David S. Goyer Compares Writing ‘Man of Steel’ to ‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy

Published 2 years ago by , Updated January 23rd, 2013 at 6:44 am,

Superman Man of Steel Goyer Realistic Nolan Batman David S. Goyer Compares Writing Man of Steel to The Dark Knight Trilogy

Director Zack Snyder’s reboot Man of Steel ranks high on our Most Anticipated Movies of 2013, and with good reason. The Superman character is far more than just an emblem of comic book superhero lore; he’s a moral compass for humanity and represents its potential for greatness. Hence, the anxious masses waiting to find out how Snyder, writer David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan move the character forward into the 21st century.

Goyer has voiced his intention to carryover the naturalism of his and Nolan’s approach to Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy, giving rise to a re-interpretation of Superman’s origins with contemporary relevance (ie. not the redux portrayal from Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns). In a new interview, Goyer further compares the process of writing Superman versus creating a Caped Crusader for the current age of Hollywood.

Nolan recently halted speculation that Man of Steel should be considered “his,” insisting that Snyder is instead bringing his own artistic sensibilities to the project and building off the template established by Goyer to make Superman “relatable and relevent for [audiences].” The screenwriter/director’s latest comments fit with that assertion; that is, the mindset of Henry Cavill’s Kal-El won’t amount to merely a remixing of Christian Bale’s psychologically-scarred Dark Knight (but with the ability to fly and near-physical invulnerability).

Here’s how Goyer put it, during an interview with Access Hollywood (via MTV):

“I’m really proud of it. I never thought I would be doing a Superman film, but I think the only possible way to top myself or ourselves on Batman is to tackle Superman whose kind of the Granddaddy of all the superheroes. He’s trickier, it’s kind of easier doing a dark character who doesn’t have any super powers but I’m really proud of what we’ve done and I can’t wait for people to see it.”

Man of Steel marketing so been secretive when it comes to spilling explicit plot details (see: our trailer analysis), but hasn’t shied away from planting the seeds for introducing the world to a Superman with a modern perspective. The poster, for example, alludes to the idea of the superhero symbolically allowing himself to be shackled so he may answer to the law (a la Hancock without the satirical edge). Similarly, the teaser trailers juxtapose the philosophical lessons handed down by Supe’s dual “fathers”: Jor-El’s (Russell Crowe’s) moral idealism against Pa Kent’s (Kevin Costner) practicality about how humanity might perceive him.

No surprise, Goyer is keeping his mouth shut on that subject, beyond saying:

“I think the movie is going to be the right movie for the times. I’m happy that movie is coming out in the summer, because I think it’s the kind of movie that the world needs right now.”

Check out a new official Man of Steel image featuring Cavill (via USA Today):

henry cavill superman man steel David S. Goyer Compares Writing Man of Steel to The Dark Knight Trilogy

The task of renovating Superman for a new generation is not without risks, such as possibly ostracizing fans who prefer his previous screen incarnations (Christopher Reeve, in particular). Similarly, Snyder’s storytelling is occasionally second-hand to his visual know-how (see: Sucker Punch), while Goyer’s history includes many a disappointing title that he had a hand in writing (Jumper, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) or directed from his own script (Blade: Trinity, The Unborn). Thus, Man of Steel is far from a guaranteed success, as far as artistic merit is concerned (box office returns, on the other hand…).

However, both of these gentlemen have done fine work while collaborating with others (as is the case with Man of Steel), so we remain hopeful for the time being. The same goes for Warner Bros., giving those circulating rumors that Snyder’s superhero blockbuster maintains continuity with the developing Justice League movie

Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Laurence Fishburne and Ayelet Zurer.

Look for it in theaters on June 14th, 2013.


Source: Access Hollywood, USA Today

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Cool!!

  2. my most anticipated flick of 2013

    • me2 =DD ill prob watch this at least twice in theaters

  3. Michael Shannon creeps me out when he is in full on hill billy mode, I think he going to be sick as Zod!

    Can’t wait for this!

  4. “I’m happy that movie is coming out in the summer, because I think it’s the kind of movie that the world needs right now.”

    Haha. Goyer looks to re-wording some famous TDK lines. Excited for this film.

    • Haha i think in ten years time even Tom Cruise will have converted to Nolanoleogy!

      • Ha! I thought you’d written “Nanotechnology” for a second. I know Tom cruise is short, but he’s not microscopic!

    • So what’s the movie the world deserves now?

      • Star Trek Into Darkness!!

        • I’m fine with that!

  5. It is the kind of movie the world needs right now?

    Well excuse me, I think the world will be better off with oh, I dont know………CURE TO CANCER, FAMINE, DISEASE, WAR, HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO.

    I do not think a 2 hour movie will cure the world ills.

    • @Jeff W

      He didn’t say “this movie is what the world needs now”. He said “It’s the kind of movie that the world needs now”. Meaning, out of all movies, this is one that the world really needs. Obviously we need peace and harmony and health and happiness, but out of movies, he says we need this.

      • Didn’t do much for Mel Gibson tho, think it tipped him over the edge!

  6. I can’t get over how dark Cavill’s Superman costume looks.

    • I can’t get over how dark his hair is, he looks like Gotherman in that photo!

      Superman needs to start flying closer to the sun, get some colour in those cheeks lol

      • It does look dark. I’ve always thought, on a more realistic take, Superman would be super pale unless he flew near the sun, like you say. His skin would need much stronger radiation in order for the melanin to react. Maybe that’s what they are doing.

        But yeah, everything looks dark.

        • I just wish the red popped a bit more. At least, it’d be nice.

          • Maybe his suit will have evolved by the end of the movie as he becomes the earths saviour and beacon of hope?!

    • hey, wally i dont think the suit as dark as some people think, it may be the lighting or when hes in the sun it may brighten a bit like hes absorbing sun light, but thats my guess, i also dont get the emo superman talk either and no im not directing that towards you, it just strange to me when people are like hes to dark , hes not smileing , shut up, wait intell the finish product and then talk about, if anything emo superman should be more jab at superman returns and his reddish dark purple suit.

      • @ model_102

        I hope you’re right about that. Because every picture of him wearing it within the film or behind the scenes, it still looks little too dark imo. I know Superman goes through dark times but still im just talkin about his costume is all as it makes him look darker as he shouldn’t be because he’s the flipside of Batman. Even the color tone of Routh’s Superman costume was more to my liking,but not the design like the smaller “S” emblem, S’s on boot heels & yello belt. It was like see how many S’s you can count in this movie just as how many X’s you can count in his X-Men film. I

        • wally, yeah i just rewatch return after not seeing for a few years and man i happy that old series is put to bed as much as i like the richard donner cut of superman 2, but yeah that was strange with the dosen s’s on that suit and belt,i really hate that color of that suit, i do like the idea from what i hear about this hopefully new series, the idea of sup growing up in a darker time and what would he do if he had all those powers,how would you be, its a strange but fun a question, and the idea of zod being his first enemie , just the iceing on the cake to me.

    • Looks like Bizarro

    • it does look dark there. It’ll brighten up a bit if he is facing the sun though. You see that part of his right shoulder. I just want a really good, edgy storyline. I think its a dream to work on it. So many ways of telling the story. Hopefully its very conspiritorial. Not sure if anyone saw a series called ‘the event’ but something like that would be fantastic

  7. Cant wait for this

  8. Definitely my #1 most anticipated movie of 2013. Can’t wait to have supes back in action!

  9. Not my most anticipated movie of the year but I will go see it despite not really liking the Superman character much (something about having every superpower available and his only weakness being a green rock always seemed kinda lame to me)

    • That actually makes Superman a more challenging character to write for. But, however it can also make for lazy stories. A character with sooo much power can be a double edged sword for writers.

    • He doesn’t have every superpower. Where’d you here that?

  10. Some people behind me at the Hobbit said, “What, do they make a new Superman every five years now?” His date said facetiously, “Yeah, but this one is ‘darker.’”

    • The irony there being there’ll be just as many Tolkien Middle Earth films in 18 months time when The Hobbit concludes.

      Hell, there’s been more Batman films than Superman films.

      • Except this is yet another reboot. I’m just relying these strangers take.

        I’m personally looking forward to MOS for now, and I’m not bothered that there is a reboot. I just found it interesting to hear comments from people who aren’t even aware of it’s development. Now my brother, who also know about these things if not for me, thought it looked pretty cool.

  11. I gotta admit, Goyer and Snyders track record are not enough to guarantee successand complete confidence. In some aspects, this movie faces some harsh challenges, probably more than Avengers, or TDKR. I really hope they pull it off.

  12. This “realism” crap is not going to fit in with a Justice League movie at all

    • or they’ll try to make the JLA movie realistic hah

    • what “realism crap” are you referring to? the fact that people will be reacting to his appearance the way most normal people would, as opposed to most CBM’s that people just accept a man from another planet? i like that there was some “realism” added to the avengers, i.e. the end with all the news footage about the aftermath of the invasion and such. i think the same thing would work for a JL film.

      • They stole that from Boondock Saints… YEAH I SAID IT! lol

  13. Had no idea Goyer was involved in that piece of garbage that was Ghost Rider:SoV and I wish I hadn’t found out.

    • And he directed the 3rd Blade

      • Oh hell, that one didn’t even register.

        • Ryan Reynolds beard was cool in that movie, it out acted every body!

            • Yeah he was Hannibal King, part the blood pack or something, an interesting fact is that the guy who plays Dracula, Dominic Purcell, was born near where I live in England! Nobody but me knows this and I’ve kept it quiet for sometime lol

              I still haven’t seen GL, that CGI suit I sore in the trailer put me right off amongst other things

              • Dominic Purcell is a good actor. He was the only thing that kept me interested in Prison Break.

                As for Reynolds and his beard, I whole-heartedly agree! I wish they had brought in Hannibal King in the first film instead of the girl but whatevs. Can’t have everything right!

                • Dominic Purcell was also great in “John Doe”…I wish that series would’ve been allowed to continue. Sigh…

                  • Agreed. The reason I subscribed to hulu was because of series like John Doe. So many good 1 or 2 season shows that never got their chance IMO

  14. I think this movie has a chance at success, because they added Zod and probably a few other almost physical equals as superman. They are all from the same planet so their back ground stories are intertwined, which should make a less messy story line. While Lex is Superman’s main nemesis, I think Lex stories create to much time to unravel his mastermind plan and it becomes lex against a not so super Superman that fists fights and lets Lex win that round of the movie, and Lex looses the mastermind part of the fight. With Zod, it is about physical equals, but also good versus evil. They need to make a more super powered Lex in these kind of movies.

    • If they do Lex, they need to come up with a better plan than “Luthor hatches a plot to make massive real estate gains”.

      • Maybe a plot to KILL Superman this time? LOL

        • Or control Superman for his own ends. I’d like t see the mirror/alternate universe Luthor arrive. being the opposite of our Luthor, he’d help Superman defeat the Luthor from our dimension.
          I can’t remember the name of the Graphic Novel, but I think Frank Quitely drew it.

          • How about that alternate version of Superman be Bizarro? (brings up alot of action)

            I would rather have the second movie have Doomsday and the third has Lex studying the DNA or something.

            • I want a sequel (eventually) with Cadmus, Superboy, and Superboy Prime. Might raise some eyebrows from the more common movie goers who don’t know very much about Superman, but I think it would make a very interesting plot.

      • “…laaaaand.”

        • I always liked the part in Superman 3 when Superman goes bad and starts causing havoc all ove the world, he gets stubble, doesn’t wash, gets bladdered and starts flicking nuts and breaking bottles in some bar, then he nails that hot blonde bird before going actual nuts and fights himself!!

          Battling your inner demons, what a metaphor, subtle! Crap movie but great message, don’t bother with rehab or AA kids, just beat the crap out of yourself and good will prevail! Lol

  15. I hope Brainiac comes next to the sequel. Remember we need to see the city Kandor of Superman’s home planet in the next epic chapter ? I hope Dan Harris and Chris Nolan make a decision writing the scrip for MOS Part 2. See the origins of Superman’s home Planet Krypton needs to be written like Supergirl, Zor-El, Allura (One of Superman’s relatives) of Argo City, who survive from Krypton’s disaster into space about 10 years later.

  16. Cant wait for this! easily my most anticipated film this year, Michael Shannon as Zod will be epic, awesome actor, I think we will see an Aquaman cameo for some reason, at least im hoping we will!

  17. I guess all I can say about this film at this point is what the suits at WB are saying: “Pleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuck.”

  18. I think this movie will be epic but I still think Justice League is going to fail hard. Maybe even harder than Green Lantern possibly. I just hate that Zod is the villain again. Don’t get me wrong Zod is amazing but we already had him in a film. But I’d rather Zod again than Lex Luthor. But I was hoping for Brainiac or someone. Superman has alot of villains but not too many good ones. At least not as much as Batman.

    • Brainiac, Metallo, Lobo, Livewire, Ultra-Humanite, Toyman, Bizarro. I’m sure there are more. Parasite or Atomic would have been perfect

    • deadpool, it not the same zod, michaels zod will and hopefully be closer to the comics and this series is a fresh start, with hopeful seeds of newier enemies on the way.

  19. It could be really awesome. Or it could blow goat. Lets hope the latter. But if any character deserves to be done with an edgy style an kickass story/script. Superdong is definitely one of em. Deadpool movie please. Or did that get shelved like so many others? Thats a character who is so badass his movie prob will b good.

  20. Here’s my idea for the next movie.
    Boom! Boooom! BOOM! BOOOOM!

    Credits, where is my check?

    • Mr. Bay, you forgot about the breasts bouncing in slow motion. That’s probably the most important part of the movie.


        • By “blast”, what exactly do you mean…?

          • ;)

  21. i have a good feeling about man of steel, i think it would be a monster and hopefully revamp the franchise and hopefully see more of sups rogues in the future and dig deeper in sups mythos.

  22. Goyer sucks. Worse character dialog writer in Hollywood. Clunky, obvious, awkward prose in all his solo writing. Just look at his track record outside of Nolan’s Batman collaborations. Nick Fury for example with David Hasselhoff. OUCH! The stories for Batman were clearly written by Nolan….. just look at the twisty plots.

    I want MOS to be great but with Goyer writing the script I am truly fearful of the result.

    • I would agree but like the article pointed out, Goyer works best when collaborating with others so I have strong hope the script will be solid. :)

  23. “Why do you says these things, when you know I will kill you for it… KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!”

  24. “A movie the world needs, right now”. Let’s hope this doesn’t mean dark gritty and depressing like Nolan’s caped crusader! As people have rightfully pointed out though, where’s the colour in any of the new Superman stills? If you want to bring a breath of optimism and fun (that’s what we bloody need now!) start by making films looking a little less drab! What is it with desaturation films of their colour at the moment?! And what is it with having to ground superheroes into reality?! Who wants yet another EMO-hero story?

    Ever since 9/11 films have – in the main – been dark and gritty. Violent. Nihilistic. Shorn of optimism and colour! Hollywood, move on from this era already, or the ‘bad guys’ really have won in a sense… At your best your popcorn flicks bought people out of the cinema on a high! Happy. I miss this era…

  25. Man of Steel should be good. This is the guy who wrote Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the Unborn and Jumper.

  26. I think Snyders story telling and Goyers scripts should be given a little bbit more credit. I know sucker punch was bad, but Watchmen and 300 were very well told, prefectly adapted from the source material. and as far as Goyer goes, maybe the movies were used as examples did not have the proper director and cast to do justice to his scripts.

    for a movie to be great, you need the combination of a good director and good writer. then everything (casting, etc) else is downhill.

  27. Man of Steel should be fine. This is the guy that wrote the Ghost Rider sequel, the unborn and Jumper.

  28. This is the same guy who wrote the second Ghost Rider. If practice makes perfect than he should write another Ghost Rider and not make Johnny Blaze a whiny little *****.

  29. I apologise, but I still not completely convinced that this will be great. There’s just not enough there that’s awe-inspring or dsitinctive. I really want a Superman film to be great and succeed – especially as it will lead to a Justice League movie, but nothing stands out or captures the imagination straight away.

    of course they could be playing smart by not revealing too much in the trailer.

    From the costume itself , the picture looks like a scene near the end of the movie, after Superman has been involved in some major epic battle that has given the costume that dark look. I certainly hope so because at the moment it looks so grainy, and dirty and thats not what’s Superman is about.