Batman V Superman: 10 Completely CGI Moments You Didn’t Notice

Batman V Superman: The Death Of Practical Filmmaking.

Batman V Superman Bat Signal.jpg
Warner Bros. Pictures

Back in the day, when directors like Richard Donner and Tim Burton were calling the shots, comic book movies weren't so reliant on CGI. These superhero cinema events felt a bit more grounded, like they were almost plausible, because green-screen technology wasn't the height of filmmaking fashion.

Now, it's harder to relate to superhero films, since they're stuffed to bursting point with computer-generated characters and bombastic special effects sequences. It's tough to find an emotional core to cling to when there's so much technical wizardry going on.

Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman is the perfect example of how much things have changed: the villainous Doomsday was made entirely on computers, most of the explosions were fake, and even the origin of Batman hinged on an effects shot. (Those bats in the cave at the start weren't real, sadly.)

Thanks to a visual effects reel posted by Cruel Films on Vimeo, the ratio of practical filmmaking to computer effects in Snyder's superhero slugfest has now been made clear. There is certainly more computerised stuff than the average viewer would suspect, including backgrounds, stunts, destruction, costume details and even characters' movements.

Was any of it real?!

10. The Destruction Of Metropolis

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Warner Bros.

One of the film's many openings and the centrepiece of several trailers featured Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne traversing Metropolis during the destructive third act of Man Of Steel. First he drove a nice big jeep as chunks of building tumbled around him, and then he continued on foot, running towards some endangered citizens as a hefty cloud of smoke rushed up the road to meet him.

The VFX reel shows us that precisely none of the environmental destruction around Bruce was engineered practically during shooting. There are no chunks of building falling loose and no debris of any kind in the vicinity, and even the cloud of smoke - which looked both real and pretty cool in the finished film, especially when Bruce braced himself to enter it - didn't actually exist on set.

Impressively, the entire scene was basically just Ben Affleck reacting to nothing.


Film & TV journo. Quite tall.