It became fairly evident shortly after Man of Steel was released that Zack Snyder always wanted to get his hands on Batman, looking at how quickly Henry Cavill’s Superman was shunted to the sidelines in favor of bringing in Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight.
The DCEU arguably would have been much better off in the long run had a Man of Steel sequel happened before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and you could make the well-founded argument that Cavill’s stint as the Big Blue Boy Scout never recaptured that early momentum, with Affleck talking the lion’s share of the screen time and getting the most attention from the director.
It was hardly surprising, then, when Snyder admitted that he’d love to tackle an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, which is widely lauded as one of the greatest Batman stories ever. Elements of the comic book classic have been plucked and vaguely incorporated into everything from Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever to Todd Phillips’ Joker, and in a new interview, the Army of the Dead architect admitted that it’s still on his wish list.
“I think it would just be its own thing. I would do it 100 percent Watchmen style. I don’t even think it’d be that expensive, to be honest. It’s pretty gritty.”
Watchmen style probably means a very literal and direct translation, similar to how his revisionist superhero story lifted panels from Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore’s graphic novel and brought them to life. Snyder also said he’d make it on a lower budget with an entirely new cast and crew, so there’d be no place for Affleck in The Dark Knight Returns, but it’s obviously the longest of long shots given that it would require an invitation to be extended his way by Warner Bros., who’ve made it perfectly clear that they’ve moved on from having Zack Snyder in charge of any DC properties.