With MAN OF STEEL due for an imminent home release, director Zack Snyder recently carried out a promotional fan event with Yahoo! Movies. A subject of great debate at Moonbase Alpha, one of the topics that raised its head was that of the death, destruction and carnage caused by Superman in Snyder’s film. It goes without saying, there’s some MAN OF STEEL spoilers here.
In terms of Superman taking the life of General Zod – a decision that producer Christopher Nolan was apparently against – Snyder said, “It’s a real world problem. I think the effect on Superman, it is a deeply difficult decision for him to make. It’s not a thing that he takes lightly, and you can see it affects pretty profoundly. And maybe we’ll see the repercussions of that in the next film. How that’s affected him, making that decision. Maybe.”
Moving on to the ‘Superman doesn’t kill’ ideal, the director added, “Well, what’s funny about that rule is that it exists in the movies but it doesn’t really exist in the comic books. He’s killed Zod a couple of times in the comic books. I think that it’s a notion that has grown out of the way he’s been popularised on TV and in the movies more than the comic book mythology of Superman. Killing General Zod is a practical solution to the problem. He wouldn’t let his personal aversion to killing cost the lives of an entire planet or those little kids, that little family. So if he had said, ‘I’m just morally opposed to killing, so I guess I have to let him kill those people.’ Those are the dilemmas. We set that up directly so there would be no solution other than that solution.”
Right, and who put Superman in that no-win situation? That’d be Snyder and those involved in penning the script.
Moving on, the topic of the seemingly thousands of lives that were lots was brought up. Snyder's response was, "Probably 5,000 people died from the Metropolis attack. For me, that was part of it. No, there's real consequences. Not to compare, but if you look at THE AVENGERS, they trash the city and nobody thinks about how many people are dying. There's a sadness at the end of movie. That's a thing that weighs in on Superman."
The level of death in MAN OF STEEL was paramount to a terrorist attack. The only way that this really works out in the long-term is if the carnage caused in Metropolis leads to Batman hunting the Big, Boy Blue Scout down in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. Even then, it will still struggle to sit well in certain quarters. Similarly, it would be the perfect fodder to give Lex Luthor a vendetta against Superman, as he could step in as the White Knight of Metropolis, funding the city's rebuilding and pointing the figure of blame purely at Kal-El.
As for the sadness at the end of MAN OF STEEL, yes, there's emotive, aggressive sadness from Superman at having to take the life of Zod, but that issue seems to have been swept under the carpet by time the credits roll.
Despite these issues, I actually am a fan of MAN OF STEEL. It just feels that Snyder has maybe scored a bit of an own goal with some of the above comments.
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