Zack Snyder Explains "Man of Steel's" "Mythological" Destruction

The final scenes of Warner Bros.' "Man of Steel" drew frequent criticism from observers this summer, in part due to the scale of destruction brought to Metropolis in the climactic battle between DC Comics characters Superman and Zod. Director Zack Snyder addressed the issue Thursday in The Japan Times, the day before the film opens in that country.

"I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling," Snyder said. "In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters. In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence."

Following the film's release this past June, Buzzfeed published estimates that put the Metropolis death toll at 129,000, with overall damages of $2 trillion. Critiques included Vulture calling the movie's third act "an orgy of gratuitous building-battering" and "9/11 imagery erased of its most haunting factor: the loss of life," along with cartoonist Kyle Baker releasing a browser game based on the scenes titled "Mass Murderer of Steel."

"In America, we don't have that legacy of ancient mythology," Snyder told The Japan Times. "Superman is probably the closest we get. It's a way of recounting the myth."

Snyder also discussed "Man of Steel" producer Christopher Nolan, director of the past three Batman films. Nolan was listed as an executive producer for the July press release announcing the 2015 "Man of Steel" follow-up, but his name did not appear on last week's release announcing that Ben Affleck will co-star in the film as Batman.

"Chris and I tend to like the same movies," Snyder said. "For me, a good movie has a pokey feel, and its surface has sharp edges. It's hard to hold in your hand, but fascinating to look at. The 'Hollywood committee,' on the other hand, is always trying to get rid of those edges, to make it softer, lighter, more palatable. Those movies are easier to sit through and accept but once the lights come on you've forgotten all about it. It winds up not moving you, and the experience doesn't stay. The best movies are the ones that cut you a little."

The currently untitled Batman/Superman film, directed by Snyder and starring Affleck and Henry Cavill, is scheduled for release on July 17, 2015.

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