Man of Steel was a bit of a polarising picture. The film that would establish some of the building blocks for Warner Bros.’ DC universe was afforded a mixed reception, with many criticising the film for its dark tone and episodic plot structure. While the film certainly has its fans, it’s the city-destroying finale that is often used as fuel by the naysayers. This is Superman after all – the saviour of humanity; it doesn’t necessarily match his almost saintly presence in pop culture when you consider just how many innocents were killed when Henry Cavill’s Kal-El and Michael Shannon’s General Zod went to head-to-head in Man of Steel‘s climax.
In an interview with EW, director Zack Snyder said that this widespread destruction was altogether part of the point and did not expect the negative responses.
“I was surprised because that’s the thesis of Superman for me, that you can’t just have superheroes knock around and have there be no consequences,” Snyder said.
The mayhem seen at the end of Man of Steel is to be the topical thrust sparking the events in Snyder’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ben Affleck, who’s taking on the role of Batman, says that the Man of Steel follow-up is about the repercussions that arise when these powerful beings go about their disputes in chaotic fashion.
“One of the things I liked was Zack’s idea of showing accountability and the consequences of violence and seeing that there are real people in those buildings,” Affleck said.
“And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne’s building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event.”
Ultimately, Snyder said the point he’s going for is to show just what could – and arguably should – eventuate from huge superhero-led destruction.
“There are other superhero movies where they joke about how basically no one’s getting hurt. That’s not us. What is that message? That it’s okay that there’s this massive destruction with zero consequence for anyone?”
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits Australian cinemas on March 24, 2016, and the U.S. on March 25, 2016.