ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. More ramblings on Twitter @ExtraTremeerial
Eleanor Tremeer

[Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) is one of the highly anticipated movies of 2016, as it will attempt to answer the immortal questions: who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman? But though the question it answers may be silly, the film itself is far from frivolous, and poses many more questions about the nature of superpowers, responsibility, and government control.

This film is also interesting in that it features the first big screen Batman since Christian Bale's iconic turn in the Batsuit. Naturally, Zack Snyder is aiming to distance this movie from Christopher Nolan's Batman series, and the key to achieving this is through Bruce Wayne himself.

Snyder is drawing from the comic The Dark Knight Returns in order to help Batman vs Superman have a distinctive image, but will it be a complete adaptation? And why does Snyder say this Batman will go back to basics?

Drawing Inspiration

Many fan theories about Batman vs Superman have revolved around plotlines from The Dark Knight Returns. This makes sense, as Synder has employed multiple imagery tricks to establish parallels between the two stories, as you can see from the trailer below...

Mirroring The Dark Knight Returns
Mirroring The Dark Knight Returns

But recently Snyder has sought to stamp down on these theories, obliquely stating that Batman vs Superman should not be considered an adaptation of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, though he did draw inspiration from the comic.

"I was talking to Frank about it: Dark Knight Returns was such a big influence on me, that I wanted to honour him through imagery in the movie,” said Snyder. “You could still make Dark Knight Returns into a movie, if you want. That’s what I’m saying, as far as how much we used and how much we didn’t use. The visual elements, there are some that I homage, but I don’t think the movie [is an adaptation]."

In one fell swoop, Snyder has managed to debunk many a fan theory, but freeing the movie from the strict rules of adaptation means that there are even more plot speculation possibilities. And everything is on the table: Snyder also warned fans that this version of Batman might not be what you'd expect...

Back To Basics With Batman

Batman is one of DC's most popular superheroes, beloved by many and portrayed by many different actors over the years.


Many actors and directors have put their own spin on the role, and there's no doubt that following the popularity of Nolan's films, Snyder and Ben Affleck have a big challenge ahead of them to emulate the iconic hero. Perhaps that's why Snyder recently revealed he took a more back to basics approach, returning to Batman creator Bob Kane's vision. Snyder described how Ben Affleck had made him realise how best to portray the character.

"When I looked at Ben, he was this perfect personification of the Batman that I had in my mind. But the truth is, he wasn’t really the Batman I had imagined. Because Bob really had put him there in my mind, through years of TV shows, comic books, movies. I realized that we all has a Batman in our minds, lurking in the shadows. In a lot of ways, that’s Bob’s legacy."

Of course, representing a character that has meant so much to so many people over the years is incredibly challenging.

Ben Affleck's Batman
Ben Affleck's Batman

Yet Snyder doesn't seem to want to do something especially new and different, but instead he will take a more everyman approach.

"Because Batman is a guy without powers. He’s all of us. We all carry around a hero inside of ourselves every day. It’s Batman. I thank Bob for that. In that hero that we carry around, we realize that the hero is us, because he’s just a man. In truth, we’re all the Batman."

Will this change how we see Snyder's Batman? It may be that Ben Affleck will choose to portray Bruce Wayne in a more grounded, human way, struggling with his feelings of inadequacy when confronted with Superman's power. In that way, this version of Batman really will help to represent the everyman, the underdog, which will no doubt just make him more compelling.

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