Love him or hate him, but you most definitely cannot ignore the impact of Zack Snyder on the comic-book movie industry. Foraying into the industry with the adaptation of Alan Moore’s critically acclaimed Watchmen back in 2009, Zack Snyder set the foundation for the DC Extended Universe with Man of Steel (2013), followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Known for using dark, intense, and mature themes, Snyder’s take on the iconic duo of Superman and Batman was met with a fiercely polarizing reception that took the internet by storm. While fans of Snyder defended the movies for their realistic nature, the remaining were critical of the over-usage of gloomy themes to justify the characters’ motivations.
In 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was expected to break box-office records. But unfortunately, the studio’s interference to release a shorter version of the movie and Snyder’s usage of mature themes with an over-saturated color palette led to a polarized reaction. But nonetheless, the release of the theatrical cut received a much better reception. While a lot of people might not agree that Snyder is a decent director, there is hardly a soul who can disagree with the man’s gorgeous cinematography. Having chosen to make his shots narrate the story, here are 14 interesting details that you most probably missed in the movie.
14. Bruce Wayne’s PTSD after the Battle of Metropolis
If showing an old, battered, and cynical Bruce Wayne was not enough, Zack Snyder went a step further to give Gotham’s Dark Knight PTSD from the Battle of Metropolis. As the movie starts off right from the Black Zero event as General Zod and his army attack Metropolis, Bruce Wayne stands helpless as people die during the city’s absolute annihilation. The event results in PTSD as every time Bruce Wayne has a nightmare, the sound of the world engine can be heard in the background.
13. Senator Patrick Leahy’s appearance
Senator Purrington (one of the members of the Senate committee before whom Superman testifies) is played by real-life Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), a noted comic book enthusiast. Patrick Leahy is notable for being one of the biggest Batman fans (and fans of comic books in general) out there. He’s had cameos in multiple Batman movies, including playing himself in Batman Forever, voicing a territorial governor in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, himself again in Batman & Robin, and a Wayne Enterprises board member in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. He’s also written the foreword to The Dark Knight Archives, Volume 1, the preface essay to Batman: Death of Innocents, and the introduction to Green Arrow: The Archer’s Quest. He donates all royalties he receives from these roles and publications to charity, including the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, where he read comic books as a child.
12. Lex Luthor’s prison
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lex Luthor is finally imprisoned for his heinous crimes. But interestingly, he is transferred to Belle Reve Penitentiary. If you can’t remember, Belle Reve Penitentiary is the prison where Suicide Squad took place.
11. Bruce Wayne and his long walks
In the movie, Bruce Wayne is shown to take long walks whenever he is contemplating. But if you look closely, his path is covered with kinds of shrubs. However, after the apparent death of Superman, Bruce Wayne can be seen taking a walk on a clear path, signifying his clarity of thought and a sense of purpose.
10. Superman and Jesus allegory
It is not a secret that Zack Snyder has always portrayed Superman as a Jesus-type figure in the movies. But he takes it a notch higher in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice during the death of Superman. As Superman breathes his last after getting impaled by the Kryptonite spear, he is surrounded by Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lois Lane. If you look closely, you can notice ‘crosses’ in the background, evoking Biblical imagery.
9. Lex Luthor’s prisoner number
In the Director’s Cut, Lex Luthor is addressed by his prisoner number A-C-23-19-40, which is a subtle reference to his first appearance in the comic book Action Comics No. 23 that was released back in 1940. Neat!
8. The Watchmen reference
When Batman and Superman locked horns, Batman had the upper hand by using Kryptonite to subdue Superman’s powers. As the fight was dragged to an abandoned place, a pillar with graffiti sprayed “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” can be briefly seen. It’s a Latin phrase meaning “Who watches the watchmen?”, which is a clever reference to Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009).
7. Kal-El’s eternal struggle
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Superman is seen being surrounded by a sea of people who seem to worship him as a savior. It’s a thematic continuation of Kal-El’s eternal struggle as he tries to find his place in this world. In Man of Steel, Superman was seen drowning in skulls, which symbolized his struggle with identifying himself as a Kryptonian and a resident of Earth.
6. Kryptonite glows when Kryptonians are nearby
In the movie, the Kryptonite had a dull green color when used by Batman. However, the stone started to glow whenever a Kryptonian was in close proximity.
5. Lex Luthor and Star Wars
Despite being owned by Disney, the impact of Star Wars transcends studios and rivalries. TK-421, a stormtrooper designation mentioned on the Death Star in the original Star Wars (1977), is referenced in Boogie Nights and most-recently Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
4. Martha Kent changes jobs
In Man of Steel, Martha Kent was seen working at Sears. But sadly, the place was blown to smithereens when Superman fought General Zod and his army of Kryptonians. To ensure continuity, Martha Kent can be seen working at a diner in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
3. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns
It’s no secret that Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice was inspired by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. From adapting an old and cynical Batman to even getting his mechanized suit specially designed to fight Superman, the movie paid a perfect homage to the comics. But most importantly, Snyder’s iconic shot from the movie was directly captured from the comics.
2. Change in physique
During the fight between Batman and Superman, both can be seen having almost the height. But after inhaling the gaseous Kryptonite, Superman can be seen to have become a bit shorter than the Dark Knight. Was it planned or just a minor mistake on the director’s part?
1. The Excalibur connection
When the movie briefly explored Bruce Wayne’s tragic past, there was a subtle foreshadowing of Superman’s fate. When a young Bruce returns from the theater with his parents, it is clearly visible that they just returned after watching The Mask of Zorro, with Excalibur set to become the next change. Drawing parallels from the movie, the protagonist in both the movies die by getting impaled on their own weapons. Similarly, the villains in both movies are the product of hatred and revenge.