Zack Snyder Reveals the One Batman Movie He Still Wants To Make

Only one story could coax the Rebel Moon director back to capes and cowls.

Zack Snyder directs Ben Affleck on the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Warner Bros. Pictures

Zack Snyder’s days of gritty superhero reboots are well behind him. Though his bombastic four-hour cut of Justice League is still enmeshed in the zeitgeist, the father of the SnyderVerse is eager to move on from capes, cowls, and the general dysfunction of the superhero industrial complex.

“I don’t have the excitement for it that I used to have,” Snyder recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve been on the treadmill — it has not evolved.” So as happy as he may be for contemporaries like James Gunn — once his former collaborator, now the co-creative director of DC Studios — Snyder doesn’t see much appeal in returning to the world of DC, at least for now.

“I called him and said I wish all the best for him,” Snyder said of Gunn’s recent appointment. “I told him I wanted it to work.” While Gunn and co-chair Peter Safran usher DC into a new age of gods and monsters, Snyder will be hard at work on an original project with Netflix. It begins with Rebel Moon, the first film in a series Snyder hopes will expand into graphic novels and podcasts.

But what if Gunn eventually calls back, and offers Snyder a chance to helm another DC film under new management? Would the Man of Steel director return? Technically, yes, but only to adapt a very specific Batman story: The Dark Knight Returns.

There’s one Batman storyline Zack Snyder still wants to tell, but it would have to be under perfect circumstances.

Warner Bros.

Per THR, Snyder would “consider” returning to DC if it meant he could adapt Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s seminal miniseries, but only “a true representation of the graphic novel.” 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns rewrote the book on Batman, focusing on a middle-aged hero coming out of retirement to continue his Gotham City crusade. This particular run with the character was brief, lasting only four issues, but Miller still made his mark on Batman, and Returns has since cemented itself as an inescapable influence for many a Batman adaptation.

While few of Snyder’s DC films took explicit inspiration from the comics, it’s hard to ignore the parallels between his Batman and Miller’s interpretation of the character. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is particularly indebted to Returns; Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader is the spitting image of Miller’s, down to the hulking Batsuit and rampant cynicism. His approach to fighting crime and enforcing justice is similarly bleak; Batman’s use of a Bat-Brand in Batman v Superman was controversial, to say the least, but it matched the film’s dark tone.

Batman v Superman borrowed heavily from The Dark Knight Returns, and Snyder would love to do a proper adaptation.

Warner Bros.

Snyder has never been shy about his reverence for Frank Miller, so it’s not surprising to learn that Miller’s most popular superhero story is still on his to-do list. That said, his interest is purely hypothetical. We may never know what a Snyder-directed Dark Knight Returns would look like, but Snyder left DC without regrets, so we shouldn’t dwell in the past either.

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