One of the film’s screenwriters, David S. Goyer, reveals one of the alternate endings to “Man of Steel.” A conclusion ultimately less subversive than that retained in the final cut by Zack Snyder.
man of steel : the beginning of the DC Extended Universe
In 2013, Zack Snyder was responsible for dusting off the Superman mythos. Seven years after the Superman Returns by Bryan Singer, Warner Bros Studios and DC had the will to refresh Superman’s story. They therefore entrust the reboot to Zack Snyder, who has proven himself on the incredible Watchmen: The Guardians. The filmmaker engages Henry Cavill in the title role and therefore offers man of steel, a solid re-reading of the character. The rest of the cast consists of Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Russell Crowe as Jor-El. But man of steel is above all the basis of the DC Extended Universe. A connected DC universe that follows the pattern of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And finally, man of steel turned out to be a pretty solid lead-in. The film was met with mostly positive reviews and grossed over $668 million at the box office.
A different conclusion
Another element that makes the success of man of steel is obviously his conclusion. Zack Snyder decides to confront Superman and General Zod in a titanic fight in the heart of Metropolis. The opportunity to stage a Dantesque opposition, carried by a rather mind-blowing staging. But some have a major problem with this outcome. In effect, Superman decides to break Zod’s neck without any other form of trial. A rather daring scenario choice but which contradicts the foundations of Superman. He advocates non-violence and never kill his enemies. A mantra that is not respected by Zack Snyder.
During the Comic-Con @ Home panel, David S. Goyer, who participated in the screenplay of man of steel, revealed an alternate ending to the film. And this one did not kill Zod, who then remained alive and ended his days in an inter-galactic prison:
There was another idea. There were these kinds of cryoprisons on the ship, which later becomes the Fortress of Solitude. Superman had to put Zod in these cryopods and throw him into space. We discussed this at length and maybe some people would have been happier with it, but that conclusion sounded too much like a cop story.
It is true that Superman has the golden rule not to kill his enemies in the comics. But leaving Zod alive would have effectively taken the movie to the detective/gangster genre, with Superman as the super-cop. Zack Snyder’s willingness not to make concessions is to his credit. The end of man of steel therefore acts as a risk-taker, especially in the superheroic universe, which constantly loves bringing bad guys back for possible sequels.