Zack Snyder Gets Honest About Batman v Superman's Negative Reception

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Zack Snyder Batman Superman

Zack Snyder explained why Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received negative reviews. 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice suffered from poor reviews when released in 2016. As of writing, the sequel to 2013's Man of Steel has a 29% critic approval rating and a 63% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Some critics described the DC sequel as "painful to watch" and one that has a "nonsensical plot." Moreover, fans bashed some of the movie's casting choices, such as Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor (the actor acknowledged that "people hate[d] him" for the role). 

Zack Snyder Opens up About Batman v Superman's Poor Reception

Superman, Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman

During a Q&A at Zack Snyder's Full Circle charity event, Snyder himself reflected on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's bad reviews. 

When the moderator pointed out that Snyder created "so many layers" in the sequel's storytelling, the visionary filmmaker said that he felt that it is the main reason why it caused Dawn of Justice to be "so polarizing:"

Q: "Well this film, in particular, you created so many layers for the storytelling in the characters, and I think you have to want to make an effort to dig a little deeper…"

Snyder: "Yes, but I think that probably is what caused the movie to be so polarizing. I think, and maybe I’m wrong. but I feel like a lot of people went into the movies for going like, ‘Oh, it’s the superhero romp, right? Let’s have fun with it.’"

Snyder then pointed out that he delivered a superhero film that the viewers "really need to pay attention to," admitting that it was "not cool" for the audience:

"And we gave them this sort of hardcore deconstructivist, heavily layered, experiential modern mythological superhero movie that needs…that you really need to pay attention to. That was not cool [for them]. That’s not something anyone wanted to do. They were like, ‘What? No! That’s exhausting. How about, why do they fight at night?’ I hate that.”

Meanwhile, Greg Silverman, a former Warner Bros. executive who oversaw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, previously agreed with a tweet claiming that the lack of acclaim for Snyder's DC films is actually due to critics' view of Snyder. 

In his tweet, Silverman expressed that "because [Snyder] is a decent approachable humble human, he didn't fit the mold of an auteur:"

"I couldn’t agree more. My suspicion always was that Zack’s kindness openness and enthusiasm created an environment for critics to undervalue his work. Because he is a decent approachable humble human, he didn’t fit the mold of an auteur. Shitty. Should be the opposite."

Will Zack Snyder Return To Create More Superhero Movies?

Zack Snyder's latest comments about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's negative reviews suggest that he is at peace with the fact that the sequel received such criticism. 

It is no question that Snyder's superhero movies (not just Dawn of Justice) have been incredibly divisive. Similar to Batman v Superman, Man of Steel and his version of Justice League received mixed reviews from fans and critics.

The director's loyal fanbase tends to make things interesting, especially now that the SnyderVerse campaign is in full swing

Aside from Snyder's unique directing style and his meticulous visual language, the superhero movies of the much-talked-about filmmaker have been best positioned to stand out, but sadly, it didn't work out for the DCEU. 

While Snyder's DC movies have always been a main topic of conversation for his diehard fans, his style and approach are not ideal for general audiences. 

At this point, it is unknown if Zack Snyder will return to DC after the polarizing response to his movies. Given that Snyder is also busy with his new Rebel Moon franchise for Netflix, it's safe to assume that a potential return to superhero land could be further down the line. 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is streaming on HBO Max.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.