David S. Goyer Talks About a Naturalistic Approach to 'Man of Steel'

October 1, 2012
Source: Bad Taste

Man of Steel

When Christopher Nolan was revealed to be producing Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, fans were hoping he would bring the same grounded approach to the Superman franchise that he did to Batman with his now concluded Dark Knight trilogy. Helping that along is writer David S. Goyer, who also worked on Nolan's Caped Crusader franchise. The teaser trailers didn't reveal much of the film at all (the footage from Comic-Con showed us much more), but it did look like a very gritty, realistic approach to Superman, or at least his life on Earth. Thankfully, Goyer has opened up to talk about that approach to Krypton's last son.

Speaking with Bad Taste, Goyer revealed some of the Dark Knight style being injected into Man of Steel:

"What Christopher Nolan and I have done with Superman is trying to bring the same naturalistic approach that we used adopted for the Batman trilogy. We always had a naturalistic approach, we want out stories to be rooted in reality, like they could happen in the same world we live in. It's not that easy with Superman, and actually this doesn't necessarily mean we will make a dark movie. But working on this reboot we are thinking about what would happen if a story like this one actually happened. How would people react to this? What impact would have the presence of Superman in the real world? What I really like to do is writing "genre" stories without a cartoonish element."

So we likely won't see something as comic book-like as The Avengers. Even though there were some great moments to ground the superhero ensemble in reality, everything else was so fantastical, it wasn't enough to make it feel naturalistic. Frankly, I'm very interested in seeing more footage from the film, and that will likely happen before the end of the year. If anything, audiences need to see the footage shown to fans at Comic-Con so we can all be on the same page. In the meantime, we'll keep you posted on any further developments regarding Man of Steel, which is slated to hit theaters June 14th, 2013.

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News



"fans were hoping he would bring the same grounded approach to the Superman franchise that he did to Batman.." I was not hoping for that

Brandon V. Fletcher on Oct 1, 2012


All I just want to see is whether or not they succeed in making a solid, watchable Superman film. Goyer has shown that he has the chops to write great comic-book based films, and Nolan as a producer does help. And I pretty much give Snyder a lot of leeway since he tackled WATCHMEN and actually made the film based on a story that many thought could never be filmed.

Scopedog on Oct 2, 2012


Im just so tired of Nolanizing everything. Superman is not Batman and shouldnt be treated that. Dark and gritty works for Batman because thats Batman's character. Superman is the do gooder boy scout. They also set themselves up when they get overly serious and things seem a bit ridiculous (Dark Knight Rises). Avengers didnt take itself too seriously so its easier to let go of some of the ridiculousness. Disclaimer: Both movies had logical missteps

Brandon V. Fletcher on Oct 2, 2012


Zack Snyder has an extremely unique eye for cinema visuals, so I wouldn't like to see that put aside for yet another Nolan-esque take on a movie. Superman should be fantastic and exciting and out-of-this-world entertaining. Hollywood needs different product, not just the same thing repackaged and resold to us over and over again.

max on Oct 3, 2012


Yo, Goyer straight up stole Superman Birthright storyline like he did with Frank Miller's Batman Year One. He's a hack.

Kyle Robinson on Oct 1, 2012


As far as the story in the movie is good and entertaining, I don't care how he did it...

David Darida on Oct 1, 2012


Exactly. And I don't remember Frank Miller bitching about Goyer "stealing" from YEAR ONE.

Scopedog on Oct 2, 2012


Yeah and I heard he's going to be an alien too. Damn hack robbing from the comics

Richie G on Oct 2, 2012


The same ole Dark Knight and reality comparison bullshit like we haven't heard it before over 1000 times. I don't know about you guys but I'm actually truly worried about this film. This is not the true Superman approach they should be taking.

JerseyBoy on Oct 1, 2012


the comparison is warranted though... he was instrumental in making the Dark Knight

Jaydn Gosselin on Oct 1, 2012


Oh WOW NO SHIT SHERLOCK! You mean that comparison we hear everyday, that one comparison everyone brings up when your talking about film quality? Guess what, it's getting fucking annoying as clear proof no one in Hollywood has their own original idea anymore and everything has to be borrowed from one standard according to film directors & writers today. You think every film in Hollywood turned out to be a Citizen Kane after the release of that film, guess what, the answer is no. Go ahead add "The Dark Knight" to every single conversation piece about films it's just going to make your expansion on words less creative than ever making it seem like a kindergarten basis on something everyone already knows.

JerseyBoy on Oct 1, 2012


"Guess what, it's getting fucking annoying as clear proof no one in Hollywood has their own original idea anymore and everything has to be borrowed from one standard according to film directors & writers today." Yep. The same old argument. Too bad that I've been hearing and reading this for 30+ years now. Nothing new here. And while I agree that too many tend to give too much to TDK, you cannot deny that 1) it was a critical and commercial success and 2)a lot were going to put it up there when they talk about quality in movies. And CITIZEN KANE was _not_ well received when it was originally released. The acclaim built up over time. As for the "original" film is EVER "original". Some of the great movies were based on novels (GONE WITH THE WIND, 2001), short stories, or newspaper articles (ON THE WATERFRONT). There are only a limited amount of the _type_ of stories. What is "original" is the _way_ or the approach taken to telling the stories. At least that's how I see it. If others think differently, that's fine with me. But I am interested in seeing this new SUPERMAN film--and I'm not passing judgement on it until I do.

Scopedog on Oct 2, 2012


I'm totally fine with these DC movies being more grounded and realistic while Marvel does movies that try to play as close to being realistic but not as much. I'm more Marvel than DC anyways, so this'll be a nice change up from the simply perfect Avengers.

JBrotsis on Oct 1, 2012


You touched on something here--and it's the fact that we've had some truly great films based on comics (not that David Denby gives a s**t anyway....). Still, just as in '08 with IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT, it was interesting to see that same contrast this year with THE AVENGERS, the new SPIDER-MAN film, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. All three films were excellent (in my view) and it will be interesting to see where things go from here. (And frankly, after seeing years of not so good Marvel films, it's nice to see the company really bring its A-game these last few years.)

Scopedog on Oct 2, 2012


So no giant spider or polar bear then? 😉

Brian Larson on Oct 1, 2012


I like it, we have DC to give the darker more realistic approaches and Marvel to give us the traditional comic book approach. Honestly a lot of comic book fans(especially DC) need to get off there high horses and realize that nothing is perfect. In my opinion Avengers is great but not perfect like most of the supernerds seem to believe. Same thing goes with The dark knight trilogy, you can poke holes in anything if you truly look, as for anything with Nolans name attached to it he kind of screwed himself by making such masterpieces that people are going to criticize anything hes involved much harsher than normal. But cheers for first world problems right?

Cody W on Oct 1, 2012


Superman Returns was a wash and there hasn't been a decent Superman movie (live action) since the fucking 80's!! Say all what you will, you all know your asses are going to be in the seats looking at the infamous silver screen come opening day. Mouthy fools. If you think you can do a better adaptation, then write up a treatment and head on over to Syncopy productions and tell 'em whatcha think. Maybe they'll even bring you on as a co-producer or some shit. IN NOLAN WE TRUST

conradthegreat on Oct 1, 2012


People have a right to criticize, these people are paid ridiculous sums of money to write up these scripts and do there jobs. That stupid "well if you think u can do better then do it" arguement is friggin ridiculous which I could use many real world examples for and you would look stupid.

Cody W on Oct 1, 2012


Then use 'em. Go ahead, own me.

conradthegreat on Oct 1, 2012


Dunno if he can. The only example I can think of is the late writer James P. Hogan who launched his writing career after taking up the challenge to write a better story than 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Now, while I don't genuflect in the Church of Nolan, I am pretty interested to see how this new SUPERMAN film works out, because the producer, writer and director have shown that they know how to make great comic book-bases films. And I've used the "go ahead and come up with something better" argument myself. 'Cause I sure as hell know that trying to write a script is one of the hardest things anyone can do.

Scopedog on Oct 2, 2012


That "sounds" like we gonna have a long boring story for 15 last minutes of Superman

TOONFED on Oct 1, 2012


Wow Seriously? You're that closed minded?

Scott Laudano on Oct 1, 2012


Maybe he's a Pre-Cog.

Scopedog on Oct 2, 2012


Oh like there has been different in he last 20 movies of superheroes. Wow, you're still not dissapointed?

TOONFED on Oct 2, 2012


Goyer can spin a fine yarn. Anxious to see what they do with this.

grimjob on Oct 1, 2012


I have a feeling people are going to be a bit nicer to Zack Snyder after this film.

Davide Coppola on Oct 2, 2012


Yeah, he's had it rough for awhile now.

grimjob on Oct 2, 2012


This is a much tougher sell, a guy that flies can't really be rooted in reality...No matter what it's an alternate reality, because in our world Supes exists in the comics, and if he actually showed up, then it we be easier to accept...But one must assume, that will not be the case in the film, meaning, with zero concept of this guy, it will freak peoples asses out, I mean, that is realistic...Something like that would turn society on its head....not really a Comic story from that approach, be like if Christ returned or Aliens landed on the White House lawn!

Brad White on Oct 2, 2012


I think having a more grounded supes is a good way to go at this. Being as realistic as they can is something that has never been done with superman. Superman has always been very cheesy and cartoonish. I am a die hard superman fan and am 30 years old. I will be there opening night just like I was for Superman returns which was so bad I wanted to cry. DC has some making up to do and redeem themselves. I'm more excited about this new version than I was for TDKR. If I found out there was really a Superman in real life or someone with his first I would be psyched. But I would be a little worried they wouldn't use they're powers saving everyone. In real life I think most people who had his abilities would be selfish and eventually corrupted into doing something bad or making mistakes.( think Hancock without the comedy) How would anyone else react to a Superman in the real world?

timnimbus on Oct 2, 2012


I think it's interesting to see DC taking this approach. I always considered DC to be the more fantastical company, enjoying the freedoms of playing around in fake cities and multiversity, while I viewed Marvel as being the more grounded in reality of the two companies, where characters are often fighting more than one kind of adversity in a gritty world where it's not always clear who the heroes are... or if they are actually winning the overall fight against evil. Now we have the two companies going the exact opposite direction in their theatrical ventures. A real and gritty DC Universe vs. a brighter and more "fun" Marvel Universe. Dark and gritty is a natural fit for Batman, but we'll see how Superman and the Justice League movies weild it.

Chris Hata on Oct 2, 2012

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