Zack Snyder On ‘Man Of Steel’ Death Toll; ‘What About Star Wars?’

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While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is only a day away from being released nationwide, Zack Snyder still has a few things to say about Man of Steel and the controversial destruction and death count that took place during the Superman story.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal Snyder was asked if he could remember someone recently telling him that they couldn’t think of another film that had so much destruction and damage.

“I went, really? And I said, well, what about [‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’]? In ‘Star Wars’ they destroy five planets with billions of people on them. That’s gotta be one of the highest death toll movies in history, the new ‘Star Wars’ movie, if you just do the math.”

The Batman v Superman director admits that he was surprised by the reaction of how he portrayed Superman.

“I was surprised with the fervency of the defense of the concept of Superman. I feel like they were taking it personally that I was trying to grow up their character.”

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is Directed by Zack Snyder and will star Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice will hit theaters this Friday March 25th, 2016!

Source: Wall Street Journal 

Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis, TV division, joined Heroic Hollywood in 2016. Prior to joining the team at Heroic, she worked for TheCelebrityCafe.com covering everything from music to...

  • Jake Bucsko

    Wow…he really just doesn’t get it.
    “I feel like they were taking it personally that I was trying to grow up their character.”

    Superman fans don’t think there’s anything wrong with him. He doesn’t need to be all growns up or brought into the 21st century or whatever else nonsense. This is the same thing Trank and crew were saying about the Fantastic Four. This is what you say when you’re embarrassed of your character instead of embracing him. And the fact that he invokes Star Wars here to justify the Metropolis destruction really shows that he doesn’t understand the criticism of it. It’s not THAT people died, it’s that Superman wasn’t shown to be actively concerned with the act of saving people.

    Now, I don’t necessarily agree with that. I liked Man of Steel and had no problem with the giant Zod battle. But this isn’t even him engaging with the criticism, it’s a totally separate issue. Honestly, I wish Snyder would just say “I’ve said all I could about it. The movie is the movie and I’m proud of it. No further comment”.

    • Daniel Barham

      I’m sure he is tired of answering this question. People hated Superman Returns and Snyder goes in a different direction, that to me feels more like today’s Superman from the comics I’ve been reading, and he can’t win. We didn’t need more Christopher Reeve. This video sums up it to me:https://youtu.be/z8EydFeuPK8

      • Jake Bucsko

        Yeah, obviously Superman saved people. He saved the people Zod was trying to murder by snapping his neck, not to mention the other 7 billion on the planet. I wonder sometimes when’s the last time these people actually watched the movie. Most of the destruction to Metropolis happened before the Zod fight, as a result of the world engine thing. Superman was a little busy destroying the other engine on the other side of the planet.

        The Zod from Superman 2 wasn’t interested in killing humans, only Superman. He would put people in danger, but only to distract Superman to make him vulnerable. So when Superman leaves the city for the Fortress, he knew Zod would follow because his primary goal, even more than ruling Planet Hoosten, was to make the son of Jor-El kneel before him.

        Zod from MoS is different. His goal was to wipe out humanity and replace them with New Krypton. And right before their fight, Zod explicitly states that he will murder every human he sees unless Superman fights him to the death. Flying away was not an option.

        God, I’m getting sucked back into it again. AGAIN. WHEN WILL THIS STOP

        • Not to mention that Superman in MoS kills Zod ONLY when he has no choice, as Zod would have killed a family. Whereas in Superman II, Reeve’s Superman goes into a chamber, which he KNOWS will devoid Zod of ANY powers, making him mortal and then comes out and doesn’t just capture him and turn him in, no first, he arrogantly humiliates Zod by breaking his hand and then picks him up and throws him to his death in the Fortress of Solitude, which if he was mortal, was NOT needed. Then Lois punches Ursa, who also falls to her death and how does Reeve’s Superman respond, he smirks, as if to say, heh, nice going, YOU killed her.

          It’s amazing the only aspects people pick up on are their only lame, paper thin excuses. Because Man of Steel was darker in tone, apparently it’s taken more seriously. I didn’t hear anyone complain about the amount of unseen deaths and destruction in the first Avengers, where massive Eel like creatures literally brought down several buildings, killing hundreds if not thousands inside and on the ground and the amount of total destruction caused from just the Hulk jumping around like an idiot, clinging to buildings. But hey, I guess because it’s lighter in tone, those unseen deaths and destruction is forgivable. OH, but wait, in the Avengers two, a WHOLE DAMN CITY/TOWN is picked up, dropped and destroyed, no complaints there, we just keep bringing up the Man of Steel’s destruction because it’s not a witty as Marvel’s movies.

          Screw the haters. I enjoyed Man of Steel and WILL enjoy BvS. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Marvel’s movies too, I enjoy it all because I’m a fan of comics, but enough is enough with this picking sides and trashing the other. It’s pointless.

          • Xavier Golden

            Okay, here’s where I disagree: 1) Yes, Superman had a choice. He could have put his hands over Zod’s eyes, flown Zod into space, bury Zod’s head into the ground, told the family to move and continue fighting Zod… that’s about three choices. 2) Civil War is acknowledging those tragedies that occurred in the other movies with respect and mourning. BvS uses the deaths of thousands as an excuse to have Batman and Superman punch for a bit.

          • breakerbaker

            The killing of Zod is such a distraction for MoS haters. You give three options of what Superman could theoretically do in that moment to save those people (other than break Zod’s neck). Even assuming that all three are viable options, none of them answer the question of what he’s supposed to do next. If you don’t think Superman would kill Zod or any comparably powered villain rather than allow him to kill other people, it’s you who doesn’t understand the character.

            I think there’s absolutely an argument that Snyder and company could have worked harder to convey Superman’s desire to protect the people of Metropolis in that final scene, but unless we’re going to begin to add new components to the narrative (e.g., a backup Phantom Zone projector falls out of the sky), then Zod dying is the inevitable end of that battle, and the sooner Superman kills him, the better.

          • Hinscher

            Put his hands over Zod’s eyes?
            Recall the earlier fight with Superman vs the two other kyrptonians. They had their hands over his face and he shot out his lazer eyes. Instantly hands were recoiled back in pain.
            Supermans hands coudl not stop Zod’s eyes. They woudl have burnt his hands off, burnt holes in them or whatever. We saw that earlier in this very film.
            They were in space, for all of like 2 seconds before 2 seconds later they were back in metropolis. It was Zod’s goal to kill everyone. YOu think he would just fly off to dessert like in DBZ. In those stories, the person fighting didn’t care about civilians, they only cared about fighting Goku,so they would listen.

            But lets say he finds a way as you said. What then? They are on the moon fighting. How does Superman stop Zod. THere is no reasoning with him. His goal is to kill all of Earth. Superman can’t imprisson him. No prison could hold him. Superman knows of no weaknesses. There is no power draining machine like in Superman 2. There is no kryptonite.
            So how does he protect earth from an indestructable homocidal maniac. Clark was thrown into a corner, not by those 4 random people at the building, but by the idea of Zod himself. There is as Zod said, only one solution. One of them has to die.

          • SAMURAI36

            Here’s another person that didn’t watch the movie.

            He could have put his hands over Zod’s eyes

            Did you see what happened when Supes blasted Faora and Non with his heat vision? Since you didn’t watch the movie, let me help you:

            https://youtu.be/h55YePGLYHQ?t=2m28s

            The beams are concussive as well as pyrotechnic. Meaning, they pulverize, as well as incinerate. This is how they’ve always been. Kinda like Cyclops, except Cike doesn’t have the pyro aspect to his blasts.

            flown Zod into space,

            Again, from the same video:

            https://youtu.be/h55YePGLYHQ?t=1m24s

            He’d already taken Zod into deep space. Was he supposed to go to another planet? And, you act as if Zod, who 1) was far more powerful and better trained than Supes, and 2) was hellbent on killing the planet, was gonna remain in one place.

            told the family to move and continue fighting Zod

            Move where?? And with Zod on a rampage, where was anybody gonna go that they’ll be safe? Your views are extremely myopic. If it wasn’t that family that Zod was threatening, it was gonna be another one.

            2) Civil War is acknowledging those tragedies that occurred in the other movies with respect and mourning. BvS uses the deaths of thousands as an excuse to have Batman and Superman punch for a bit.

            You clearly haven’t seen CW (since it’s not out yet), and it doesn’t sound like you’ve seen BVS either. So all you’re doing here, is making all sorts of wild, biased ass-umptions about both films.

        • SAMURAI36

          I don’t think they watched the movie the first time.

  • breakerbaker

    Two things.
    1. He’s right about Star Wars, and not just The Force Awakens. In A New Hope, the Empire kills billions of people and the rest of the cast get over that massacre almost instantly. In the entire series, most of the people who die are faceless, nameless nobodies. There are two deaths in the OT that we’re really meant to feel. One is Obi Wan, and two is an Ewok. If you stop to think about that, it’s pretty ridiculous.

    2. He’s going about his defense of his film in a pretty dumb way, thin-skinned, amateurish way. Artists should almost never compare their work to somebody else’s work. Let somebody else do that. Argue the merits of your own work. If you’re going to try to convey some understanding of a critic’s (let alone many critics’) point of view, don’t insult them in the process (which that “grow up their character” line totally does).

    An artist, especially a pop artist (as basically all filmmakers are), doesn’t have the privileged of telling the audience what it is and isn’t supposed to see in a work of art. The audience sees what it sees. And it’s almost always at least partially the fault of the filmmaker when they don’t foresee a widespread adverse response.

    • SAMURAI36

      Not sure where you are getting any/all of that. There’s nothing needed to admit to here. Especially if no one else is admitting to, let alone being indicted for, the same thing.

      He’s merely pointing out the bias, which he’s well within his rights to do. And, as a creator, he also has every right to defend his creative/artistic choice. Especially when the people indicting him are so far off the mark (as this thread alone evinces).

  • Lupin

    Thank you Zack Sndyer for treating the audience like adults. JJ Abrams on the other hand treated the audience like simpletons and it worked!
    Creativity and individuality may not be popular to the simple-minded masses but I cherish it!

    • Xavier Golden

      Creativity wouldn’t have been copying Nolan’s method for Batman and using it on Superman. Individuality wouldn’t have been another gritty reboot. Just saying.

      • SAMURAI36

        Yeah, just like Creativity wouldn’t have been Abrams rehashing the original trilogy, right?

  • Xavier Golden

    This is so stupid. Star Wars VII takes place in an actual war, where horrible things happen and people die. Man of Steel takes place in a world where Superman, a hero very capable of saving everyone, didn’t save anyone. Plus, the deaths of the billions in Star Wars was treated as a tragedy, whereas the deaths of thousands in Man of Steel was ignored.

    • Hinscher

      What Star Wars spent maybe all of 2 minutes on it in the originals. In the newest one, I’m not even sure more than one sentence was said.
      It just shows a meeting like “oh they killed billions and they on their way to us. How do we stop this newest death star” Then talk about plans.
      Star Wars actual war? How was Man of Steel not a war. It was as much a war as Independence Day was. You had an Alien ship come and destroy a city, then when stopped you had Zod say he is going to kill everyone. I consider a planets fight for survival a war.

      • Xavier Golden

        What happened to Metropolis is a failed terrorist attempt. Like 9/11, only bigger, and if it was stopped.

        • Hinscher

          Ok, failed terrorist attempt.
          If you want to call turning the earths atmosphere into something that will kill all life on Earth, so global extinction. Who knows what animals/plants will survive either.
          Yes just a simple terrorist attack.

          • Xavier Golden

            It’s called eco-terrorism. It’s like a Ra’s Al Ghul plot from the 70’s. “Transform the Earth into its superior self!” I never said it was simple. It wasn’t a war that was declared on Earth, it was an attack on the Earth.

        • SAMURAI36

          I dunno where you get these weird statements from.

    • breakerbaker

      I’d agree that this is a stupid conversation for Snyder to try to have, but…

      Man of Steel takes place in a world where Superman, a hero very capable of saving everyone,

      No it doesn’t. It takes place in a world where he’s stronger and faster than almost anybody, but he’s absolutely not able to save everybody.

      Plus, the deaths of the billions in Star Wars was treated as a tragedy

      Do you really think this is true? Admittedly, I’ve only seen TFA the once, but I’ve seen ANH dozens of times. The destruction of Alderaan is upsetting to Leia in the moment it happens, but she doesn’t seem remotely phased by it in any subsequent scene. The disturbance in the force is, well, disturbing to Obi Wan, but that passes after a line or two of dialogue. You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall the destruction of an entire system of planets and the entire New Republic having much emotional carryover in the scenes that follow it. All it does is give the “Resistance” a greater sense of urgency. The silly death of Han Solo is treated as far more upsetting that the instance vaporization of billions of abstract “people.”

      • Hinscher

        I saw TFA the second time on a plane recently and that movie deals with the 5 planets destruction even more non-existant thatn A new Hope did.
        The way Star Wars and many other movies deal with destruction/mass deaths, ect is not in it emphasizing the tragedy, but uses it as a plot device to emphasize a coming threat. They never dwell on the deaths, destruction, ect. It’s only used to show us viewers what will happen to our “heroes” if they don’t stop the bad guys in the films climax.
        BvS is one of the only movies that I can think of that is tackling it. I see in teh Civil War trailer they mention the prior movies destruction, but I’m afraid it will be a 2 minute scene just mentioning it and then going on to basically kill or save Bucky.
        And not to mention, the movie will only tackle the gov’s response to the destruction, not the everyday americans who experienced it. I mean in Avengers, all the clips afterwards talk about how heroic they were or they saved me. Not one mention of the thousands that would have died, or lost loved ones. Be like after 9/11 the tv only showed people talking about heroic police/firefighters. THere are two sides to the story. I woudl like Marvel to tackle the depressing side and not just the heroic.

      • Xavier Golden

        Um, yes it does take place in a world where Superman can save everyone. He’s just as fast, strong, and capable as he is in the current comics. Saying “he’s stronger and faster than almost anybody” is an extreme understatement.

        • breakerbaker

          If the threat in question were not Kryptonians nearly as fast and strong as Superman with technology he cannot easily defeat, and if they weren’t trained warriors and if Superman had ever thrown a punch in his life, then you might have a point. But that was the threat, so you really don’t.

    • SAMURAI36

      Yeah, he only saved the entire planet. Once again, for reference:

      https://youtu.be/z8EydFeuPK8

      In other words, NOTHING you’ve said thus far is true.

      • Xavier Golden

        So stupid. In the final fight, he didn’t save anyone. He just killed a person, and indirectly killed a lot more. If Superman didn’t fight this fight, you know what would have happened? Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or The Flash (all experienced superheroes at this point in time) would have shown up and did this a whole lot better. The best he could have down was just step away from this whole mess.

  • Zed Zardoz

    Synder misses the point once again. It wasn’t the amount of destruction or death toll themselves that prompted the backlash on MOS, but rather the context in which both were presented and the characterization of Superman’s (lack of) response/concern. As a symbol of heroism and selflessness in its purest form, Superman’s focus is and should always be on the safety of the people. This is how he is always traditionally represented in the comics. For example, in the Death of Superman arc, Superman’s primary goal at first is to prevent Doomsday from reaching Metropolis due to the damage/death that he would wreck on the city, and he references this constantly in his internal monologue. If Synder had simply had one line of dialogue to a similar effect, or shown Superman trying to take the fight with Zod out of the city, there wouldn’t be nearly as much controversy over all this. To most fans, a Superman who destroys a city without consideration of the collateral damage while fighting Zod is out of character.

    As for Star Wars, the conflicts in that franchise involve entire military factions and armies waging a multi-generational war across a galaxy, not an isolated fistfight between two super beings that could have been moved elsewhere by Superman had he given it a thought. I mean, even Goku in DBZ always tried to move epic battles into some nondescript unpopulated wasteland!

  • Yack

    Snyder doesn’t need to defend Man of Steel anymore. There’s nothing he can do about how other people feel about his movies he has no control over that. Also the thing about it that people don’t like can’t be pointed to one thing. Some people didn’t like the destruction. Other didn’t like that he killed Zod(probably more so the way he killed him). Others didn’t like that superman didn’t seem to “not care about colateral damage”. I personally really like MOS but that’s just me. Also the difference between star wars movies and other movies is that if the movie is at least good, the fanboys/girls don’t care about flaws

    • Hinscher

      Never got that “superman don’t care” line.
      Majority of destruction happened BEFORE superman arrived. There really wasn’t that much during their fight. A bunch of shatter glass from some impacts. A body being thrown through some sky scrappers, (none falling down from that)
      Really the main damage from their fight was the beginning when Zod first got his vision and destroyed the one building.
      The time Superman dodges the oil truck and it blows up. But watch superman when this happens. He is staring back at the destruction like “wow, didn’t expect that” and then due to his watching, he gets punched by Zod.
      Then whatever damage the satellite did as it fell. Hardly blame supreman for that. Think it was Zod that pushed it, and also what are odds a satellite falls and hits metropolis. The precise angle to hit metropolis from that high up would be insanely hard. Toss it up to movie logic.

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  • SAMURAI36

    The problem with people continuing to talk about the destruction in MOS, is that they basically didn’t really watch the movie. There isn’t nearly as much destruction in the movie, as people are leading themselves to believe.

    For reference:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqBzNT_llL8

    Only a few city blocks were destroyed, at best.

  • SAMURAI36

    Also, the bigger onus really needs to be on the audience, rather than the creators, for having such an issue with the film being depicted in a realistic way.

    Meaning, there’s no way beings that powerful are not gonna cause the destruction they did.

    Also, there’s nothing in the film that suggests the destruction is somehow out of place.

  • runner_j

    See, the comment about growing up Superman is the reason why Snyder is just the wrong guy to be handling these properties. It’s absurd. Superman is what he is, and either you’re true to that, or you’re just wasting money and time.

    Frankly, I think this whole approach is fuelled by two things: One, Nolan’s Batman franchise was so successful, WB wants all of their films to be that way; and two, Snyder is going out of his way to differentiate his movies from the more popular Donner Superman films, either by choice or he’s just too dense to understand why they were so popular. Those films didn’t try to “grow up” or change the character. They embraced everything Superman is, and it’s no wonder they’re still so fondly remembered.

    And I think it’s also wilful ignorance on Snyder’s part. He really can’t understand why so many people didn’t love what he did with MoS, and so he’s actually doubling down on that with this new film. I hope the rest of it works, and I guess Wonder Woman is the one thing he gets right.