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Zack Snyder defends the Martha scene in Batman v Superman

Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Zack Snyder has defended Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's controversial "Martha" scene.

"Clearly I am a fan of, and are very interested in how 'Martha', that concept – it's central to the film,” Snyder explained to I Minutemen.

"It's 100% the lynchpin that holds the entire movie together," the director added. "I think it's indicative of the way that Batman v Superman was received that its central tenet was sort of belittled and made fun of."

In the film, Ben Affleck's Batman is moments away from killing Henry Cavill's Superman with a kryptonite spear. When Superman implores him to "save Martha," Bats has a breakdown of sorts, flashing back to his parents' deaths – his mother was also called Martha. He shouts, "Why did you say that name?", and Amy Adams' Lois Lane rushes in and tells Batman that Martha is Superman's mom. The scene has been the subject of countless memes ever since.

"I personally think it is like this beautiful and incredibly symmetrical idea that completely finishes it as a concept," Snyder continued. 

The director's comments make sense – Batman's memories of his parents' murder bring us full circle to the start of the movie. The scene also humanizes Superman to Batman: the vigilante has spent the whole film seeing the alien as a threat, and now realizes he's just a guy with a mom, setting the stage for their imminent team-up against Lex Luthor.

Whether Zack Snyder's Justice League is going to have a similarly polarizing moment remains to be seen – though Jared Leto's Joker saying the immortal words "we live in a society" has already sent the internet into a frenzy of meme-making.

The Snyder Cut arrives this March 18, 2021. Until then, check out how to watch DC movies in order for the ultimate movie marathon.

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.