Zack Snyder Explains The Reason Behind The Surprising, Major Moment For Jimmy Olsen In ‘Batman v Superman’

Zack Snyder Explains The Reason Behind The Surprising, Major Moment For Jimmy Olsen In 'Batman v Superman'

**Major spoilers ahead** "Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice" is not wanting for characters from the DC Comics universe. Of course, Batman and Superman throw down, plus there’s Lex Luthor, Alfred, Martha and Thomas Wayne, and Perry White. Beyond that, Wonder Woman has a supporting role, while Justice League team members Cyborg, Aquaman, and The Flash get brief glimpses, and there’s a pretty major of tease of Darkseid too. But it seems Zack Snyder found room to cram in one more character… only to get rid of him for little reason other than he could.

READ MORE: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’,’ ‘Daredevil,’ And The Problem Of Tone In Superhero Stories

At the beginning of the film, a sequence finds Lois Lane traveling to Africa to conduct an interview with a terrorist. The man she’s come to see doesn’t trust anybody, and a quick search of the gear belonging to the photographer Lois has brought with her uncovers a tracking device hidden in his camera. It turns out that the cameraman is actually an undercover CIA agent, and he is summarily executed with a gunshot to the head, while Lois is taken hostage. Superman soon arrives to rescue her, but everything has gone horribly wrong. And oh, that cameraperson? It’s Jimmy Olsen.

Vulture has noted that while Jimmy Olsen isn’t mentioned by name in the film, he’s unveiled in the credits, played by Michael Cassidy ("The O.C."). Intriguingly, EW adds that Jesse Eisenberg had originally auditioned for the barely there role, one that will get expanded in the upcoming R-rated "Ultimate Cut," with the initial idea of killing Jimmy Olsen serving as an audience misdirect. 

READ MORE: Zack Snyder Reveals Details Of Extended Scenes In R-Rated “Ultimate Cut” Of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’

“He comes up to her and he goes, ‘Lois Lane, I’m Jimmy Olsen, photographer, obviously … You know, I’ve been assigned to you for this mission.’ But it turns out that Jimmy Olsen is a spook for the CIA,” Snyder explained. “I thought, if it were Jesse Eisenberg and he got out and he goes, ‘I’m Jimmy Olsen,’ you’d be like, oh my God, we’re gonna have Jimmy Olsen in the whole movie, right?’ And then if he got shot, you’d just be like, ‘What!? You can’t do that.’ ”

But the bigger question is why bother bringing in Jimmy Olsen if you’re just going to kill him off? According to Snyder, because he can.

“We just did it as this little aside because we had been tracking where we thought the movies were gonna go, and we don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?” he said.

That Snyder’s version of "fun" involves randomly shooting a DC character in the head certainly does make one quite concerned about the future of this DC Films enterprise, of which he is one of the key members of the braintrust at Warner Bros. It also unveils a basic lack of thoughtfulness that Christopher Nolan‘s pictures had. Whatever you might think of "The Dark Knight" series, every character had clear motivation, every decision about where the plot turned had narrative and emotional logic. ‘Dawn Of Justice’ often feels like the characters are flailing about to find a purpose in a movie that puts spectacle ahead of a clear vision.

And while it’s usually a bit unfair to make comparisons to Marvel, this is something they would never do. Kevin Feige and co. are also deeply thoughtful about how, when, and where characters are brought in and out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, Feige nixed the idea of Captain Marvel popping up at the end of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" because he felt "it would have done that character a disservice." It has since been announced the hero is getting her own movie in 2019, and now the groundwork can be properly laid out for that film.

Snyder’s short term thinking — that he’ll never wind up using Jimmy Olsen, so hey let’s just kill him off — now hamstrings him creatively. It’s one less DC Comics universe character that is part of the fabric of Clark Kent and Lois Lane that he can utilize, and for fans, his disposal of Jimmy Olsen feels less like "fun" and more like "disrespect."

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Yea, Marvel would never do that. With the exception of Wade Wilson, like someone mentioned above. Wade Wilson/Deadpool is a way bigger character than Jimmy Olsen. Yet they mutilated him and killed him off for what seemed to me no reason other than for "fun". Don’t hold Marvel up on some higher plane of existence. It’s very clear that Zach Snyder has a high respect for DC characters, which was shown through Wonder Woman and Batman. And besides, DC could always just copy what Marvel did with Deadpool and just bring him back to life like nothing ever happened.


Travis, is not a comparison, is an example and you’re wrong, the character is estimated. Recalcitrante, the film that you quote is not Marvel, is Fox.


Well, RECALCITRANTE, "Marvel" didn’t do the "same thing"; Fox did. Marvel has very little creative control over what FOX does with its properties.


"This is something [Marvel] would never do. All hail the infallible Marvel Creative Decisonmaking Bureaucracy!" – Kevin Jagernauth


If it wasn’t for that interview, you wouldn’t even know that dude was Jimmy Olsen. So save the faux outrage for the next 23 articles you and the other sites have lined up for next week. Seriously, pace yourself guys or better yet: try to write one fucking article without the snarkitude.

Matt Cousens

@RECALCITRANTE You mean Fox, not Marvel.

Mike Crowley

Zack Snyder explains another half cooked decision in another one of his contextually half cooked films.


Marvel did the same thing using Wade Wilson as final enemy in the very forgettable Wolverine movie. This is mentioned and a joke in Deadpool.

Anyway I agree on your thought that Zack Sneider is kind of soulless and cold.

Travis Hopson

Comparing the franchise potential of Jimmy Olsen and Captain Marvel is plainly stupid. Feige didn’t intro Captain Marvel because he was saving a major character for later. Nobody gave a damn about the lack of Jimmy Olsen until they found out, after the fact, that he was killed off. Let’s keep it real, guys.


Zack Snyder owes you nothing.

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