Based on that headline alone, you’d be forgiven for thinking that exploring Batman’s backstory within the context of Zack Snyder’s Justice League is completely redundant. After all, almost everyone on the planet is fully aware of what inspired Bruce Wayne to manifest the childhood trauma of seeing his parents murdered by dressing up as an armored bat and beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands.
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also seen Thomas and Martha Wayne gunned down in cold blood several times on the big screen already, and as recently as 2019’s Joker, while Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins spent the first hour of its running time digging deep into Bruce’s psyche and exploring his motivations for becoming the Caped Crusader.
However, Zack Snyder’s Justice League will also offer some insight into what shaped Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight into the world-weary veteran that was first introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We know that this version of the character has been in the game for a long time, and in a new interview, the director revealed that we’re finally going to see exactly what makes him tick.
“Our Bruce has a higher moral, or stronger, moral compass when he first started fighting in Gotham 20 years ago. But he’s seen a lot of rough stuff happen over the years and I think that he’s a bit jaded now, obviously. The death of Robin and others, I think that he now has found himself in a dark place. The death of Superman really shakes him out of that and puts him on this really cathartic path to form the Justice League and do his part. 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.”
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Like any Zack Snyder protagonist worth their salt, Justice League‘s Batman is going to be motivated almost entirely by tragedy and loss. His parents are dead, Robin was murdered by the Joker and Superman shuffled off this mortal coil to the other side, leaving him more disenchanted than ever. That’s what spurs him to form the titular team in the first place, and it’ll be interesting to see if Snyder manages to paint a backstory that’s already been done countless times before with any new shades.