Warning: This post contains major spoilers about the ending of "Man of Steel."
"Man of Steel" could have had a very different ending if producer Christopher Nolan had had his way, director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer revealed in a recent interview with Empire Magazine, below.
The pair told the magazine that the original script had Superman sending General Zod back into the Phantom Zone alive, but that Snyder felt a different approach was more appropriate, suggesting the ending that ultimately wound up in theaters: Superman killing Zod. Nolan didn't agree with that decision, Goyer and Snyder said, because violence was a trait uncharacteristic of the hero.
"David, Chris, and I had long talks about it, and I said that I really feel like we should kill Zod, and that Superman should kill him," Snyder said. "The 'why?' of it for me was that if [it] was truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained. I wanted to create a scenario where ... either he's going to see [Metropolis's citizens] chopped in half, or he's gotta do what he's gotta do."
But Snyder's creation of a new, violent mythology for the caped crusader has put off many Superman purists, including Mark Waid, author of the comics series "Superman: Birthright." Waid writes on his blog, Thrillbent, that because of the hero's unexpectedly dark turn, "Man of Steel" has "no triumph to it."
"None of Superman's victories in this movie are in any way the kind of stand-up-and-cheer events you'd think necessary in a movie with Superman in it," Waid adds.
Despite the criticism, Snyder maintains that his ending was the right decision for the character and the film.
"I think the vision was just a sort of unapologetic Superman movie," Snyder said at a recent press conference. "I felt like in the recent past, people have been apologizing for Superman a little bit, for his costume, for his origins, the way he fits into society. And we really wanted to just say, 'No, no, this is the mythology, this is how it is, and it's supposed to be this way.'"