you feel the full weight of the Man of Steel’s death? Do you think it will make Justice League and other future DC Comics movies stronger as a result? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts.
Back to top