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'Man of Steel's David S Goyer on General Zod controversy - spoilers

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WARNING: This article contains spoilers that some readers may wish to avoid.

David S Goyer has said that he doesn't believe Superman should be exempt from killing.

The Man of Steel writer discussed the recent reboot's controversial ending, in which Henry Cavill's Superman kills villain General Zod, during last night's BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters' Lecture.

Man of Steel, Henry Cavill

© Warner Bros Pictures

Henry Cavill in 'Man of Steel'

David Goyer

© WENN / Ivan Nikolov

David S Goyer



Traditionally in previous Superman comics and movies, the character has been reluctant to take a life. Goyer, however, stated that the Man of Steel's moral code "exists outside of the narrative and I just don't believe in rules like that".

"We were pretty sure that was going to be controversial," Goyer said. "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.


"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.

"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 idolise him he will have to hold himself to a higher standard."

Man of Steel will debut on DVD, Blu-ray and download on November 12 in the US and December 2 in the UK.

David S Goyer was speaking at the BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters' Lecture series.

Photo gallery - Man of Steel in pictures:

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