“There is no way you can do this”: Christopher Nolan Warned Zack Snyder Before He Pissed Off Many Superman Fans With One Scene of Henry Cavill

David S. Goyer revealed Christopher Nolan did not like the plot point of Superman becoming a killer.

"There is no way you can do this": Christopher Nolan Warned Zack Snyder Before He Pissed Off Many Superman Fans With One Scene of Henry Cavill


  • Christopher Nolan was not a fan of Superman killing Zod in Man of Steel.
  • David S. Goyer had to tweak things a little to convince him of the plot twist.
  • Superman comic writer Mark Waid vehemently criticized this movie.
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Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer conceived the story for Man of Steel when they were working on The Dark Knight. Zack Snyder was brought on as a director in 2010, and he incorporated his storytelling elements and style into Nolan’s story.


However, not all of Snyder’s ideas impressed the Interstellar director. One major tweak to the story that Nolan strongly opposed was making Superman a killer.

Henry Cavill's infamous Superman scene from Man of Steel
Henry Cavill’s infamous Superman scene from Man of Steel

Snyder’s DCEU movies have often been criticized for their dark and gritty theme, with Man of Steel being the film that set this tone. While the Army of the Dead director has garnered a separate fan base for his movies, not everyone was pleased with his portrayal of their favorite superheroes.


Also Read: “There is no cult of Aquaman”: Zack Snyder Still Values BVS More Than Jason Momoa’s Highest Grossing DCEU Movie Despite All Criticism

Christopher Nolan Hated Zack Snyder’s Idea To Make Superman A Killer

Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder on the set of Man of Steel
Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder on the set of Man of Steel

Although many of the recent DCEU movies prove that Man of Steel was a far superior product from the franchise, the movie was controversial upon its release. Henry Cavill’s Superman did not impress many of the original Superman fans with his more somber nature.

Zack Snyder did not help either in gaining their confidence, as some of his creative choices proved too much for fans. Snyder added many tweaks to the original Superman starting from the signature outfit.


But one of his ideas did not sit well with Christopher Nolan. During a podcast discussion with Empire Magazine, Snyder and David S. Goyer went into detail about what happened behind the scenes of the film.

One of the most important decisions was the climactic scene where Cavill’s Superman kills Michael Shannon’s General Zod by snapping his neck. Zack Snyder shared about this decision (via IndieWire):

“In the original version of the script, Zod just got zapped into the Phantom Zone. But David, Chris, and I had long talks about it, and I said that I really feel like we should kill Zod, and that Superman should kill him. The ‘Why?’ of it for me was that if was truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained… I wanted to create a scenario where Superman, either he’s going to see [Metropolis’ citizens] chopped in half, or he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.”

Nolan didn’t like the idea and he was sure that the fans would not like it either. Goyer recalled that Nolan outright told them not to do it, but Goyer made a little change in the scene, which made the Oppenheimer director concede. Goyer shared on the podcast:


“[Chris] originally said, ‘There’s no way you can do this.’ I came up with this idea of heat vision and these people about to die, and I wrote the scene, gave it to Chris, and he said, ‘Okay you’ve convinced me.’”

But Goyer did not manage to convince everyone with the family-in-distress tweak to justify Superman’s kill.

Also Read: “Krypton doesn’t blow up”: Matthew Vaughn Had a Wildly Different Superman Movie Pitch from Zack Snyder That Was Rejected by WB

Superman Comics Writer Hated Zack Snyder’s Movie Outcome

Mark Waid
Mark Waid

The writer of Superman: Birthright comic, Mark Waid, was not at all happy with the result and posted a review that slammed the whole movie. Notably, Waid had pitched his Superman: Birthright story to Warner Bros. when the studio was considering a reboot of the superhero movie after the failed Superman Returns.


Waid’s pitch was not selected and WB finally went ahead with Nolan and Goyer’s pitch. Waid wrote in his review for Thrillbent (via CinemaBlend):

“Some crazy guy in front of us was muttering ‘Don’t do it…don’t do it…DON’T DO IT…’ and then Superman snapped Zod’s neck and that guy stood up and said in a very loud voice, ‘THAT’S IT, YOU LOST ME, I’M OUT,’ and his girlfriend had to literally pull him back into his seat and keep him from walking out and that crazy guy was me.”

The response to Man of Steel compared to other outings in the DCEU was a little underwhelming. The film grossed $668 million worldwide and a direct sequel was planned, but it was finally scrapped after the restructuring of DCEU into DCU.

A new Superman movie, titled Superman: Legacy and directed by James Gunn, is set to be released in 2025, starring David Corenswet in the lead role.


Also Read: “Don’t tell the studio”: Zack Snyder Wanted Ben Affleck and Jared Leto to Shoot a Batman- Joker Scene at His House Without Any Pay For His Justice League Director’s Cut

Man of Steel and other DCEU movies are now available for streaming on Max.


Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1142

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.