Zack Snyder Defends Making Batman Kill, Reveals ‘Batman v Superman’ Got R Rating Because MPAA Didn’t Like Them Fighting: ‘I Can’t Take That Out!’

Zack Snyder said in a recent interview on “The Joe Rogan Experience” that he doesn’t understand when fans’ hatred of his work becomes personal. Amid poor reviews for his latest directorial effort, Netflix’s “Rebel Moon,” Snyder read one article that referred to him as a “love him or hate him” filmmaker.

“I have no issue with you not liking the movie,” Snyder said. “That’s not the question. Who cares? The thing is, like, you would personalize. You’d hate me because of it. I don’t understand that.”

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Snyder had to deal with a lot of fan hatred when he greatly upset comic book movie fans with the 2016 release of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which featured a more aggressive version of Batman. Ben Affleck’s iteration of the superhero was one who branded criminals and even killed some of his enemies. The choice ignited outrage among comic book purists who claim Batman can never kill. Snyder thinks such an opinion is outrageous, although he identifies with the passion of comic book fans.

“That’s a lifestyle choice for a lot of people. It’s not like if I made a romantic comedy. The people who love [comic book movies]…I love that they feel this passionately,” Snyder told Rogan during the podcast interview. “In no way would I criticize that because I live the same life. For those guys, it’s not just a movie. And so on some level, you have to acknowledge that this is their religion and they feel strongly about it. It’s my religion, too.”

Snyder said that he “tends to get in trouble” with comic book fans “because I do take a deconstructivist point of view. Because I care, I want to take [superheroes] apart.”

“People are always like, ‘Batman can’t kill.’ So Batman can’t kill is canon. And I’m like, ‘Okay, well, the first thing I want to do when you say that is I want to see what happens,'” Snyder continued. “And they go, ‘Well, don’t put him in a situation where he has to kill someone.’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s just like you’re protecting your God in a weird way, right? You’re making your God irrelevant.'”

Snyder found it much more interesting to put Batman in a situation where he has to kill, taking inspiration from Frank Miller’s comic book “The Dark Knight Returns.” He said fans often don’t want to see their hero in a “no win situation because we don’t want to see him lose,” but that’s not story he wants to bring to the screen. Snyder isn’t interested in a superhero who “has to maintain this godlike status.”

“Batman v Superman” polarized comic book fans and movie critics, but it was still a box office blockbuster with $874 million worldwide. Snyder told Rogan that he had to battle the ratings board (then called the MPAA, now the MPA) over the film, as the MPA wanted to give it an R rating simply because it centered on two characters fighting.

“I remember the ratings board said, ‘We just don’t like the idea of Batman fighting Superman,'” Snyder remembered. “I was like, ‘That has nothing to do with the ratings.’ They kept making it an R rating. They kept coming back with an R for us, and like what do you want us to cut out? And they were like, ‘Well, we just don’t like the idea of Batman fighting Superman.’ I can’t take that out! That’s the movie.”

“So it was crazy. So we really had to trim it,” Snyder added. “I mean, if you see the director’s cut of ‘Batman vs. Superman,’ it’s much better. It’s a much better movie, in my opinion.”

Watch Snyder’s full appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” in the video below.

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