Producer Deborah Snyder says criticisms about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice are because of people’s preconceived notions coming to the film.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice co-producer Deborah Snyder says that that the criticisms on the film was due to people’s preconcieved notions about it. Released in 2016, the movie was the second entry in the DCEU following the release of Man of Steel in 2013 which introduced Henry Cavill’s Superman. There was a lot of anticipation coming into it since it was the first time that DC’s most popular heroes are sharing the screen together. Unfortunately, it wasn’t received as well as the filmmakers wanted it to be.
It’s an understatement to say that Batman V Superman is one of the most polarizing films in recent memory. While some fans praised Snyder’s attempt in reinventing DC’s biggest characters, others weren’t thrilled with other creative choices he made in the movie. Some of the most notable criticisms included the movie being too dark and having a convoluted narrative, not to mention the infamous “Martha” scene. This resulted in Warner Bros. making some big changes to the DCEU’s future, including a more hands-on approach on its subsequent projects, specifically David Ayer’s Suicide Squad and Snyder’s Justice League which went through its own set of controversies.
Almost five years since Batman V Superman hit theaters, Snyder is opening up about the “unkind press” the movie got in the aftermath of its release. Speaking with LightCast Podcast, she cited some of the biggest criticisms on the film weren’t really its fault. Instead, it’s due to people’s preconceived notions coming into it and when those weren’t met, the instantly felt let down by what they saw.
"We’ve had our share of unkind press. Some of it, though... It’s interesting because I think… [Batman v Superman] is the perfect example. 'It’s too dark.' Too dark compared to what? I think that some of the reactions were ‘It’s not funny enough. It’s not the movie I expected it to be.’ And you’re [saying], ‘Is that the movie’s fault or is that your fault for having a preconceived notion of what it should be?’ It was kind of interesting to read things like that. "
Batman V Superman was integral in director Zack Snyder’s five-film DCEU plan as it introduces the rest of the Justice League, albeit half of them only appeared in brief cameos. Not only that, it also planted a lot of narrative plot points that were supposed to pay off in later films. Batman’s Knightmare sequence in particular is very important to the upcoming Justice League project on HBO Max which is dubbed the Snyder Cut. While the theatrical version worked on by Joss Whedon barely touched this element of the narrative, this vision of a dystopian future is actually the lynchpin of the team’s whole fight against Steppenwolf and Darkseid. So understandably, when Warner Bros. pivoted their approach in an attempt to make Batman V Superman irrelevant, it had a domino effect throughout the whole franchise.
While Snyder’s read on the circumstance definitely has merit considering that there are other movies who had similar issues but weren’t pummeled by negative coverage, it’s also worth noting that there were other aspects of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that were criticized not because people had certain pre-determined ideas of how the movie should turn out. For example, there were some who simply didn’t like its pacing or what the filmmakers were trying to achieve through it. People have different tastes and preferences that are shaped by their experiences so it’s impossible to cater to everyone. But at the end of it, what’s important is everyone is respectful about other people’s choices.