Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice broke some records at the box office this past weekend, despite taking a beating from critics (myself included). Fans couldn't help themselves — they had to go see the first movie that included Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on screen together in live-action, and I certainly don't blame them for ignoring the bad buzz and seeing it for themselves. I probably would have done the same thing.
Director Zack Snyder spoke with BuzzFeed about the movie's ending, and he talks in great detail about it. Be warned: there are massive spoilers ahead.
The climactic battle with Doomsday ends with the death of Superman, as he further impales himself on Doomsday's spike in order to drive the Kryptonite spear into the creature's chest. I'll keep my commentary to myself about how I didn't think a sacrificial moment like that worked very well given what we've seen from this version of the character so far, and just let Snyder take it from here:
"I felt it was inevitable. Even when we were working on Man of Steel, I was like, Gosh, what are we going to do with this guy? He’s a pretty tough cookie. He’s so mythic. Superman takes cosmic shifts to get him to move emotionally [and] that reinforces his mythic nature.
To me, [Superman’s death] solved so many great problems. I didn’t just want to put him in a volcano, or [have him] trapped by some, like, Promethean dilemma. I think it had to be Doomsday."
But the movie doesn't end with Superman's death. It ends with a shot of dirt floating above his coffin, indicating the resurrection to come (also a nice tie-in with Easter this past weekend). But Snyder struggled with whether or not he should include that final shot:
"I went back and forth with it, to be honest,” he said. “I do feel like it offers a teeny bit of hope for those people who need it. I feel like it’s obvious that we have to figure out a way to get him back, but I don’t know that everyone [knows that]. So I just wanted to give them that little jolt out of the theater, where they’re like, Oh shit! What’s going to happen?"
There are two ways of looking at that last shot. One is that it completely undercuts any emotional reaction that the audience might have had from seeing Superman die. The justification for it, then, is at least they're avoiding the total fake-out ending that fandom knows is a fake-out, because obviously Superman is going to come back for Justice League and beyond. Now they don't have to hide the fact that Henry Cavill is going to be on set for that movie, etc. I still don't think the death of Superman should have even been in this movie to begin with, but that's just me.
What did you think about the ending?