Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder is clearing up some confusion about the fate of a terrorist who has an unpleasant encounter with Superman in the film's opening minutes - as he confirms the (hu)man survived the confrontation with the Man of Steel.
Early on in Batman V Superman, Lois Lane is conducting an interview with a terrorist leader in Africa. When it's exposed that her cameraman is an undercover CIA operative, the terrorist kills the cameraman and takes Lois hostage. As is generally the case when Lois Lane is in trouble, Superman shows up and plows the terrorist leader through a wall. The terrorist's fate is never made explicitly clear, and some fans have wondered if Superman actually killed the man.
Zack Snyder wants to clear that up. In a text message shared by Reddit user SpGrnv, Snyder confirms Superman did not kill the terrorist, but probably did some serious damage to him. As Snyder put it, the terrorist is "not dead but not a problem either."
While it's a fairly violent scene, it seemed pretty obvious Superman wouldn't just murder some random terrorist. This likely stems from the ongoing controversy around the end of Man of Steel, where Superman is forced to kill General Zod in order to save literally all of humanity. Those were very specific, dire circumstances where Superman had essentially no choice, and he was still deeply affected by his actions. Snyder's depiction of Superman may be darker than past portrayals, but the notion that he would be comfortable with casual killing is not really supported by anything that's happened onscreen.
It's interesting that Snyder is answering such questions right now. Following the tragic death of his daughter, Snyder chose to depart the production of Justice League, and has been reportedly been uninvolved with that film since his exit. There have also been reports that Snyder will be taking a reduced role in DC's movies going forward, as new DC Films head honcho Geoff Johns looks to readjust the studio's films to be more earnest and optimistic, in the vein of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. Perhaps Snyder is feeling reflective about the legacy he's seemingly leaving behind, looking to clarify lingering points of contention over his DC films which, if nothing else, have sparked endless fan debates about what mainstream superhero films are allowed to do, and which boundaries they're allowed to push. Snyder's vision of the DC Universe might not align with what's coming in the future, but fans will be debating the merits of his work for years to come.
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