Since the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder hasn’t spent much time talking about Justice League or the future of the DC movie universe — instead, he’s mostly been explaining some of the (many, many, many) things that happen in his superhero epic. And while we anxiously await his explanation of Granny’s Peach Tea, the director is opening up about one character who wasn’t actually in the film, but whose existence was crucial to Ben Affleck’s iteration of Batman.

Affleck put in some solid work as the aging, disgruntled and exceedingly cynical caped crusader (setting aside the notion that this version of Batman would probably vote for Donald Trump), but you don’t become that jaded just because you witnessed your parents’ murder. This Batman has seen some s—, man.

And as we saw in the Batcave, one of the things that’s made Affleck’s Dark Knight so, well, dark is the death of Robin — whose suit, covered in the Joker’s taunting graffiti, Batman keeps as some sort of morbid monument. In an interview with IGN, Snyder talks about the importance of Batman’s former sidekick and offers a little more background:

In my mind, it was that Robin had died 10 years earlier, during some run in with a young Joker (Jared Leto). To me, it was a fun backstory there to play with. The whole idea was that there had been loss and sacrifice. In a weird way, he sacrificed everything to be Batman, right? He doesn’t really have a life outside of the cave. I thought by including Robin — a dead Robin — it would help us understand he’s been on quite a little journey.

Once again, Snyder uses the word “fun” to describe something that is decidedly un-fun. It’s almost as if there’s a mandate going around Warner Bros. insisting that everyone must use the word “fun” in any interviews about Batman v Superman and the DC movie universe. First there was Snyder explaining that brutal Jimmy Olsen cameo as “fun,” then there was the recent interview in which a WB exec said Batman v Superman is “fun” and “doesn’t take itself seriously.”

But while Snyder continues to have some really twisted ideas about “fun,” he does get a couple of things right: including Robin’s defaced suit does help us understand this emotionally removed and closed-off Batman a bit more, and casting Ben Affleck in the role was a huge help.

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