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‘Man Of Steel’ Scribe Says Superman Has Every Right To Kill
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David Goyer Addresses Controversial Man Of Steel Ending

Any sort of changes to an established comic book hero like Superman will be controversial in some shape or form. Some say that the third act of Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel contained needless destruction, but the pinnacle act that was the most polarizing was what happened between Superman and General Zod at the end of the film.

SPOILERS for Man of Steel follow in the remainder of this article.

When Superman killed General Zod in Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel, it wasn’t the kind of Superman that comic book fans were accustomed to seeing. Superman would use murder as a last resort, but even before he would think about doing it, he’d find some way to make sure no blood would be spilt – or no necks would be snapped in the case of Man of Steel.

There were some who did agree that Superman killing General Zod was justified. But for those naysayers who believe otherwise, Man Of Steel scribe David Goyer believes that Superman had every right to kill and should be able to do so.

Digital Spy pulled a few interesting quotes from Goyer who was speaking at BATFA and BFI Screenwriters’ Lecture. There, the screenwriter addressed the contraversial ending.

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.

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 idolize him he will have to hold himself to a higher standard.

It seems like what Goyer is trying to say is that this Superman film would be the basis of the Cinematic Universe that they were creating. So while the character would be the basis of that Universe, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it should adhere to the character we read in the comic books. So it is this one act of killing that will probably result in him not killing other villains in future films like the upcoming Batman vs. Superman. We can’t be certain that this is the route that Goyer is going towards, but if it is, we would have a clear explanation of why he doesn’t kill.

So what do you guys think?

[Source: Digital Spy]


  1. That entirely betrays who Superman is.

    His excuse that the plot couldn’t allow Superman to solve the problem without killing…

    That’s just bad plotting.

    Comment by totz the plaid — September 25, 2013 @ 6:22 am

  2. I’m glad they’re foregoing one of the many points of supermans character that has made his character so HORRIBLE for so many years. In order to ever get a decent superman movie someones going to have to move superman passed his “these glasses are a great disguise” ideology. And lets be honest, the new movie was nearly as bad as the old….who the hell wants to watch really fast fighting?

    Comment by instrument — September 25, 2013 @ 10:25 am

  3. Who wants to watch really fast fighting? Ask fans of Dragon Ball Z.

    Comment by UNCARING1 — September 25, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

  4. MoS – 8/10. Fuq You hard is you disagree!

    Comment by Vergil Kent — September 25, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

  5. How is that any worse than “the plot is written so that Superman always has a non-lethal option”? I actually agree with him, internal consistency is more important than forced morals.

    Comment by Zachary Bower — September 25, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

  6. It takes a lot more wrangling to force a lethal ending than the many, MANY possible non-lethal options. For example, Superman could’ve taken a similar option to what Vash did with Knives at the end of the Trigun anime and crippled Zod.

    …or Superman’s powers could not have been nonsensically lessened in this movie to prevent Superman from sending Zod into space.

    …or the Negative Zone could’ve been put into play.

    …or Kryptonite.

    …or any of THOUSANDS of other options!

    Comment by totz the plaid — September 26, 2013 @ 6:09 am

  7. “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,” says
    Goyer. Someone should tell this genius that there might be a year or two
    of narrative that predates his involvement with Superman, complete with
    “crutches” and “rules” that should be respected. If he didn’t like it, then he didn’t have to write a Superman movie. But if he’s gonna write it, then his little piece of narrative should be true to the volumes and volumes of narrative that have come before on matters like this. This is just another example of
    someone wanting things both ways: in this case, he wanted the built-in
    audience that decades of Superman fandom provides even as he wanted to be able to
    cherry-pick which parts of that history he would honor and respect.

    Comment by redraobyek — September 26, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

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