This story contain spoilers.
While Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel was a box office smash in 2013, it proved more controversial than many superhero movies. The most contentious moment comes near the end, when Superman kills his enemy, Zod. Now the film’s screenwriter has defended the scene.
In an interview on the podcast, David Goyer explained why Man of Steel‘s Superman would take a life in this way. “The way I work, the way Chris [Nolan, the executive producer] works, is you do what’s right for the story,” he said. “That exists entirely separately from what fans should or shouldn’t think of that character. You have to do what’s right for the story.”
“In that instance, this was a Superman who had only been Superman for like, a week. He wasn’t Superman as we think of him in the DC Comics, or even in a world that conceived of Superman existing. He’d only flown for the first time a few days before that. He’d never fought anyone that had super powers before.
“And so he’s going up against a guy who’s not only super-powered, but has been training since birth to use those super powers, who exists as a superhuman killing machine, who has stated, â€˜I will never stop until I destroy all of humanity.'”
Goyer goes on to suggest that it is the history and expected behaviour of previous versions of Superman that caused many to question his decision to kill. “If you take Superman out of it, what’s the right way to tell that story?,” he asks. “I think the right way to tell that story is if you take this powered alien who says, â€˜You can have your race back, but you have to kill your adopted race,’ the moral, horrible situation to be in is to actually be forced to kill, not wanting to, the only other person from your race.
“Take Superman aside, I think that’s the right way to tell that story.”
Man of Steel was the first film to feature Henry Cavill as Superman, and it went on to make $668 million worldwide. Cavill will return to the role in Snyder’s follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will team him with Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader. It is set to be released on March 25, 2016.