ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Warning: Major plot SPOILERS for 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' lie below. If you haven't yet seen the movie, then proceed with caution and all that...)

Now, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may have received something of a kicking from critics, and sure, the dramatic fall in its second weekend's box office may well suggest that the majority of fans feel similarly dissatisfied, but in the years to come, that may well not be what we remember when we think of Batman v Superman.

Instead, there's a pretty good chance that we're going to be asking the same question we ask after every Batman movie is released:

Just Why Did We Have To Watch Bruce Wayne's Parents Being Shot YET AGAIN?

After all, whatever your thoughts on Batman v Superman, or indeed on Bat-related movies in general, there's a pretty compelling argument that incorporating the bloody murder of Batman's parents into new Batman movies is more-or-less entirely redundant. After all, the vast majority of a Batman movie's audience - especially one as kid-unfriendly as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - have seen Thomas and Martha Wayne die a whole bunch of times before, suggesting that the production could probably have saved itself a day of filming, and simply just reminded us in passing that Bruce hasn't quite gotten over his parents' deaths.

And yet, as it turns out...

(Note, this is where those aforementioned PLOT SPOILERS kick in...)

Zack Snyder Had a Very Particular Reason For Featuring Thomas and Martha Wayne in 'Batman v Superman'

As he argued in a recent interview with Forbes, the opening sequence's inclusion of the Waynes' murder was a key element in one of the movie's major emotional moments:

"When we were shooting the title sequence, that whole idea about, 'Do we really need to see the death of the Waynes again,' is a big thing to take a shot at again. But you realize you need it, because it actually pays off. And I really wanted to do it all the way."

The payoff that Snyder's referring to there? Well, that'd be the moment where Batman and Superman realize that both of their mother's names are Martha, and suddenly find themselves struck by their common humanity (and shared lack of awareness of what coincidences are). As Snyder puts it:

"You know, they’re both born and live in a world where someone can care about them and mourn them, and they can love their mother. And that’s the cool thing, you know we spend so much time with the Martha-Clark relationship that I think it kind of pays off there. You realize, oh, we needed that as viewers, so we could get to a moment with Batman where that moment with Martha resonates. Because we’ve lived on with Clark’s relationship with his mother, so that moment is like, 'Wow, that’s ringing for me and I feel it.'"

In other words?

According to Snyder's Logic, Watching The Waynes' Murder is Why We Care About That 'Martha' Moment

Hence, presumably, the movie's lingering on Martha's name as her husband watches her die - and the prominence of the scene in the film's opening moments.

The only problem, of course, being that the 'Martha' scene in question proved to be one of the most divisive of an already audience-splitting movie, with some finding it as emotionally resonant as Snyder clearly intended it to be, while others saw it as mawkish, implausible and contrived.

Where you stand on that scene, then, will most likely determine how much you're willing to accept Snyder's argument in favor of re-living the Waynes' murder yet again - and perhaps even whether or not you liked the movie as a whole.

The big question now, though?


Do you think Snyder was right to feature Thomas and Martha Wayne's deaths in 'Batman v Superman'?



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