Caution: Man of Steel spoilers ahead!
During one of the many ComicCon@Home panels this past weekend, Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer spoke about the controversial ending to the 2013 film. You’ll recall that in the final act, Superman must choose between stopping Zod with force or allowing him to kill a family with the heat vision out of his eyes. Superman ends up breaking Zod’s neck, going against his historically non-lethal approach to stopping his foes.
During the panel on Saturday, Goyer explained why the decision was made to go with the ending that caused so much uproar, stating:
We were trying to come up with a stalemate where he couldn’t – there’d been a [comics] editorial decision in which Superman doesn’t kill, it was a rule, but that’s a rule that’s imposed on a fictional world and we just thought but sometimes, whether it’s a soldier or people in law enforcement, and again an immature Superman. This is the first time he’s ever flown in that story. He’d just flown for the first time days before that. He’s not aware of the extent of his powers at all. He’s finding somebody who’s said, ‘I won’t stop,’ who’s said, ‘You can’t put me in a prison I won’t ever stop’. We wanted to put him in a stalemate.”
Alternatively, the filmmakers could have decided to go with the well-known avoidance of lethal confrontation. To that end, the Goyer said the following:
“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.”
Quotes courtesy of Slash Film. Photo from Digital Spy.