• Director Zack Snyder explains the Martha scene in Batman v Superman, providing deeper context and underlying themes.
  • Snyder’s discussion with screenwriter Chris Terrio reveals the significance of both heroes’ mothers having the same name.
  • Despite initial criticism, Snyder’s insight into the Martha scene shows thoughtful character perspectives and may sway some critics.



More than eight years after its release, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder explains the DCEU movie’s divisive Martha line so well, he may finally win over the scene’s most vehement critics. When Batman v Superman released, audiences were split on the climactic moment wherein Batman is about to kill Superman, only for his hand to be stayed when Clark pleads for Martha’s life. Though Clark is asking Bruce to save Martha Kent, Bruce is shocked because he hears his own mother’s name. Now, Snyder offers deeper context to the scene that perfectly explains its underlying themes.

In an interview with GQ about his most iconic films, Snyder discusses the much maligned Martha scene. The filmmaker recounts a conversation he had with screenwriter Chris Terrio, who wrote Batman v Superman along with David S. Goyer, about how Superman could possibly humanize himself to Batman when the latter was so determined to kill him. Snyder’s comments begin at the 19:08 mark in the video below.

When [screenwriter] Chris Terrio and I were talking about it, he said, ‘You know that their mothers have the same name,’ and I was like, ‘Oh that’s crazy, I never thought about that.’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, like imagine that
Batman sees Superman as an alien, as a monster, but realizes that his dead mother has the same name as this thing that he considers nonhuman
. Like, that’s gonna get him.’ And I’m like, ‘That is gonna get him, that’s amazing.’ What else could he say to Batman, holding the Kryptonite spear about to plunge it into his heart — like, what is he gonna say to convince him that his love of humanity is as high as Batman’s? I mean, really, [Batman] could kill him in a second, like literally in a second, so that was why I was like, ‘Ok well, he’s gotta play every possible trick.’


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Why Zack Snyder’s Explanation Of The Martha Scene Redeems This Batman V Superman Moment

The Martha Scene Has Become One of The Most Criticized In The DCEU

At the time of Batman v Superman’s release in 2016, the Martha scene was widely criticized for being a little silly and a little on the nose. The fact that both Batman and Superman — DC’s two most popular and long-running heroes — had mothers with the same name seemed too coincidental to be clever. Plus, although it had never been specifically referenced in any live-action media before, it wasn’t necessarily considered an astute observation, since both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent’s mothers are major parts of their origin stories.

Snyder’s explanation may even win over some of those who criticized the Martha scene.

However, Snyder’s explanation of the Martha scene from Batman v Superman shows the amount of thought that went into the moment. Terrio and Snyder considered it from both Batman and Superman’s perspective, with Bruce’s thought process in particular receiving a great deal of attention. It might be difficult to reconcile that Superman was attempting to use a “trick” to stay Batman’s hand, especially when Clark was likely genuinely fearful for his mother’s life, but Bruce’s belief of Superman as something inhuman was no doubt challenged in that moment.

Certainly, there will still be folks who don’t fully buy the Martha scene in Batman v Superman, but Snyder’s insight may go a long way in winning over some critics. It’s a good explanation of the characters’ points of view, and while there may still be some divisiveness over how well executed the scene is, there’s no doubt that a great deal of thought went into it. In fact, Snyder’s explanation may even win over some of those who criticized the Martha scene when they first watched Batman v Superman because of the care it shows they took with the characters.

Source: GQ

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