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Stuckmann’s four-page script, which he posted on Twitter over the weekend, contains new takes on the first confrontation and the final resolution between the two at-odds heroes.
Some of the suggested changes were pretty smart, like making Batman and Superman’s unification more about Batman’s character journey than the “Martha” business. But there was one line that’s taken on a life of its own.
“Tell that to Zod’s snapped neck.”
Fans went crazy over that single piece of Batman dialogue, inspired by the fan-dividing scene at the end of Man of Steel where Superman broke General Zod’s neck. #ZodsSnappedNeck inspired tons of memes. Someone started a designated Twitter account. The Suicide Squadcast did a dramatic reading on its most recent podcast. There’s even a change.org petition to have someone’s neck snapped in Suicide Squad—although it only has three signatures right now.
Stuckmann admitted several times in an interview with Daily Dot that his script was a “stupid rewrite,” more glorified fan fiction than anything else, and that he’s been enjoying the humorous response on Twitter. He said the “Zod’s snapped neck” line was designed to give Batman some silly wit. After all, humor was one of the biggest elements missing from Batman v Superman. It’s one of the reasons Suicide Squad reshoots are rumored to be making it funnier, although director David Ayer denied it.
“I understand that Batman is a dark character and I have no problem with seriousness in a film like that, but I thought there were tongue-in-cheek opportunities that they missed,” Stuckmann said. “Do I want a Joel Schumacher film, with nonstop jokes? Of course not, but even darker films like The Dark Knight were very funny at times.”
Stuckmann insisted the script only took 20 minutes and isn’t supposed to be taken seriously, but that hasn’t stop some hardcore DC fans from lashing out, criticizing his screenwriting skills and his general opinions about the film, which Stuckmann called “kind of average” with some highs and lows. It’s no surprise, since the film has more people picking sides than Captain America: Civil War. It’s been so divisive that CinemaBlend published an entire article about how the staff couldn’t agree on whether the film was any good.
It seems easy to agree, however, that #ZodsSnappedNeck is the newest treasure in the DC Comics universe.
Beth Elderkin is a geek culture reporter and the former co-host/producer of Channel Awesome’s ‘Shark Jumping.’In July 2016, Elderkin joined Gizmodo Media Group as a weekend editor and staff writer for io9.