Much debate has raged this week following the release of Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel”. While the critical consensus is notably divided regarding the film’s merits, one common complaint appearing is the sheer level of violence in the film’s third act.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
Like with “Superman II,” the film portrays a fight in the middle of Metropolis between General Zod (Michael Shannon) and Superman (Henry Cavill). Unlike the Chris Reeve film however, the level of destruction is catastrophic.
Buzzfeed contacted a Technical Consulting firm to come up with estimates. They came back with 129,000 known killed and an initial estimate of $700 billion in damage.
This has naturally upset quite a few people. Even more debate though has raged over the decision to kill Zod, essentially breaking Superman’s rule not to kill. Speaking on the Empire podcast, director Zack Snyder claims that wasn’t the original ending.
“In the original version of the script, Zod just got zapped into the Phantom Zone. But David, Chris and I had long talks about it, and I said that I really feel like we should kill Zod, and that Superman should kill him. The ‘Why?’ of it for me was that if was truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained… I wanted to create a scenario where Superman, either he’s going to see [Metropolis’ citizens] chopped in half, or he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.”
Writer David Goyer added that one person who wasn’t convinced initially was producer Christopher Nolan.
“[Chris] originally said, ‘There’s no way you can do this.’… I came up with this idea of heat vision and these people about to die, and I wrote the scene, gave it to Chris, and he said, ‘Okay you’ve convinced me.'”