Zack Snyder Thought It Was "Fun" To Kill Off This DC Comics Character
Spoilers ahead for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Did you know that Jimmy Olsen was in Batman v Superman? His name is never mentioned in the actual film, but if you sat through the credits, you might have noticed that he was played by actor Michael Cassidy, and he appeared as the photographer/CIA agent in Africa who gets executed by a terrorist. Director Zack Snyder talked to EW about the choice to murder the character:
“We just did it as this little aside because we had been tracking where we thought the movies were gonna go, and we don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?”
Yeah, that's really fun. He was so confident that there would be absolutely no way that he or any other filmmaker who enters the DCEU would ever want to use a recognizable character like Jimmy Olsen that he decided to have him shot right in front of Lois Lane for no reason whatsoever. This is another example of what I was talking about in my review: Snyder loves doing things because they're "cool" (or because they look cool), and that quote pretty much proves that was the case here. But when I didn't care about Superman's death at the end of the movie, it was because I didn't think the movie did a good enough job setting up the idea that he'd be ready and willing to make that sacrifice after what we'd seen of him thus far; I didn't care about Jimmy Olsen's death because I didn't even know he was in the damn movie until the end credits.
Snyder's version of "fun" from earlier seems to be in line with the delusion of Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein, who said:
"Clearly, audiences have embraced [the movie] and we are already seeing repeat business. It's just fun. Often, there's a disconnect between critics and audiences. It doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s just an enjoyable afternoon at the movies."
Look, I hate to harp on this point, because it sounds like I hated the movie more than I actually did, but there is almost nothing "fun" or "enjoyable" about Dawn of Justice. That's part of the reason I didn't like it! No one smiles, everyone takes everything deathly seriously, and there's absolutely no sense of self-awareness to any of the characters. Now that certainly doesn't mean that I wanted this movie to have Guardians of the Galaxy or The Avengers levels of quips and one-liners, because I do love the idea of there being all different kinds of superhero films with varying tones that connect with different people. But if Batman v Superman was competent at telling its story, the tone wouldn't have bothered me. But since it failed in that regard, the tone becomes yet another in a long list of things that don't do the film any favors as it struggles under the weight of trying to set up a whole franchise in lieu of telling its own satisfying story.