In the land of good television and good film, a little moral ambiguity goes a long way. Just look at serial killer Dexter and meth emperor Walter White. We humans like our protagonists dripping with complexity and flaws — no one wants to see a boy scout save the world. So maybe that's why screenwriter David Goyer deserves some kudos for his controversial Man of Steel ending. He certainly seems tired of defending the Krypton kid's killer instinct.
On Monday night's BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters' Lecture, Goyer had some things to get off his chest — specifically, the decision to (spoiler alert) have Superman kill Zod.
Check out what he had to say:
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.
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.
My two cents? Goyer knows what he's doing. It's always tricky messing with superhero canon, but today's Man of Steel can't be grounded in 20th century ideals. Granted, no one wants Clark Kent to fully "break bad", but a new century calls for new takes on morality and, yes, logical — rather than idealistic — dealings with the enemy.
Supes is going to need all that too if he plans to go mano a mano with the Batfleck in 2015.