Does Batman Kill in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’?

Drew Dietsch
Movies DC
Movies DC

Is Batman a murderer in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? In the footage we’ve seen, Ben Affleck’s take on Bruce Wayne certainly looks to be more brutal than any previous film incarnation; he’s fully militarized, he brands the Bat-symbol on thugs, and he’s famously told Superman that he’s going to make him bleed. All of this seems to fit with the Frank Miller inspiration that Zack Snyder‘s newest movie is drawing upon, but today’s news throws an even more disturbing wrench into things.

According to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice producer Charles Roven, this incarnation of the Dark Knight “is not giving people a chance.” Roven goes on to say, “He is more than a vigilante. He has become not only the cop, if you will, he has also become the jury and executioner.” Does that definitively mean this incarnation of the character kills people?

To be fair, there certainly is precedent for this. The original incarnation of the character in the comics did lethally dispose of his enemies, but as Batman transformed from a grim avenger of the night to a light-hearted adventurer in the ’50s and ’60s, his code of conduct changed accordingly. We’ve also seen cinematic versions of Batman kill before; Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader shuffled a few thugs off their mortal coils in Batman and Batman Returns, Val Kilmer pretty much sent Two-Face to his death in Batman Forever, and Christian Bale’s infamous, “I’m not going to kill you, but I don’t have to save you,” in Batman Begins is a little too close to the murder-y side of things.

There’s a non-lethal version of the character that a lot of people consider to be the truest depiction of Batman, but maybe Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to change that for a number of viewers. It will certainly add more fuel to the controversial fire that this movie has become. Could this actually be used to counter Batman’s criticisms of Superman’s actions in Metropolis from Man of Steel? We’ll all find out together when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released on March 25.

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