Zack Snyder lights a fandom fuse by saying Batman is “irrelevant” if he can’t kill, and more people saw Rebel Moon than Barbie

Fan-favorite filmmaker Zack Snyder thinks Batman is “irrelevant” if he can’t kill, and more people saw Rebel Moon than Barbie.

Zack Snyder, Rebel Moon, Batman, Barbie

“Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” Zack Snyder lit the fuse of several fandoms while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience after saying Batman is “irrelevant” if he can’t kill, and more people saw Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire on Netflix than Greta Gerwig’s billion-dollar cinematic sensation, Barbie, in theaters. During his chin-wag with Rogan, Snyder expressed his gratitude for partnering with Netflix for several projects, including Army of the DeadRebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, and upcoming features like Army of the Dead: Lost VegasPlanet of the Dead, and Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver.

According to Zack Snyder, he’s done the math and believes more people streamed the first chapter of his Rebel Moon saga on Netflix than Gerwig’s $1.4 billion grossing pink-coded box office blockbuster. Math was never my strong subject in school, but something tells me the numbers don’t add up. If you want a window into Snyder’s logic, you can read the quote below:

“You think about Netflix, for instance, where you push a button […] ‘Rebel Moon,’ right? Say, right now, it’s almost at 90 million views, right? 80 or 90 million accounts turned it on, give or take. They assume two viewers per screening, right? That’s the kind of math. So you think if that movie was in the theater as a distribution model, that’s like 160,000,000 people supposedly watching based on that math. 160,000,000 people at $10 a ticket would be…what is that math? I don’t know. 160,000,000 times ten. That’s 1.6 billion. So more people probably saw ‘Rebel Moon’ than saw ‘Barbie’ in the theater, right?”

Then there’s the Batman business. While speaking with Rogan, Snyder said many fans take umbrage with his “deconstructivist” approach to the Dark Knight. Snyder insists he’s showing his love for the character by taking him apart and breaking him down to his base components. To be fair, plenty of Batman comic book writers take this same approach. I’m looking at you, Tom King! Also, I love your run, Tom. It was a hell of a ride! Snyder disagrees with people clinging to the rule that Batman can’t kill and thinks abiding by this ordinance is foolish.

“Batman can’t kill is canon. And I’m like, ‘okay, the first thing I wanna do when you say that is I wanna see what happens’. And they go, ‘well don’t put him in a situation where he has to kill someone’,” Snyder explained to Rogan.

“You’re protecting your god in a weird way, right? You’re making your god irrelevant if he can’t be in that situation. He has to now deal with that. If he does do that what does that mean? What does it tell you, does he stand up to it? Does he survive that as a god? As your god, can Batman survive that?”

The “Can Batman kill” trolley problem is a time-honored argument in the geek community, and I’m not convinced we’ll ever come to a unified consensus. The character exists in many forms, with different creators presenting the protector of Gotham in multitudes. I think a Batman who kills and one who does not are both interesting, and there’s room in this world for both iterations to exist. That’s why we have Elseworld stories and reboots. Part of the magic of comics, and Batman for that matter, is you can take the character in one direction and do something different with him during the following story. This scenario with Snyder has me wondering if the filmmaker prefers Superman with or without his red trunks, but that’s a battle for another day.

What do you think about Zack Snyder’s remarks? Does his math add up? Can Batman kill? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Source: The Joe Rogan Experience

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.