The easiest way to figure out how someone feels about Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is to sneak up behind them, whisper ‘Martha’ in their ear and wait to see what the reaction is. You have to at least admire the filmmaker’s belief that it would be this profound moment of shared realization that forced the two title heroes to resolve their differences, but it would be fair to say he missed the mark.
Over the last five years, the very mention of the word ‘Martha’ has been used as a stick to beat the movie over the head, and it’s spawned countless memes in the process. It was very clearly designed to have a huge emotional impact, but Batman v Superman was powering through its countless plot threads at such a rate that it didn’t have time to land, especially when the two iconic superheroes had only battled for a few minutes before making up when they discovered their moms had the same name.
Snyder has repeatedly defended the Martha scene, touting it as a poetic and beautiful moment of symmetry that boiled a billionaire vigilante and all-powerful extraterrestrial down to just a couple of momma’s boys, but in a new interview, it sounds as though he’s finally accepted defeat over its failure to resonate with audiences.
“You know, what can I say? I mean, it is what it is. We felt like that was the perfect bond between these two guys. Pop culture really wanted to have fun with that movie. They felt like kicking that movie in the in the crotch. And it is what it is, you know? I don’t know what to say other than, ‘Oh, well’, you know? We still love it. And we think it’s really cool. You know, I have no ill will toward anyone who wants to make a Martha joke. I’m just glad they’re still talking about it.”
Clearly, Snyder bristles at the emotional core of his $250 million blockbuster that fans had literally waited decades to see being boiled down to nothing but a punchline, but like he says, people are still talking about it, even though he definitely doesn’t want it to be Batman v Superman‘s lasting legacy.