Kremlinologists, this interview at Empire mag with David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder apparently does for MAN OF STEEL what Glenn Greenwald does for our privacy. If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, ComicBook.Com has some quotes that reveal just why Superman did what he did at the end of MAN OF STEEL:
“Killing Zod was a big thing and Chris Nolan, originally, said there’s no way you can do this,” Goyer told the magazine. “That was a change–originally Zod got sucked into the Phantom Zone along with the others and I just felt it was unsatisfying and so did Zack. We started questioning–we talked to some of the people at DC Comics and said, ‘Do you think there is ever a way that Superman would kill someone?’ And at first they said ‘No way, no way,’ and we said, ‘but what if he didn’t have a choice?’ Originally Chris didn’t even want to let us try to write it and Zack and I said, ‘We think we can figure out a way that you’ll buy it.’”
So there! It wasn’t even gloomy old Chris Nolan’s idea!
Now, as you may have heard, this is not the first time Superman has killed nor even the first time he’s killed General Zod. In Superman II, the basis for the current film, one version showed Superman dropping Zod and pals into a black hole. (The original Richard Donner version showed them being led off in handcuffs by the police.) Neither of those endings would have worked in MAN OF STEEL–just toppling, ala a Disney villain, would not have killed these tough Kryptonians, who could be thrown THROUGH a building unscathed, and it was already established that handcuffs meant nothing for Superman.
In the comics, John Byrne had Superman kill a “pocket” Zod, and Roger Stern had him kill Doomsday—who had already killed Superman, so turnabout, etc.
FWIW, I sort of agree with Snyder and Goyer that the MoS black hole sucking Zod was less dramatically satisfying. The up close and personal death that this Superman gives Zod is far more shocking than any toppling or punching, though.
There’s much more about the movie in the podcast, including of course future films and Easter eggs:
“Actually I didn’t know about the Wayne Enterprises thing. The LexCorp [logos were] in the script but the Wayne one… I was like, ‘Oh that’s cool.’ But Zack [Snyder] and I are big fanboys in that regard in the way that Chris [Nolan] isn’t. I mean we can cite certain covers or artists or things like that, [but] Chris just isn’t into that.
“This is just, sort of, y’know, ground zero for (no pun intended) a greater DC universe. This is a shared universe so we’re saying yes, Lex Luthor exists in this world, Bruce Wayne exists in this world. We mentioned S.T.A.R. Labs and so the intention is, if the film is well received, that this would be the starting point for introducing other characters and ultimately, obviously Warner Brothers hopes there will be a Justice League film and perhaps you might start seeing other characters appearing in each other’s films. I think in some ways they’re interested in going perhaps the opposite direction that Marvel has done which may be to do a group film and then spin off.”
While the lowly comics will doubtless have little to do with any future Superman movies, there was some consternation yesterday when that Superman/Wonder Woman book by Charles Soule and Tony Daniel was announced:
So in the brilliant marketing synergy that is DC Comics, today they announced a new Superman book. Oh wait, make that Superman/Wonder Woman. Hitting in October and exploring the “budding relationship” according to IGN. SYNERGY!NOT! Wonder Woman, the most iconic female superhero in comics, finally has a second book for the first time in 61 years and it’s second billing to her boyfriend and in a book where she’s making out with him on the cover.
Well, first off DC has had books called Superman/Batman and Batman/Superman, so billing is a bit variable. The art accompanying the release showed the super duo smooching, which does not involve ass-kicking and a romance book starring Superman and Wonder Woman does seem like a strange move but…
I dunno. It is not hard to get baffled and then enraged over how DC has treated various heroines over the years, and the continued Ongoing Dread of Wonder Woman (ODoWW) could be and surely has been the topic of entire theses. But this time out, it seemed like a total no win for DC. Imagine if, say, Gail Simone had announced she was writing a romance book starring Superman and Wonder Woman. Would that have been a win? At least Diana’s getting a second book and it’s starring her and the suddenly-top hero at DC. It could be worse. Honest it could.
One way or another, Wonder Woman is going to have to appear in that JLA movie. Chances of her being handled in a way that everyone finds acceptable are about the same as Edward Snowden getting a job in IT at the Pentagon. Let’s save the outrage for the steps on the way to that and not two lines at IGN and a crappy cover.
BUT BTW THE WAY, for real Gail Simone IS working on a secret project that involve Lois Lane, As she recently tweeted:
“The most surprising thing about writing Superman was the richness of the cast. The most WONDERFUL thing was writing Clark/Lois.
“Fortunately, I get to write SOME Superman in SECRET PROJECT.
“Oh, well, that’s enough Superman daydreaming for right now. (Goes back to writing Lois Lane scene for SECRET PROJECT).”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.