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Man of Steel may remain widely divisive nearly a decade after its 2013 release, but the pedigree of its storytellers, The Dark Knight Trilogy’s David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, is often obscured by the sizable shadow cast by director Zack Snyder. However, for studio Warner Bros., the Henry Cavill-headlined Superman reboot’s primary purpose was to launch the Marvel-like continuity we now know as the DC Extended Universe. Consequently, with such high stakes, work on the film regularly came with suggestions via studio notes. Yet, Goyer’s recollection of one particular note is not only funny, but will make you wonder if anyone’s paying attention.
Goyer, having come through for Warner as the writer of director Nolan’s supremely successful, Oscar-winning Batman efforts, had the material knowledge and gravitas for the job, and was thusly tapped to write the Man of Steel screenplay, with Nolan’s name touted as a story developer. However, that didn’t stop Warner personnel from offering suggestions for the sake of suggestions. Yet, one would think that providing feedback for this crucial Superman endeavor would, in the very least, necessitate knowing that Krypton was destroyed, especially since that galactic calamity played out in elaborately-explosive form in the very footage the studios suits were shown. Oddly enough, as the screenwriter recounts in a broad-topic THR interview, such a prerequisite was apparently not implemented.
“One note I got was on Man of Steel, where the ending involves Superman utilizing the pod that he arrived in as a child in order to bring down General Zod’s ship,” recalls Goyer. “The note we got from the studio said, ‘You have to change that.’ We asked why. They said, ‘Because if Superman uses that pod and it’s destroyed while saving the city, how is he ever going to get back home to Krypton?’ There was just this long pause and we said, ‘Krypton blew up. You saw 30 minutes of it!’
Perhaps putting the franchise cart before the immediate plot horse, someone—maybe a group of people—at Warner thought that the destruction of the ship used by Phantom Zone-escaped villain General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his Kryptonian criminal cohorts wasted a potential plot opportunity for future film exploits in which Superman buckles in and discovers his roots on the planet from which he was jettisoned as an infant. However, the aftermath of Man of Steel’s flashback first act—having followed Superman’s father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), in his resistance to Zod’s militant rebellion, and the bureaucracy’s failed effort to save the powder keg planet—left Krypton as broken clumps of dirt destined to drift in space for eons. Zod, of course, was using said ship in his attempt to terraform Earth into a new version of Krypton (a reboot of Krypton, if you will,) thereby killing everyone on the planet in the process. However, while Superman’s climactic choice—albeit under extreme duress—to kill Zod became widely controversial, early watchers at Warner, by contrast, lamented the ship, which would have facilitated a trip to the aforementioned clumps of dirt in space for an unspecified sequel.
Source: Den of Geek