Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and David S. Goyer Talk MAN OF STEEL and Their Take on Superman; Describe the Film as Sci-Fi

     May 22, 2013


Fresh off last night’s incredibly tantalizing trailer, a new interview with the creatives behind this summer’s Man of Steel has landed online.  Getting a new version of Superman off the ground was no small task, but screenwriter David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan came up with an interesting take on the character that hadn’t been seen before and enlisted director Zack Snyder to bring the film to fruition.  We’re now less than a month away from Man of Steel’s release, and the trio has taken the opportunity to discuss the film and it’s development.  Hit the jump to see what Nolan, Goyer, and Snyder had to say about Man of Steel, including making a wholly sci-fi Superman movie, why Snyder was the right man for the director’s chair, and more.

man-of-steel-poster-henry cavillSpeaking with the New York Times, Snyder said the character’s contradiction of being beloved but not necessarily relevant to the modern world was intriguing to him:

“He’s a really cool mythological contradiction. He’s incredibly familiar Americana and alien, exotic, bizarroland, but beautifully woven together. All of us, in a weird way, are that same kind of contradiction — no one’s that simple.”

In trying to bring a fresh take to the character with this contradiction in mind, Snyder and Co. settled on a wholly sci-fi iteration of the story:

The result is an unapologetic science-fiction spin on Superman, and while that may shatter audiences’ expectations for pure, unalloyed realism in Man of Steel, Mr. Snyder said this approach was built into the DNA of the character. “If you follow him back logically and try to understand him,” he said, “you end up at a sci-fi solution.”

Goyer adds that it was approaching the character as an alien in a foreign land that was the initial nugget of an idea that got the ball rolling on Man of Steel:

“If he really were an alien, when the world finds out that he exists, that in itself would be the biggest event in human history. That would change the world forever.”

man-of-steel-superman-henry-cavillAs for finding the right filmmaker to bring this idea to fruition, Nolan explains why they settled on Snyder:

Mr. Nolan, a producer of Man of Steel, said he thought of Mr. Snyder to direct the film because of his stylized takes on 300 and Watchmen, and his “innate aptitude for dealing with superheroes as real characters.”

“That was what a new approach to Superman required,” Mr. Nolan said. “He understands the power of iconic images, but he also understand the people behind them.”

With regards to the fact that Snyder essentially deconstructed the entire superhero genre/mythology in taking on Watchmen, Nolan says the irony is not lost on him:

“It’s ironic but it’s a very productive irony. You’re dealing with a filmmaker who has deconstructed this mythology and now has to reconstruct it. That’s a fascinating challenge for him.”

man-of-steel-henry-cavillSnyder went on to discuss how Man of Steel fits into the director’s larger filmography:

“I feel like my movies have always been very subversive, even when people haven’t perceived how subversive they really are. For me, what’s subversive about Superman is that it’s not subversive.”

Head over to the New York Times to read the full interview, which includes Snyder’s defense of his 2011 film Sucker Punch.

Click here to catch up on all of our Man of Steel coverage, or browse the links below:

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  • Collin Kobelja

    This movie is going to kick all kinds of ass! Snyder’s visuals and Nolan’s story telling is the perfect combo!

    • BboiBlack

      Nolan is directing?
      Writing maybe?
      What is this term, story telling?

      • cb

        Go to this link:
        Now, under the movie’s poster on the right, look at the people involved in making the movie. Every time you see Nolan’s name, THAT’s how he contributed to the movie.

      • Collin Kobelja

        He..wrote..the..story. I don’t know how any clearer that can be, how are you confused by this?

      • eddie

        Because he didn’t. Goyer wrote the story, Goyer got the idea because he was having writers block for TDKR. Nolan only gave what they should do for the character then stepped back and helped fund. That’s it.

      • Andy

        Goyer wrote THE SCRIPT, Goyer and Nolan both wrote the story

  • HeSaidSheSaidMv

    It’s kind of embarrassing how much Nolan and Goyer go out of
    their way to distance themselves from the comic book genre. They’re always
    saying stuff like how it’s “not really” a comic book movie and now it’s “more
    of a science fiction film” Get off your high horse, ya snobs.

    • Stephen Parks

      Calm down

      • David Lockett

        Here’s what I think…after the Batman and Robin catastrophe producers are trying so hard to not be camp that they are almost too serious with the project. In many ways it works but in many ways it doesn’t. It changes too much and doesn’t allow things that are key elements. I think Nolan and Goyer have the right idea they just need to loosen up a bit. Zack Snyder doesn’t seem to have a problem getting everyone involved.

  • Confirmed Nolanite

    Nolan’s such a genius! Really, really dug the part in the interview where he said: “I’m a filthy hack money hooker who loves to disrespect both the audience and the source material which I shamelessly profit from. I disparage comic books as “unrealistic” then add the most ludicrous shite in my Batman movies like a punch healing Batman’s back and Batman miracling himself out of the blast range of a neutron bomb.I actually just say my material is “grounded” as an excuse to use as little imagination as possible when building my comic book world. Also, it provides the added bonus of allowing fanboys to feel intelligent and uber self-serious when discussing my mediocre films so they don’t feel quite so pathetic when spending inordinate amounts of time analysing and viewing an intellectual property designed to entertain children.”
    What a guy!

    • Confirmed Nolanite

      Also, does anybody know if there is a Chris Nolan impersonator that i can hire to come to my house, gather my family in the living room, drop his pants and start pissing in my open mouth while yelling “ACTION”? I’d really like that, in fact, i’m pretty sure that it’ll be the best birthday ever! I’m willing to pay $300 cash. $350 if he can make it taste like asparagus.

      • zac

        Ok you dont like nolan and or his Batman films, that fine and fair enough we all tend to like whatever we like thats the beauty of movies. Personally I hated ” The Avengers” (if the space bridge is broken where did Thor come from?) Anywho to my point, if you don’t like him fine but why bother even reading anything nolan related if it gets you so worked up. Furthermore why would you watch Man of Steel if you feel this way? Please don’t watch it because you will clearly wasting your money and won’t like it and once again you are entitled not to like something

      • Confirmed Nolanite

        @Zac, because Nolan sold out and his faithful legion act as if all is well. It’d be like Fincher churning out a Michael Bay film and no one calls him on it and everyone praises him for it. That kind of idiocy shall not stand. And, as to why I’ll keep doing it, to quote one of the worst screenplays in the last half decade, Nolan’s punishment must be more severe.
        If one Nolanite can admit that Rises isn’t perfect and it objectively has many flaws but confesses that they like it despite the flaws, than I promise to stop.

      • Chris Nolan

        Ah hoy hoy faithful Nolanites. It is I, your messiah, Chris Nolan. I hope you all enjoyed the above comment posted by my brother/boy toy Jonathan Nolan (I call him jon jon around the house;) ). If you ever see this comment copied and pasted into comment sections regarding Chris Nolan (myself) please don’t post glib responses. Jonathan is genuinely offering the above bargain. And I know you’ll not call the police about it because if you let me get away with The Dark Knight Rises, by God, you’ll let me get away with anything.

    • Vancouver Canucks

      You need to get laid my friend…

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  • Jonboy

    Ok, so let me get this straight…the groundbreaking news that Snyder reveals in the interview is that after thinking long and hard that a movie about an alien, who lands on earth to defend the world from other evil aliens in spaceships, should be treated as a Science Fiction movie? Hey I’ll admit that this may just be a film to remember.. but do we need to hear this? Nolan is good at making movies (not always but still good) but does he really have to give us this ‘Confucius say Irony that is productive is a challenge to construct’ Couldn’t they just say something that makes sense..!!!!…’what’s subversive about Superman is that it’s not subversive’ what were they on when they had this interview!!!!!

    • John Harmon

      You would think it would be a no-brainer that a Superman movie should be sci-fi oriented, and yet this would be the first live action Superman film to actually do that.

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