While this summer’s Man of Steel went on to gross over $660 million worldwide, the film divided some longtime fans of the Superman comics with its controversial ending. It marked a significant departure from canon, and while screenwriter David S. Goyer and director Zack Snyder definitely set out to make a wholly new Superman, many comics fans felt they took it too far. Now Goyer has spoken up a bit about their approach and veering from the comics, adding that he disagrees with some of his fellow comic book writers on a key trait of the Superman character. Moreover, he went on to hint that he may very well be writing Warner Bros.’ Justice League film. Hit the jump to read his comments.
Speaking at the BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters’ Lecture (via Digital Spy), Goyer explained why he had no problem turning Superman into a killer in Man of Steel:
“We were pretty sure that was going to be controversial. It’s not like we were deluding ourselves, and we weren’t just doing it to be cool. We felt, in the case of Zod, we wanted to put the character in an impossible situation and make an impossible choice.
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.”
“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.”
Furthermore, Goyer fully expects to explore the repercussions of that decision in further films, like 2015’s Batman vs. Superman:
“Also our movie was in a way Superman Begins, he’s not really Superman until the end of the film. We wanted him to have had that experience of having taken a life and carry that through onto the next films. Because he’s Superman and because people idolise him he will have to hold himself to a higher standard.”
Personally I didn’t have a problem with seeing Superman snap Zod’s neck, but I can understand how longtime fans of the comics might see that as a betrayal of the character. I’m interested to see how/if Snyder and Goyer plan on addressing both that decision and Superman’s disregard for collateral damage in the next film.
In a separate piece by THR (via CS), Goyer was asked whether he would be working on WB’s long-promised Justice League movie, to which he responded, “Might be, can’t say.” Not an outright denial, but not a confirmation either. Then again, Goyer is currently knee-deep in prep on Batman vs. Superman, so I imagine he’s taking things one step at a time.
What do you think, dear readers? Can you understand where Goyer was coming from or do you still think having Superman murder Zod took things too far? Sound off in the comments below.