Writing Without Fear – How I Would Have Written The Ending Of Man Of Steel

Man Of Steel V ZodThis Writing Without Fear was spurred by a discussion on the ComicBookMovie.com Facebook page. Recently David S Goyer, DC Movie Universe (DCMU) Lead Writer, had justified (again) that scene in Man Of Steel (MoS) where Superman snaps Zods neck, killing him.

Now if you regularly read my blog you know that I think Hollywood has a huge problem getting Superman, and also why this ‘edgy’ moment written by David S Goyer is so out of character. I made the suggestion that Superman actually had other options other than killing Zod, and boy… after reading the responses on their Facebook page you think I had shot a Puppy or drowned a Kitten or something…

Here Is How I Would Have Written It

Zod turns with the devils strength blasting away with his eye beams determined to force Clark to kill him or watch another innocent family get killed. In desperation Clark strains to hold Zod’s head still… Realizing he isn’t strong enough to stop Zod, he reaches around covering the insane villains eyes with his hands. Superman screams from the pain of the intense heat, knowing if he let’s go Zod will kill again. Suddenly there is a flare of light, the eye beams blowback and Zod drops to the floor, eyes blackened, with drool coming out of his mouth. At this point we either establish that Superman has either accidentally lobotomized or killed Zod.

What Do You Think?

Both areas have potential, although the accidental death would morally weigh more on Superman, over the act of deliberately killing Zod. This is just one change in a movie that has a lot of problems with it, but maybe a change that will highlight the hope Superman is supposed to embody. Do you think this alternative ending is a better direction, or are you happy with the ‘edgy’ darker David S Goyer one?

Keep writing my friends…

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About Nick

Just an Englishman lost in the USA who happens to write now and again... Anyone got a cup of tea?

3 Responses to Writing Without Fear – How I Would Have Written The Ending Of Man Of Steel

  1. avatarSophia Darden says:

    It’s shown earlier in the movie that Faora was unable to shield Kal-El’s eyes when he shot his beams, and that’s with her armor on. How are we to believe that Zod wouldn’t have just blasted through Kal’s hand? Nevermind the fact that it was taking all of his strength to hold Zod in that grip – going one handed suddenly not only doesn’t seem feasible but it also seems like quite a risk for a MAYBE.

    I also feel that making it an accident is a cop out. There is no choice being made and thus absolves the hero of the guilt but according to your narrative you’d make him feel it anyway? What’s the point of that? What sort of emotional growth comes from circumstances like that?

    And if Kal’s putting his hands over Zod’s eyes merely in efforts to stop the beam then what? If the rebound wasn’t supposed to kill Zod what was supposed to be the next step? It was proven through the entire battle that Kal’s not in the same league as Zod when it comes to combat so are you in favor of more fighting? Neither has knowledge of Kryponite so what prison could hold Zod?

    Is Kal supposed to dedicate the rest of his life to physically subduing Zod so he doesn’t make good on his promise to kill humanity, let alone Kal himself? Zod stated he had nothing else to live for except making Humanity suffer. Not only does he have the strategic know how to make this a reality but he’s superpowered as well. How is this supposed to end well?

    Zod stated in no uncertain terms that he was going to keep going until his own death or Kal’s. So if Kal dies he’s going to make good on his promise to kill the rest of humanity. I’m sorry, I think those major points are too important to hinge on a maybe.

    Sometimes saving people means making difficult decisions with very little information to go on. A life-long pacifist has to physically fight someone who is almost as strong as himself physically with greater tactical and combat training who has no care for collateral damage both property and human – no one to tell him what to do. No past experiences to fall back on, nothing.

    So on his very first day of being a superhero, he steps in front of the human race and does what needs to be done. If Zod had gotten away then Kal would be blamed for not doing what needed to be done before it came to that. They would refer to the fact he stated outright that he was going to kill – that he wasn’t going to stop – that nothing Humanity had could destroy him – why did he leave it to chance?

    And the devastation would be so much more than a couple hundred people and a few blocks of Metropolis.

    • avatarNick says:

      Interesting thoughts… Throughout my years of reading and watching Superman I’ve seen numerous times he has had his heat-vision neutralized by the bad guy blocking, or putting their hands over Clark’s eyes. Each time leaving Supes dazed and almost blind from the blowback. It isn’t hard to use these very same type of incident against Zod. In cinematic terms it might not have been as dramatic to kill Zod, but given David S Goyer disdain for Superheroes I think he just wanted to bring Supes down a bit.

      Anyway the movie is shot, we can but hope Batman v Superman see’s an upward trajectory for DCMU… And maybe hey… We will get that rumored Blue & Gold movie.

    • avatarNick Davis says:

      I could have sworn I replied to his a couple of months ago… While my example is subjective there were other ways of handling this other than the kill scenario. I read a good article about this on Sunday, about how Superman is our hero, but their property and that WB were willing to sacrifice Supes values in the hopes it would launch a franchise… I will say they have been half successful.

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