To say that Zack Snyder's run in the DCEU has divided fans would be an understatement. It all started with the ending of Man of Steel, where, after a fight with Zod involving the kind of destruction never before seen in a comic book movie, Superman choose to end the fight by snapping Zod's neck. Many fans were outraged to see the Last Son of Krypton taking a life and said so in no uncertain terms on fan forums. In an interview with Backstory Magazine during a [email protected] panel, Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer acknowledged the problem some people had with the movie's storyline, but stood by his decisions as a writer.
"I absolutely understand a lot of people had problems with it. When I have had a hand in adapting these things, you wanna be as respectful to the core material as possible but you also can't protect against failure. You have to take big swings. With big swings there are big rewards. We took enormous swings with Batman Begins and with The Dark Knight that turned out to be well-received, but we were trying to tell a different kind of Superman story, a Superman story that hadn't been told before and it required us taking some big swings."
The main issue with the 'neck snap' boiled down to the very definite idea that fans have of a particular version of Superman, and as Goyer went on to explain, he believes the risk in portraying a Superman who kills was worth taking when it came to reinventing what it means to be Superman for their new take on the character.
"We talked about it. We talked about whether or not people would accept it, and the editorial staff at DC had accepted it. It doesn't mean it wasn't a mistake, but if you sit there and you say, 'I don't wanna take any risk. I'm worried I might offend a portion of the audience,' I don't think that's a particularly healthy way to try to make a film or a television show."
While Man of Steel was battling the audience's preconceived notions of what Superman should and should not do, Goyer revealed that a scene he had included in the script that never made it into the movie would have added more emotional heft to the moment in which Superman is forced to kill Zod to protect humanity.
"Ironically there was a scene we wrote that didn't get filmed in which Jonathan takes young Clark hunting and they kill a deer, and young Clark is just gutted by the act and Jonathan says, 'It's a powerful thing to take a life, even if you're forced to take a life'. That was a scene that didn't make it into the final movie, we never filmed it."
David S. Goyer also revealed that they had an out, had they not wanted to kill Zod. But the writer was never a fan of this particular alternate ending. He says this about how things could have concluded for Man of Steel.
""The idea was that Superman would - there was one of those sort of cryopods on the ship that ends up becoming the Fortress of Solitude that he's able to put Zod back into and then throw out into space. We did talk about it and maybe some people would've been happier with that, but it felt like a cop out for the story that we were telling."
Director Zack Snyder has always maintained that his intention while crafting Superman's journey starting with Man of Steel was to eventually turn the character into someone more closely resembling the beacon of hope and morality that general audiences remember from the era of Christopher Reeve. Hopefully, the upcoming Zack Snyder's Justice League will bring that journey full circle for Superman fans, and put the events of Man of Steel into a better perspective in the process. This news originated on Collider.