Batman v Superman: Zack Snyder Explains Why Jimmy Olsen Was Killed So Fast
During his live Batman v Superman commentary, director Zack Snyder explained why he chose to kill Jimmy Olsen so quickly and what purpose it served.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder has opened up a bit more about the decision to kill off Jimmy Olsen (Michael Cassidy) so quickly in the film. Even now, four years after its release, Batman v Superman remains a highly-contentious film among comic book fans, with most people seeming to either loathe it or champion its brilliance. Featuring the debuts of Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, as well as the return of Henry Cavill as Superman, Batman v Superman grossed $873.6 million worldwide in a win for DC. However, it also earned a 28% Rotten Tomatoes critics score that contributed to its negative reputation.
Ahead of Batman v Superman’s release, fans were excited to see how Snyder would bring together various DC characters. One character they were especially interested in was Jimmy Olsen, a Daily Planet photojournalist from the comics who is good friends with Superman and Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Fans expected a bigger role for Jimmy, but instead were shocked to see Jimmy killed off very suddenly. In Batman v Superman, Jimmy is actually a CIA operative tasked with accompanying Lois on an assignment to Nairomi, Africa. When his cover is blown, he’s killed by the local warlord.
In honor of Batman v Superman’s four-year anniversary, Snyder hosted a live commentary on his Vero account and provided more insight about various plot points from the movie. When it came to Jimmy, Snyder explained the decision was due to his broader plans for the franchise. Snyder described the action as dominoes falling, and they all had a ripple effect. As Snyder said:
It was a five-movie arc, and as the dominoes fall, as you go, you’re ended up with the consequences, so the world is rebuilt again each time the movies continue. So, you know. If this was a TV show, I would say for sure we’d bring Jimmy back.
Snyder then went on to describe the plot further as a “chess game,” with certain characters dying off for a specific reason. He explained, “Hopefully as they die off, they give us something, they teach us something as they go. And that’s kind of what their role is.” Therefore, in Batman v Superman, Jimmy’s purpose was simply to die. Whether fans will be appeased by this explanation has yet to be seen, but it’s still interesting to hear Snyder’s take on the controversial moment.
During his commentary, Snyder also gave more insight into the highly-divisive “Martha” moment from the film, as well as several others. Additionally, he joked that his legendary Snyder Cut of Justice League is a proper Batman v Superman sequel. Snyder had a lot of plans for the DCEU beyond Justice League, but a family tragedy and Warner Bros. taking the franchise in a new direction derailed those plans. It’s unclear if he’ll ever get the chance to see those plans through, but it’s clear he still holds a lot of fond memories from his time in the DC universe.