David S. Goyer Talks Realistic Tone of MAN OF STEEL; Says He and Nolan Used the Same “Naturalistic Approach” Adopted for Batman

by     Posted 1 year, 201 days ago


We finally got a tease of what director Zack Snyder’s iteration of Superman looks like this past July by way of the first trailer for Man of Steel, and the first thought on many people’s minds was, “Boy, that looks a lot like Batman Begins.”  The similarities are no accident, as the new Superman pic first got off the ground when Begins co-writer David S. Goyer came up with a way to approach Supes in a reboot that piqued the interest of Batman director Christopher Nolan.  The two pitched the take to Warner Bros., Goyer wrote the screenplay with Nolan producing, and 300’s Zack Snyder was tasked with brining the project to fruition.

Goyer recently talked a bit about how he and Nolan approached Man of Steel, expressly stating that they developed the update using the same “naturalistic approach” that was adopted for The Dark Knight Trilogy.  Hit the jump for the full quotes.

man of steel poster comic conSpeaking today at Rome Fiction Fest (via BadTaste), Goyer was asked about what Man of Steel has in common with Goyer’s previous works:

“What Christopher Nolan and I have done with Superman is try to bring the same naturalistic approach that we adopted for the Batman trilogy. We always had a naturalistic approach, we want our stories to be rooted in reality, like they could happen in the same world we live in. It’s not that easy with Superman, and actually this doesn’t necessarily mean we will make a dark movie. But working on this reboot we are thinking about what would happen if a story like this one actually happened. How would people react to this? What impact would the presence of Superman in the real world have? What I really like to do is write ‘genre’ stories without a cartoonish element. I did the same with Da Vinci’s Demons, and I’ll do the same with Man of Steel.”

Some fans of the comics aren’t too crazy about Goyer/Nolan/Snyder’s “real world” approach to Superman, but I’m really interested to see how this take plays out.  We saw some brief action sequences at Comic-Con and the (for lack of a better word) “gritty” style was an interesting way to see Henry Cavill’s Supes and Michael Shannon’s General Zod duking it out in very alien-looking costumes.

There’s still a long way to go before the film’s release and we’ve seen just the tiniest snippet of footage from the full film, so I’ll remain cautiously optimistic until we’ve seen more.  Man of Steel opens on June 14th, 2013.


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  • The_Engineer

    As long as there IS some fun in this, I’m cautiously optimistic. What I fear is a really dark take on a character that is meant to be optimistic. This isn’t Batman. I think people forget why we fell in love with these characters in the first place – it was ESCAPISM! They’ve turned Batman into something gritty and as depressing as watching the news! Please, don’t forget some people goto the cinema to FORGET about their troubles, the shit going down in the world etc etc – they want to escape and have a FUN ride. The original Superman is a classic because it could be watched by the entire family – it had drama, but it had comedy too (though Supes III obviously pushed this too far!). I’m all for grounding a film like this in reality, but please don’t do it at the expense of the FUN of this type of film. Make this one where people walk out smiling, and kids want to be Superman. Not some head-f**k of an ending like Batman…..

    • John

      You’ve obviously never read the Batman comics.

    • Grayden

      This is the problem with the movie-going populace, they are all comparing the new imaginings to the older incarnations as if those are what the characters and their universes are based on. They aren’t. They are based in their comics, for which we have decades of that have done through many changes and revisions. There can be dark Superman stories, but it doesn’t mean Superman makes them dark. What better symbol for humanity to look to than the beacon that is Superman in their darkest hours? Dark stories work for Superman.

  • Spock Jenkins

    Shame Goyer didn’t use the same clear-minded approach when he destroyed the BLADE franchise with the abysmally directed and written BLADE: TRINITY ( after the admittedly brilliant first two installments ).
    Yes, I am bitter. I recall when him and ( then ) new best friend Ryan Reynolds were doing the press junket rounds for Blade:Trinity and were pushing for a ‘Nightstalkers’ movie and a new ‘Flash’ movie ( under Goyer’s custodianship ).

    I hope this new Superman will make amends for that – just don’t let Goyer loose on any directing again ( Only as a writer – Batman trilogy included – has he been good ).


    I have NO PROBLEM


    I have NO PROBLEM with a dark version of SUPERMAN. Why? because, even though he’s not human and has unbeliaveble strength, etc., he’s not above having flaws. Petty, envy, jealousy, etc. Look at the history of KRYPTON and KRYPTONIANS. Any legit superhero story has the chance — if done right , and witrh respect — to be as legit as any ancient world mythology. It’s when IT ALL gets cartoonish — as in camp, and not giving a shit, and just chasing the buck — that the stench lasts for a long, long time. I had no problem at all with Singer’s version of SUPERMAN, but I AM loooking forward toa naturalistic and hopefully dark take on this myth.

  • Ryan

    This is something I’ve always thought would be great to introduce into a Superman film. First and foremost-he’s an alien. If we are right to assume that in that film universe mankind hasn’t made contact with extraterrestrials yet, then Superman would be the first. So not only are you finding out that you’re not alone, which would be a huge step forward for humanity, but this alien also has superpowers. And he’s alone himself, and makes Earth his home. So how would we face this? What would society’s reaction be? Would we take in The Last Son of Krypton with open arms, or would we tell him to get out? With the stigma attached to immigration, how would we feel about a man coming to our planet who has god-like powers?

    I can’t wait for this. I may have bigger expectations for this than I’ve had for the Nolan batman films, due to the uncertainty of the tone/script.

  • TheHOYT

    ” … actually this doesn’t necessarily mean we will make a dark movie.”

    I like the realistic approach to the material. And, judging from this quote above, it sounds to me like this will have real world appeal, but, in the end, Superman uses his power, not for personal gain, but for the good of humanity – And that, sounds pretty damn optimistic to me! However, getting Superman to the point to decide to put himself on the line, and intervene in world affairs, I envision, will be a bumpy ride. I mean, imagine discovering that you are the last of your kind, on a world that will fear (or respect) you, should they learn the truth of your origin, or the magnitude of your power? I imagine the desire to fly away and never return, or try and commit suicide (If that is possible for Superman? Hell, even that idea has dramatic tension built into it, similar to Bruce Banner’s suicide speech in The Avengers). Overall, a realistic and dramatic take on the material will do wonders for this franchise.

  • tarek

    Goyer ? the man who was behind ghost rider 2 ? Oh my! what a terrible movie.

  • Come on now

    This is the dumbest idea I’ve heard in a long time. Dark Knight Rises was silly not realistic. The idea superman can ever be “naturalistic” is stupid. Fans of Nolan don’t understand what pop entertainment is, let alone cinematic art. Cretins.

    • shutupyoudamnnerds

      keep your idiotic opinion to yourself you damn foaming at he mouth neanderthal.

    • BigBoss

      Naturalism in film is an illusion that can never be fully reached in fiction. It is about tricking the audience into believing something can be possible and organic. By placing Superman in a world the audience believes is our own and in situations that humanizes Superman you can effectively trick the audience into believing it is a more naturalistic approach to Superman. Nolan does indeed make pop entertainment considering the mainstream success of his movies, while infusing it with an artistic sensibility rarely allowed for such big pictures. You my friend are an idiot. Why dont you go watch Transformers and some splosions instead and stop embarrassing yourself.

  • Tom

    If you want your ditsy, fantastical, commercial garbage, go watch Thor. Or Captain America. Or Iron Man 2.

    • Tom

      Or Green Lantern.

      • realistic

        Or the one where an alien flies by shooting two jet streams out of his backside…

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  • Chris “Super Fraud” Nolan

    Oh I cannot wait in 2 years time when the Dark Hype Rises is recognized for the farcical embarrassment it is. This Superman movie shall be Nolan’s Waterloo its awfulness will force everyone to recognized his failure as a person and a director.

    • Strong Enough

      you’re trying to hard to troll. think of something better

      • breakin in down for the people

        Telling the truth is trolling now? Nolan is a terrible director whose popular because ADD Videogamer morons like his shallow films.

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  • Nate

    If I recall, in the original Superman movie, Clark just kinda shows up wearing the costume ready to go, with very little back story on how the Superman character came to be…

    I hope they explore how exactly how the superman persona was developed. So, did Clark “invent” the persona of Superman- the cape/costume/etc…Was it kinda a birthright from his father from Krypton? Did Clark’s personality tend to be courageous and heroic, or maybe he was kinda timid and grew into the role. In other words, at what point does he decide to put on the costume and start fighting for “truth, justice, etc…” BTW, where did he did that costume anyways?!?

    • breakin in down for the people

      Except for the 15 minutes scene where Clark Kent builds the Fortress of Solitude and is taught how to be superman by Marlond Brando in the space of five years. You goddamn ass-clown.

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  • Joey

    I am not feeling good about this naturalist approach. Basically it be same old crap with Lex Luther in future movies. No doomsday, brainaic or Darkseid? Not good at all. I am not happy with news, its going to fail.

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