We’ve known for some time that the events of 2013’s Man of Steel would inform the superhero showdown in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne witnessed Kal-El's tussle with General Zod in the sky first hand. Needless to say he’s not exactly thrilled about the prospect of a nearly omnipotent alien walking among us. Many people have logically assumed that Superman’s willingness to murder Zod represents Batman’s biggest point of contention with the Kryptonian, but according to Zack Snyder, it has more to do with the sheer destruction Superman caused.
In an interview with WIRED Magazine (via Superman Homepage) director Zack Snyder discusses how Batman will take issue with Superman’s destruction of Metropolis:
To me, the killing of Zod is not as big a deal as the destruction of Metropolis. It's important that these movies have consequences, that there is collateral damage. In Batman v Superman I wanted to show how Bruce Wayne feels when reduced to a sideline sitter. Batman is frightened by his impotence in the face of that.
From a character standpoint it makes a great deal of sense. Before the arrival of Superman and the Kryptonians Batman probably thought he had made a difference in the world. Godlike aliens raining down hellfire from the sky represents a different league altogether, and it’s the sort of thing that could threaten his sense of purpose. We’ve already seen moments from the trailers where Bruce even wonders if taking on Superman will be the only thing he has done in his career as the Caped Crusader that even makes a difference. He's a man with a guilt complex, as well as an overwhelming need to do something about that guilt.
Don’t take my word for it, just listen to Ben Affleck’s Batman explain his stance on the matter in the following trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice:
This revelation also has us wondering where Batman will stand on the issue of murder. Rumors have swirled over the last couple of months that Batman V Superman’s version of the Dark Knight may in fact have the willingness to kill in the course of his vigilante work. If his problem with Superman stems more from the destruction of Metropolis and less from the murder of Zod, then we can’t necessarily rule out the possibility that this new iteration of Batman will condone the act of taking a life in the pursuit of justice. We will just have to wait and see.
Zack Snyder’s statement will likely comes as a relief to members of the audience who thought Man of Steel unnecessarily shifted focus away from the consequences of the destructive third act. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will directly address the scale of what happened to Metropolis, and attempt to make Superman answer for the carnage. Batman V Superman will blast into theaters later this month on March 25.