Huge Spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Don't read further unless you're prepared for spoilers!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a showstopper of an ending. Just as it seemed the second half of the title was being fulfilled, and the Justice League was dawning, the final attack run resulted in the defeat of Doomsday - and the death of Superman. It was an ending straight out of the comicbooks, but one that film fans didn't necessarily see coming.
"I felt it was inevitable," director Zack Snyder told Buzzfeed. "Even when we were working on Man of Steel, I was like, 'Gosh, what are we going to do with this guy? He's a pretty tough cookie.'"
Ultimately, for Snyder, that meant Superman had to die in order for the Justice League to be born.
"I really felt like Bruce should be the one that puts the Justice League together; he feels like the samurai who would do that, who gathers the others," Snyder said. Superman's death helps as a "catalyst" to push these metahumans to come together. "To me, it solved so many great problems."
As for how he'd die? Well, Snyder just had to look to the 1992 comicbook, "The Death of Superman" for the solution: "It had to be Doomsday," he said. When they revealed the villain's presence in the trailer, though, the general public didn't immediately jump to "whelp, Superman's dead.'
"I was shocked that people did not immediately jump to the conclusion. I think they just felt like, ‘That’s impossible. They’re not going to kill Superman.’ I mean, a couple people did [figure it out], but then they were all yelled at. It was funny," Snyder said of the online response, which he admits to looking for.
The death, in the age of the internet, was hard to keep secret, but somehow remained largely unspoiled, even after early screenings of the film. The funeral of Clark Kent, for example, was shot using only members of the crew as the extras for the scene. "Literally the electricians, camera guys" were in front of the camera for the scene, Snyder revealed. "My script supervisor's child is the kid!"
Of course, in the end, he won't be gone for good. There are two Justice League movies, with one starting principal photography in about two weeks, after all. And that dust did start rising above the coffin in the final frames, didn't it?
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in theaters.