Zack Snyder Wanted Mass Deaths in Final Battle from 'Man of Steel'

August 29, 2013

Man of Steel

Back in June, following the release of Man of Steel, there was a lot of discussion revolving around the amount the destruction in the final act of the film when Superman and General Zod were smashing into countless buildings, following the already disastrous activation of "the world engine." Many reasoned that most of Metropolis had been evacuated, making it so that there likely weren't as much death, akin to the attacks of 9/11, as one might perceive. However, director Zack Snyder recently opened up about The Battle of Metropolis, and said that he actually wanted to have mass death in the film for a reason. More below!

Snyder spoke with Japan Times (via and he said:

“I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling. In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters. In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence. In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology. Superman (who first appeared in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938) is probably the closest we get. It’s a way of recounting the myth.”

That's interesting reasoning, but it does make the climax of Man of Steel rather chilling, and we're wondering just how much of an impact that will have on the world of the sequel. Some fans have guessed the Lexcorp. and Lex Luthor will be a big part of helping Metropolis rebuild and recover, thus giving him a certain amount of sway and control over the city, but we're not sure about that yet. Either way, the end of Man of Steel should clearly have more weight knowing that thousands likely perished in General Zod's plan to create a new homeworld. How will this effect Superman, and how will Batman be involved? Stay tuned.

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News



I had absolutely no problem with the inclusion of mass deaths. My problem was that Superman didn't seem to care that much about it. The lives of thousands and thousands of people weigh on his shoulders to protect them. He's not just on a "different team" from Zod, His compassion and values for earth's people is what set him apart, what makes him stronger. But it's also what makes him weaker, as the only one with enough power to defend the earth. And yet I didn't really notice much of that massive weight on his shoulders during that destructive sequence.

Snev De la Fontaine on Aug 29, 2013


Even superman cant save everybody everytime. The realization is that he fights foes just as strong as he if not stronger, and sometimes multiple ones in the realm of human vulnerability.

Such heroic nonsense on Aug 29, 2013


Superman doesn't have to save everybody, but he needs to try. Superman made no attempts to counter the destruction Zod brought on except by punching him. Trying to beat/stop Zod while attempting to reduce the death toll (and failing) is entirely different, both narratively and emotionally, from two people punching each other until one wins. Man of Steel's third act became meaningless and boring.

Snev De la Fontaine on Aug 30, 2013


He saved the whole frickin' planet!!

Brian Martin on Mar 13, 2014


Screw you, Zack Snyder and screw this movie

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 29, 2013


calm your tits marvel boy

Such heroic nonsense on Aug 29, 2013


Let him shout man, it's like he's shouting into darkness and nobody's listening.

axalon on Aug 29, 2013


Indeed. He is terribly angry. I just hope there are therapists for angry comic book nerds.

Such heroic nonsense on Aug 29, 2013


Girl cosplay, mostly.

Nick Sears on Aug 29, 2013


Yeah, okay. Excuse me for not wanting to watch hundreds of thousands of people die in the SUPERMAN movie. Excuse me for wanting a protagonist I CARE about. I care about Superman as a mythos, a lot. I think he stands for some pretty important stuff and there's no one who on this planet who wouldn't benefit from acting a little more like mah boy Clark Kent. But Zack Snyder's interpretation is petty (that dumb semitruck scene), inconsiderate (stealing clothes from that truck), mean, and worst of all, UNRELATABLE. We were given no reason to justify anyone's actions other than "HE'S SUPERMAN. YOU HAVE TO CARE ABOUT HIM!" The big climatic scene where Metropolis is in ruins and he kills Zod is beyond comprehension because if Superman REALLY didn't want people to die, he would've diverted the situation AWAY from Metropolis! And what's the deal with him flying to the Indian Ocean and destroying the terraforming thing there instead of the one in Metropolis? What the hell? Why wouldn't you go after the machine with the highest probability of killing people? How do people keep justifying the actions and defending this movie when there's absolutely no one to care about in it other than the theoretical and offscreen causalities in Metropolis? Is this the hero we've come to expect?

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 29, 2013


Don't worry mate, second one will be polished 🙂

dawko on Aug 29, 2013


All your problems about Superman will be solved once Batman gives him some spanking.

Tey on Aug 29, 2013


I bet all you batman fans forget about the mask and have Bale´s nude pictures on your walls... hahaha batman is so gay by itself and more by now.

Zorrito Plateado on Aug 30, 2013


Wrong! It's Ben's nude pictures!

Tey on Aug 30, 2013


Comic book fans seem very unpleasant. I'm glad I don't know any.

OfficialJab on Aug 29, 2013


None of my criticisms are fanboyish at all. It's storytelling 101: make sure your protagonist is relatable, or at least empathetic. If the audience doesn't understand the motives behind your characters they have no reason to care.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 29, 2013


I think occasional pettiness and other negative traits make a character more relatable than a perfect idol. I didn't love MoS, but no trouble with me over the final battle or the Indonesian machine.

OfficialJab on Aug 29, 2013


I wouldn't say I want a perfect idol. Just an upstanding dude who does the right thing and becomes a superhero because it's the logical thing to do. Not to fulfill some sort of strange self-fulfilling prophecy. (Seriously. What was up with that? Jor-El sends him to Earth because he's gonna save them but if he hadn't sent Kal-El at all, Earth wouldn't have needed saving....?)

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 29, 2013


Well they get to be heroes by gradually overcoming flaws that all humans face. I'm fuzzy, but he was actually sent away mainly to save him right? When discussing quickly how he'd fit in on Earth, Jor mentioned he could potentially help them.

OfficialJab on Aug 29, 2013


You have to remember that this was basically his first day ON THE JOB as Superman so to speak. He didn't have the foresight or experience to think, "Hey, I should take this fight elsewhere" because he had never faced something like this before. HE HAD ONLY LEARNED TO FLY LIKE 1 DAY BEFOREHAND! Also, I am sick and tired of people saying that superman doesn't kill. SUPERMAN IS NOT BATMAN! Yes he is honorable and tries to find a different way 10 times out of 10, but honestly, WHAT OTHER CHOICE DID SUPERMAN HAVE!? It's not like he could have just slapped some handcuffs on Zod and thrown him in jail. He would have broken out in like 5 seconds. Zod made it perfectly clear that he was going to spend the rest of his life making Superman's life miserable and killing innocent people. There's no kryptonite to weaken him, he can't hold him in a headlock and cover his eyes forever, and if he exiled Zod or banished him to space or something, he would just come back. The scene with the family in the museum was a dumb way to point it out, but it illustrated that there was no other way to stop him. On the fact that Snyder's Superman is unrelatable, tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing to that semi if you could. Like it or not, this Superman is different than any before him. DEAL WITH IT!

SmRtGye on Aug 29, 2013


- Are we supposed to believe that it took Superman 33 years before he tried to fly? Hell, with the information presented in MoS, we're supposed to believe he never even JUMPED his whole life. He had to have figured beforehand that he could jump a lot higher than his peers, and eventually flew (you know, how the original mythos goes). And how did Zod and his crew fly so easily? They didn't even struggle with the concept, something they hadn't done before. And if Superman could've snapped his neck the whole time, surely he could've literally turned Zod's head in another direction. Or, Zod could've easily MOVED HIS EYEBALLS towards the family. We're talking about laservision here, not a laser belonging to a James Bond villain. Literally the stupidest movie I've ever seen. Ever. In my whole life. Misguided in every sense of the word. A prequel-level disaster.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 29, 2013


It's not the stupidest movie you've ever seen

Guest on Aug 30, 2013


It honestly is. Scout's honor. Like it goes Man of Steel, then Attack of the Clones.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 30, 2013


It's pretty damn close.

Bodeanicus on Aug 30, 2013


Attack of the Clones is stupider than Phantom Menace!? MAN OF STEEL IS STUPIDER THAN PHANTOM MENACE!?

SmRtGye on Aug 30, 2013


Yes and absolutely. Both are incomprehensible barrages of passionless digital imagery that literally drain you of joy in your life and are forever black marks on beloved franchises.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 30, 2013


Something is wrong when you hinge all your happiness on the outcome of a movie...

SmRtGye on Aug 30, 2013


All my happiness? No. $20 worth of happiness? Perhaps.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 30, 2013


I think you got those mixed up dude

Guest on Aug 30, 2013


Perhaps it's time for bed, haha. This has been a weird (but somewhat therapeutic) hangnail on my day. No, I do not hinge all my happiness on the outcome of a movie. That is silly. Although I'd be lying if I didn't walk out of Man of Steel very angry at the treatment of the character. Especially when there are such wonderful incarnations alive today (see: the current Batman/Superman series). I worry that this next film (which I don't plan to see) will be nothing but a punching contest between Batman and Superman, as Zack Snyder has written him into a corner where Superman and Batman are so similar, their natural character conflicts are no longer there. I apologize if I come across as some kind of asshole or fanboy. I just get frustrated when people spend so much money making undercooked movies (of any kind) and then audiences eat it up and we end up expecting less and less and become unenthused about going to the movies. And I really love going to the movies. I just wish I did this time around.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 30, 2013


I'd be lying if I said I did not understand where you're coming from. I'm sure you were among the thousands that looked to the sky and screamed "NOOOOOOOOO!!!" when BEN AFFLECK was cast as batman. I hold both superman and Batman in high respects. I grew up with them. It is always hard seeing a portrayal of your favorite character that is not in line with how you view the character. But even in comics there are multiple versions of those characters so I do not get that upset when a different vision of a character appears on screen..... With the exception of Batman and Robin.....FUCK YOU JOEL SCHUMACHER!! Back to the Superman vs. Batman movie.... I remain cautiously optimistic about it. I was taken by surprise when Ben Affleck was cast, but it is not a dealbreaker for me. I was surprised when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker and looked how that turned out. I think if this movie turns out bad, the blame should probably end up going to the writer, DAVID GOYER! Zack Snyder can make a visually spectacular, entertaining film if given a good script to work with. It's a shame that you were disappointed with MOS, but I believe that enough story elements are in place and enough talent is involved in this movie to make it a great superhero movie. That being said, if they actually title it SUPERMAN VS BATMAN, some hope is lost. and if they DO fight and BATMAN wins in a SUPERMAN SEQUEL, I will lose all faith

SmRtGye on Aug 30, 2013


I actually don't mind Ben Affleck at all. He was born to play Batman, imo. My only qualm is that Ben Affleck is such a better director and it's a shame he has to work under Snyder. But I assume there's a bigger deal at hand (probably something having to do with Affleck getting to tackle a passion project or direct the batman flicks or something). But I'm signing off this. I'm glad it didn't go terribly astray.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 30, 2013


So it ISN'T wrong for all your happiness?

SmRtGye on Aug 30, 2013


It was pretty shitty, agreed. Typical Snyder.

Bodeanicus on Aug 30, 2013


YOU"RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE ANYTHING! THIS IS A FICTIONAL STORY!!!! JUST ENJOY THE MOVIE AND STFU! If you knew Zack was making the movie, you should of never went to go see it in the first place, plain and F'n simple! Stop trying to justify your points cause honestly, no one here gives a shit about who you are and what you think. Both Marvel and DC have put out some REAL garbage (marvel in most cases). Everyone is gonna have their own opinions about these movies and the endless back-to-back comic book movies to come. Some will be worth seeing and others will not. Its the risk you take as a comicbook fan. So stop your trivial rants because you are not in the movie business and therefore your opinions on the do's and donts of how a movie should be put together have no bearing or weight on the subject.

Such heroic nonsense on Aug 30, 2013


Movies are meant to take you on a journey. They are meant to engage and make you invest emotionally. That can't happen if the basic storytelling blocks are in place. Which they aren't in Man of Steel. Simple as that. If you believe that movies should just be consumed and not talked about, why troll a comment section? Many have brought up excellent points in a civil manner. I do not have an allegiance to Marvel or DC. That's so stupid. I have an allegiance to QUALITY. I'm very sorry you don't expect more from movies and the discussions that follow. I simply can't go 'That was dope! Did you see all those buildings fall?!' and move on. I (and many many many others) are able to find a deeper craft in movies and storytelling. I'm unsubscribing from this, yo. I already apologized if I came across as an asshole, but I'm not apologizing for starting a discussion.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 30, 2013


What's stupid is your basing MOS simply on "quality" instead of how Snyder brought the comic book character to the big screen. Thats the whole problem here. First off, your interpretation of quality could mean you loved Iron Man 3, which in my opinion was absolute garbage from head to toe. Second, you didnt open this "Disqus" in the form of discussion. You angrily ranted about what you thought of Snyder and this movie!

Such heroic nonsense on Aug 30, 2013


"What's stupid is that you're basing Man of Steel simply on quality..." I'm done.

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 30, 2013


You do understand that Zod and Co were CREATED to be soldiers. In that regard, it makes perfect sense why they were able to master things better. Hell, Zod even says that to Superman.

Daoofgeek on Aug 30, 2013


It's a movie, guy. Take your meds, and calm down

Bodeanicus on Aug 30, 2013


"This" movie over Iron Man 3 anyday

Tey on Aug 29, 2013


Hahaha, you're so worked up over nothing. Nothing dude. It's not worth it.

Nick Sears on Aug 29, 2013


I just thought I should write a more thought out argument than my shortsighted first comment

Tyler Scruggs on Aug 29, 2013


Well played.

Nick Sears on Aug 29, 2013


Why is it that everyone got so up in arms about the the somewhat ambiguous amount of "mass deaths" in Man of Steel, and yet when a dreadnought class star ship crashes into San Francisco in Star Trek Into Darkness, I barely recall reading ONE complaint about what would have been an amount of death on a similar scale because NO ONE HAD A CHANCE TO EVACUATE!?

AnotherDan on Aug 29, 2013


Maybe they think since the hero of Man of Steel is Superman (The ultimate do gooder who puts civilian lives over anything). They are kinda pissed Supes would just let people die to beat Zod.

Tey on Aug 29, 2013


True, but the entirety of that crash into the city didn't take 20 minutes.

Ethan Anderton on Aug 29, 2013


That's a pretty shortsighted argument, Ethan.

AnotherDan on Aug 29, 2013


Maybe you guys could put together a list of mass death movies. I mean there was also that ridiculous scene in GI Joe Retaliation where the entire city gets leveled without so much as a care. The tank scene from Fast and Furious, Pacific Rim etc.

TK on Aug 29, 2013


I was taken back by it at first. Zach's message makes sense. We don't have an American "Fall of Rome" moment in history - yet : We're compared to as Rome constantly so it makes sense if people were a bit taken back by it. We see him have the same look of regret when he screams after killing Zod like he does when he loses his father. His justice was to stop him, not kill him - THAT'S the closest you're going to get to truth/justice part that he's trying to uphold and figure out at the same time. With the combination of visions from both Snyder and Nolan, you bet your'e getting a story/characters like these to have a strong mythological foundation to them. Old stories of kings and empires falling, thousands and thousands of people would die over such short time. Statistics of the black plague made this look like a pindrop. Sure, I'm getting a bit nitty gritty but the more you think about history, superhero mythos, it kind of makes sense. However this next movie will need to start with "20 years later" so they can rebuild the city hahaha

Nick Sears on Aug 29, 2013


Shuttup Zack Snyder... Stop making excuses for a shitty third act

rolyjimenez on Aug 29, 2013


Shitty third act? I think you missed two!

Sagamanus on Aug 29, 2013



Quanah on Aug 30, 2013


I like to watch movies with my eyes. (couldn't dig up a real poignant response to this article)

Quanah on Aug 29, 2013


Well, I like to watch movies with my uvula (people don't like to sit next to me in theaters for some reason...).

Andrew Arnold on Aug 30, 2013


Still doesn't explain why Superman couldn't take the fight somewhere else. They showed he could cross continents in seconds, couldn't he just force Zod into a desert or something?

darius on Aug 29, 2013


Zod was a mastermind, you really think he wouldn't know what Supes was doing? He would have easily caught on, and started killing innocents ON PURPOSE just to fuck with Supes mentally.

dvt on Aug 29, 2013


That's a nice attempt to justify his actions, but the fact remains that there is no indication in the film that that was Superman's plan. In fact, the opposite argument is made elsewhere. That Superman was wreckless due to inexperience. I would prefer it if one of these were true, but the mere fact that it's so easy to argue opposite cases is because we never saw any indication that Superman had any reaction to it at all. That's bad story-telling for ya.

Snev De la Fontaine on Aug 30, 2013


I attributed it to his inexperience in fighting as well. And I think that worked well for the story overall. He didn't have all his powers, he was fighting someone seemingly more powerful, and he was doing it for the first time. I don't blame him for not having the presence of mind to leave the city. Plus, if he had tried, I'm sure Zod would have thrown him right back into it. And as for the sequel, I think those events will possibly turn a lot of people against Superman and give rise for a reason for Batman to come and try to take him into custody to answer for the devastation.

David Diaz on Aug 30, 2013


Because cities being destroyed is what looks good in trailers and wets the pants of juvenile viewers.

cobrazombie on Aug 30, 2013


Probably would have loved it just as much. Sometimes less real is okay too.

DAVIDPD on Aug 29, 2013


I've never understood why people can let a plot point like this ruin a movie. Every time I go to the movies, be it for Man of Steel, Star Trek or any other movie that's come out this Summer, I have an absolute blast! Do people not realise these movies AREN'T REAL? Just sit back and marvel (no pun intended) at the incredible scale of these movies. We're coming into a golden age of cinema where digital effects can now match a brilliantly written script (not saying that MOS was brilliantly written), and we can finally see what it would truly be like to experience these things if they ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Obviously Zack Snyder is going to address the ending of MOS in the sequel, so just sit back and enjoy the ride FFS. /end rant

Lach Moerenhout on Aug 29, 2013



David Diaz on Aug 30, 2013


good one

bugger_butt on Aug 30, 2013


Because part of the reason we go to the movies in the first place is to escape from our own personal reality and slip into someone else's. If there are glaring plot holes that whole "suspension of disbelief" is ruined. If you want to enjoy massive spectacles, close your eyes and use your imagination.

mrsatyre on Aug 30, 2013


Are you saying the mass destruction is a 'suspension of disbelief'? You really think if aliens attacked the earth that Superman could save every single person? The fact that he can cross continents in seconds, if he threw Zod out of metropolis he'd just return, and deliberately start killing people? If Superman hadn't done what he did, in the way he did, then the whole planet would have fallen.

Lach Moerenhout on Aug 30, 2013


This is NOT a golden age of cinema. Where are these brilliant VFX movies with "brilliant" scripts? Are you for real?

cobrazombie on Aug 30, 2013


... lolsrs? How are these VFX not up to your standards? What more do you expect from them? And if you were actually literate enough to understand what I wrote, you'd see I said we're COMING INTO, not there yet. You have mad skillz cobrazombie.

Lach Moerenhout on Sep 1, 2013


Of course he did. He's an overgrown 13 year old.

Bodeanicus on Aug 30, 2013


Zack Snyder is on the money. Mass deaths that Superman cannot stop would totally justify why he snapped Zod's neck. In Champions, we called it "buying off your code against killing". Snyder said he wanted to make a Superman that was darker. In any event, the haters are full of it...Man of Steel was awesome.

bugger_butt on Aug 30, 2013


Vote Quimby.

mooreworthy on Aug 30, 2013


"mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters." Wow, Snyder doesn't even know what 'symbolize' means...

Jack Lewis on Aug 2, 2014

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