WARNING: THIS NEWS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR MAN OF STEEL. READ FURTHER AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Despite making over $600 million worldwide at the box office, fans are rather divided on Man of Steel. This summer’s blockbuster made a lot of choices and changes to the Superman mythology that fans didn’t expect or appreciate. The David S. Goyer Superman changed the relationship that Clark had with the Kents and Lois, the fate of Jonathan Kent, and the way in which Superman was revealed to the world. None of these choices was more controversial than the one seen during the film’s climax, where Superman is forced to kill General Zod by snapping his neck.
Many fans were outraged that the filmmakers had Superman kill in the new film, when the character refuses to take a life in the comic books. Superman is ideally meant to be an all-but-pure character, and the DC universe’s single greatest hero, so he’s meant to be above such tactics.
David S. Goyer, the screenwriter of Man of Steel and the upcoming Batman vs. Superman, recently sat down with Digital Spy to address those controversial choices. He said that they knew it would be a risky move, but that they thought it would make for a better story.
“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.”
He also elaborated by stating that he does think Superman should be able to kill, and defended how they present.
“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.”
Now, I have a lot of respect for David S. Goyer and his body of work, but I’d be lying if I said his answers here didn’t alter my opinion of him in some way. I’m one of the fans that believe that Superman shouldn’t be a killer as a rule. That being said, it doesn’t seem that he’s going to have Superman kill again in the future, and this action of killing Zod will inform why he will never cross that line again. If that’s the case, I can live with it. It does seem to make the story better that way.
What do you think about Goyer’s opinion? Do you agree that Superman should be able to kill? Why don’t you just tell us what you think in the comments below?
Source: Digital Spy