This summer Zack Snyder’s reboot of Man of Steel became the most divisive title we’d seen yet in 2013. There was of course the predictable battle between those who thought the new interpretation of Superman was a triumph, and those who felt it was a total catastrophe. And for many this superhero movie flew or flopped based on a certain moment in its climax. If you are not one of the people who bought a ticket and contributed to Man of Steel’s massive $662 million dollar worldwide haul, be warned major spoilers lie ahead.
To put it simply, Man of Steel ends with Superman killing his foe, General Zod. This decision by screenwriter David S. Goyer enraged many Superman fans—including writer of the Superman comic Birthright Mark Waid—who insist it goes against the hero’s code to kill. But the screenwriter who has contributed to such superhero screenplays as Blade, Blade II, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and The Dark Knight trilogy has finally spoken up about this outrage-causing choice. Digital Spy reports that at a BATFA and BFI Screenwriters’ Lecture, Goyer said of the crucial moment:
“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.”
From there he went on to state directly, “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.”