The destructive, carnage filled, General Zod-neck snapping finale of “Man Of Steel” rubbed many people the wrong the way. Comics writer Mark Waid (of “Superman: Birthright” fame) hated it, and even Christopher Nolan, who produced the film, had to be convinced it would work. However, director Zack Snyder has long defended his decision to take Superman down a more violent road than fans have long been used to from the hero who largely isn’t associated with causing collateral damage.
“In the original version of the script, Zod just got zapped into the Phantom Zone,” Snyder explained in 2013. “But [screenwriter] David [S. Goyer], Chris and I had long talks about it, and I said that I really feel like we should kill Zod, and that Superman should kill him. The ‘Why?’ of it for me was that if was truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained… I wanted to create a scenario where Superman, either he’s going to see [Metropolis’ citizens] chopped in half, or he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.”
Goyer also provided rationale for the ending later that same year. “This is one area, and I’ve written comic books as well and this is where I disagree with some of my fellow comic book writers — ‘Superman doesn’t kill.’ It’s a rule that exists outside of the narrative and I just don’t believe in rules like that. I believe when you’re writing film or television, you can’t rely on a crutch or rule that exists outside of the narrative of the film,” he explained. “So the situation was, Zod says ‘I’m not going to stop until you kill me or I kill you.’ The reality is no prison on the planet could hold him and in our film Superman can’t fly to the moon, and we didn’t want to come up with that crutch.”
With “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” on the horizon, Snyder again explains why “Man Of Steel” needed such intensity in its conclusion. “I was surprised because that’s the thesis of Superman for me, that you can’t just have superheroes knock around and have there be no consequences,” he told EW. The director also added: “There are other superhero movies where they joke about how basically no one’s getting hurt. That’s not us. What is that message? That’s it’s okay that there’s this massive destruction with zero consequence for anyone?”
However, the most interesting nugget on all this comes from Ben Affleck, who reveals that Batman perhaps has a good reason to have a bone to pick with Superman in the forthcoming sequel. “One of the things I liked was Zack’s idea of showing accountability and the consequences of violence and seeing that there are real people in those buildings,” he said. “And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne’s building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event.”
It certainly adds to the flavor of Superman being seen as outcast and threat to those in Metropolis and around the world. Thoughts? Share ’em below. “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” arrives on March 25, 2016.