When viewers first meet Ben Affleck's Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he is neither new to the role of Gotham's protector but he's also not especially optimistic, either. After two decades as Batman, he's a bit jaded and sees Superman not as a hero but as a threat but over the course of the film that changes and the film ends with Bruce deciding to form a team of metahumans to help protect the world. It's a journey that will continue in Zack Snyder's Justice League and now, director Zack Snyder is breaking down a bit more of Batman's backstory and fleshing out the character's arc in the film.
"Our Bruce has a higher moral, or stronger, moral compass when he first started fighting in Gotham [City] 20 years ago," Snyder said at IGN Fan Fest. "But he's seen a lot of rough stuff happen over the years and I think that he's a bit jaded now, obviously."
That "rough stuff" Batman has seen includes Robin being killed by the Joker, but there's more than that. Snyder says that there are other deaths that contributed to bringing Batman to the dark place fans first find him.
"The death of Robin and others, I think that he now has found himself in a dark place," he said.
But it's also a death that puts him back on a path toward the light.
"The death of Superman really shakes him out of that [dark place] and puts him on this really cathartic path to form the Justice League and do his part," Snyder said."
He continued, "If you think about it, the Justice League is made up entirely of almost god-like characters with these god-like powers, and [Batman is] just a guy. Yes, he is the world's greatest detective and he is this incredible force as far as humanity goes, but in the end, he is just a guy. It's like his job of bringing [the Justice League] together, it was also one of the most important jobs because there would be no Justice League without Bruce."
Snyder also explained that fans will get to see a bit more about how the Joker fits into it all in the upcoming Zack Snyder's Justice League thanks to the appearance of Jared Leto's Joker, who will be showing up in Batman's Knightmare scene that sees the hero envision a future where the heroes lose to Darkseid.
"It really defines, in my mind, the mythological heart of the conflict that both of them share is their relationship," Snyder explained. "I think without a scene where they get to air their dirty laundry about each other, I felt like we were getting shortchanged as fans of the DC Universe. That was the hope, that we would get to see them come together but also, in particular, reflecting on each other and their struggle with each other and the why a little bit, so that was really fun for me."
Snyder later added that he "always wanted [Joker] to be in the Knightmare reality and so it was a great opportunity. When I talked to Jared and he was interested in doing it, I just felt like, okay, this feels like a thing I can't pass up."
In Zack Snyder's Justice League, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad, and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
Zack Snyder's Justice League will debut on March 18th on HBO Max.