While much has been said about the darkness and dour nature of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we know things get even more dark because there’s an R-rated extended cut of the film arriving on Blu-ray later this year. That version of the film delves into R-rated territory mostly due to violence, particularly in the warehouse sequence with Batman, but there’s actually another scene that was cut from Batman v Superman because its nature was too dark.
Speaking with IGN, Zack Snyder addressed the issue of why Superman didn’t hear Martha Kent’s cries for help with his superpowered hearing:
“I think all the way – to me, from Metropolis to Smallville is probably just on the edge of his range of hearing” he explained. “Also the clutter of the city makes it difficult as well.”
But Snyder actually addressed this issue explicitly within the context of the film, only to later remove the scene because it felt too dark:
“We had a scene that we cut from the movie where he tries to look for her when he finds out that Lex has got her. It was a slightly dark scene that we cut out because it sort of represented this dark side. Because when he was looking for his mom he heard all the cries of all the potential crimes going on in the city, you know when you look.”
And this is where things get…interesting, as Snyder provides his justification for Superman by essentially taking away the thing that makes Superman Superman:
“I kind of like the idea that he’s taught himself not to look because if he looks it’s just neverending, right? You have to know when, as Superman, when to intervene and when not to. Or not when not to, you can’t be everywhere at once, literally you can’t be everywhere at once, so he has to be really selective in a weird way about where he chooses to interfere.”
The key to the character of Superman is that he is overwhelmed by the feeling of not being able to save everyone. Snyder saying the character just “turns it off” is kinda weird and, to be frank, a little cold. Superman Returns dealt with this issue pretty wonderfully, so it’s not impossible to tackle and actually provides some depth to the character, but as we’ve seen in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, this iteration of the character really only cares about Martha Kent and Lois Lane, while saving bystanders is kind of treated as an extracurricular activity. That’s one way to look at Superman, I suppose.
I’ll be curious to see if this scene ends up on the R-rated cut of the film or if it remains on the cutting room floor, because I’m interested to see how Snyder and Henry Cavill visualize Superman being overcome with cries for help. What do you think, readers? Is Snyder’s reasoning sound or is his take on Superman’s heroics a little off? Sound off in the comments below.
For more on Batman v Superman, peruse our recent links:
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