So, there's been quite a lot of controversy surrounding certain aspects of Man of Steel; we've already posted some comments today from David S. Goyer addressed the collateral damage and huge loss of life during the battles of Smallville and Metropolis [see here], and now director Zack Snyder has spoken about the climactic showdown between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon), which culminates with Superman snapping the neck of his Kryptonian foe.
"In the original version of the script he just got zapped into the Phantom Zone. David [Goyer] and I had long talks about it, and [Christopher Nolan] and I talked long about it, and I really feel like we should kill Zod, and I really feel like Superman should kill him," Snyder tells Empire. "The why of it was for me - I go - if it's truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained, it's just in his DNA. I felt like we needed him to do something just like him putting on the glasses or going to the Daily Planet, or any of the other things that your sort of seeing for the first time that you realize becomes his sort of his thing. I felt like if we could find a way of making it impossible for him, you know 'kobayashi maru' - totally no way out - I felt like that could also make you go 'okay, this is the why of him not killing ever again.' He's basically obliterated his entire people and his culture, and he is responsible for it, and he's just like 'I can't. How could I kill ever again?'"
"I wanted to create this scenario where Superman is going to see those people get chopped in half, or he's got to do what he's go to do," he continues. "And I think Zod knows that. It's almost [suicide] in a way, it is, it's like death by cop, you know in a way. In my mind if Kal has the ability to kill him, then that's a noble way for him to die. It's like that whole 'good death is its own reward' concept in the movie. I think if there were more adventures for Superman to go on, you then are also given this other thing, where you don't know 100% what he is going to do. I think that when you really put in stone the concept that he won't kill, and it's totally in stone, it really erases an option in the viewer's mind. Now, I think that doesn't mean that he doesn't now have a code, that he is like 'okay I just can't don't do that, this has to be outside, I gotta find another way, that's how it is,' but again you will always have it in the back of your mind this little thing [of] how far can you push him. If he sees Lois get hurt, or if he sees his mother get killed, you just made a really mad Superman that we know is capable of some really horrible stuff when he wants to be. That's the thing that is cool about him, I think in some ways; the ideas that he has the frailties of a human, sort of emotionally, but you don't want to get the guy mad."
So, how's that for an explanation? Are you satisified by Snyder's reasoning behind the shock conclusion? Let us know your thoughts...
Read our reviews of Man of Steel here, here and here.