David S. Goyer Talks 'Man of Steel' Killing, May Write 'Justice League'
**Spoilers follow in this discussion, so beware** Following the release of Man of Steel, we sparked a discussion about death in the franchise reboot. There was a lot of buzz surrounding the seemingly massive casualties in the third act of the film, not to mention the shocking act of Superman killing General Zod by snapping his neck. Now screenwriter David S. Goyer is talking about that change in Superman's character, and how they approached that element when making the film. In addition, Goyer addresses rumblings that he might be tapped to write an eventual Justice League movie following 2015's Batman vs. Superman.
Digital Spy has a report from the BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters’ Lecture where Goyer discussed the inclusion of Superman taking a life, and explains their thought process:
“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.
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.”
Goyer adds that the decision came down to not making things easy for Supes:
“So the situation was, Zod says ‘I’m not going to stop until you kill me or I kill you.’ The reality is no prison on the planet could hold him and in our film Superman can’t fly to the moon, and we didn’t want to come up with that crutch.”
Goyer also confirms what some fans and this writer discussed months ago:
“Also our movie was in a way Superman Begins, he’s not really Superman until the end of the film. We wanted him to have had that experience of having taken a life and carry that through onto the next films. Because he’s Superman and because people idolize him he will have to hold himself to a higher standard.”
So Superman's killing General Zod may be a mistake that he has to live with, and one that he learns from as he becomes a superhero in Metropolis. Perhaps from here on out, Superman won't take a life. We'll find out when he faces his next adversary in Man of Steel 2, which we already know will bring Ben Affleck as Batman into the mix, paving the way for an eventual DC Comics superhero ensemble. THR recently asked Goyer if he would end up writing Justice League and he responded simply and vaguely with, "Might be, can’t say.” Obviously they don't want to count their chickens before they hatched. Stay tuned.