David S. Goyer Says ‘Man of Steel’ Will Be ‘Realistic’ Like Nolan’s ‘Batman’

Published 3 years ago by

Superman Man of Steel Goyer Realistic Nolan Batman David S. Goyer Says Man of Steel Will Be Realistic Like Nolans Batman

DC Comics fans have at least one film to look forward to in the immediate future, as Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel looks to reinvigorate the Superman property on the big screen. Snyder and Warner Bros. have turned to scriptwriter David S. Goyer and executive producer Christopher Nolan – two men responsible for The Dark Knight trilogy – to help make that a reality.

Of course, Man of Steel‘s Superman can’t possibly be as grim or grounded as Nolan’s Batman, or the studio risks alienating fans of the comic book’s (perceived) whimsical and more optimistic tone. It’s a fine line to walk, but Goyer is emphasizing that being realistic doesn’t have to mean being dark, and some aspects of Superman’s life simply aren’t carefree. Whether bleak or hopeful, fans can look forward to a Superman film that speaks to today’s world.

Comparisons between Superman and Batman are nothing new, as the pair have largely defined the world of DC superheroes for decades. Not only are they the only two DC heroes to star in undeniably successful film franchises, but they might also the be best hope for DC to gain ground on their competition at Marvel. Fears that DC and Warner Bros. would seek to replicate their success by casting Superman as a dark, troubled, and potentially angst-ridden antihero arose quickly, with early rumors hinting that much of Superman’s origin story could even be re-written for Man of Steel.

Since then neither Snyder nor the cast has dispelled the impression that Man of Steel would be noticeably different from previous live-action versions. Michael Shannon, the newest incarnation of General Zod, claimed that the new take was the same type of “edgy” as Nolan’s Batman, before another actor claimed Snyder was using the comparison as part of his pitch. Before fans get the idea that Superman is going to be turned into a raspy-voiced, pessimistic shadow-lurker, David S. Goyer wants to outline some key differences.

First Image of Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel David S. Goyer Says Man of Steel Will Be Realistic Like Nolans Batman

While promoting Da Vinci’s Demons at Rome Fiction Fest, Goyer was asked about his feelings on ‘reinvention’ in regards to Man of Steel, and how the story will compare to Nolan’s past projects. Here’s how the writer sees the difference:

“Christopher Nolan and I have been trying to bring the naturalism of the Batman trilogy. Our approach has always been naturalist, realistic; we always try to imagine these stories as if they could happen in the same world in which we live. It is not an easy thing with Superman, and this does not necessarily mean that it will be a dark film, but in working on this reboot we are thinking about what would happen if a story like this really happened. How would people react to this? What impact would the presence of Superman in the real world have? What I like to do are stories set in ‘genres’ which, however, are not cartoons, or comics. I did the same thing with Da Vinci’s Demons, and I will do the same with ‘The Man of Steel.’”

It’s hard to think of a less innately relatable character than Superman – a being who is not only from an alien world but superior to the average person in nearly every way. Yet putting the audience into that cape and bodysuit and asking what any one of us would do with that kind of power is exactly what Snyder is hoping to accomplish. The first theatrical trailer showed that Clark Kent would be taking some time to find himself, but it’s unlikely, given Goyer’s description, that his travels end with some all-encompassing epiphany, with doubts or struggles becoming a thing of the past.

Goyer went on to explain that current events and political movements are likely to be explored, at least on a broad level. Many references to the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement that were sprinkled throughout The Dark Knight Rises may have gone unnoticed, but the scriptwriter’s interest in what makes people these days tick will inevitably crop up in Man of Steel‘s plot and dialogue. As Superman is a foreigner who lives among humanity in secret, it doesn’t take much imagination to see where Goyer and Nolan could take the discussion.

Christian Bale Michael Caine Dark Knight Rises David S. Goyer Says Man of Steel Will Be Realistic Like Nolans Batman

But given the pair’s track record, it’s more likely that Man of Steel will get down to the universal nature of acceptance and purpose, not the politics or ideology. Superman has emotions, despite how Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006) characterized the Kryptonian. And if the film focuses in on the suspicion, the doubt, fear and hatred with which today’s world would inevitably view a super-powered outsider, and force Henry Cavill’s Superman to face that, then Snyder will certainly have blazed a trail.

Those issues were at the heart of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable comic book series (if you haven’t read it, do so now) and cast DC’s ‘big blue Boy Scout’ in an incredibly human light, so if any of that manages to work its way into Man of Steel, moviegoers will benefit greatly.

Think Goyer’s desire to ground superhero stories in familiar issues is a wise way to build an interconnected movie universe? Or should Superman by definition rise above common, personal narratives?

Man of Steel will be arriving in theaters on June 14th, 2013.


Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: BadTaste (via Collider)

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  1. Can’t wait for this movie

  2. Realistic doesn’t mean dark. However, with actors of the calibre of Crowe, Fishburne, Adams, Shannon, Costner, Meloni as well as of course Cavill, it’ll prob be a bit more serious than the Reeve films and have a ‘Batman Begins’-type feel (cue bearded superhero Cavill trying to ‘find himself’ like Christian Bale in BB)
    The action will then kick in during the 2nd half of the film with our next villain hinted at towards the end (just like the Joker’s calling card at the end of BB).

    This has Nolan written all over it (which is a good thing)

  3. Nolan batman flicks are overrated, rises is the worse piece of trash, I respect Goyer but CAN’T BE LIKE THOSE garbage of rises

    • To each, his own…I found the trilogy to be brilliant.

      • They sucked at the most basic level. Bad acting (And I like Bale just not as Batman) and a horrible retelling of Batman lore. Yes Ledger was brilliant. He just isn’t the joker. Nor is anyone like who they should be with the exception of Michael Caine.

        • They were actually quite well acted, throughout.. Bale ((as part of Nolan’s interpretation) played both Bruce AND Batman excellently, as did Caine as Alfred AND Ledger as Joker. Ledger, in fact, was brilliant (and very “on point”) as Joker. As for this particular version of the Batman mythos, Nolan, et al, captured the essence of the character beautifully.

          See? No matter how MUCH you bluster, you will still not be providing anything more legitimate than an opinion–YOUR opinion–just like I have been doing.

          So…babble away, Akai…I can do this forever. I, however, will not, because it’s silly and immature.

          Good luck.

  4. i’m guessing this could be how they will depict superman realistically: manofsteelforreal.blogspot.com

  5. superman could exist in the real world without getting his secret identity discovered easily: http://manofsteelforreal.blogspot.com/

  6. This is why these movies suck so much. Too much emphasis on trying to make them look, “more real”. Because I want to pay money for a movie that looks like real life… NOT! I go to the movies to escape reality. Sad thing is, Fans are absolutely ga ga about this new Superman movie. Why? because they love CGI, they love action, they love explosions, etc. The only thing that really doesn’t seem to matter anymore is story and staying true to the lore of such characters. Nolan has ruined Batman and now he’s teamed up with another hack to ruin Superman. No big deal… I will just pretend these movies don’t exist and wait for a proper reboot.

    • No, fans are ga-ga over “Man of Steel” because many things they have seen and heard about and of the film (everything, in my case) have greatly encouraged them in believing that this going to be an epic, amazing film. Do not allow your misunderstanding of this on the most basic level try to infect our happiness at (apparently), after so many years, getting a Superman film that shows why he has endured for so long as a modern mythological hero…

      • Infect your happiness??? BWWAAAHHHHH!!!! LOL!

        I’ll break it down for you…

        ME: Objective, critical, Prefers the, “less is more” approach to film making. Not a constant onslaught of eye candy and sh*tty plot points. Nolan, Goyer, and Snyder have no skill, therefore have no business making movies based on iconic Superheroes.

        Everyone else (and you): Fanboys who just want a Superman movie, PERIOD, and can give a crap if it has a decent story and if the property is being handled with respect.

        It is still a mystery as to why movies like this and the Dark Knight films are held with such high regard… I will never understand it. Nolan’s Batman films, except for the first one were the worst movies, EVER. Snyder only knows how to make graphic novel’s into movies, and still does a poor job at it. Why would I think Man of Steel will be any different?

        • D Boy…

          Okay…I can simplify it for you: No, you did NOT, by any definition of the word, offer anything more objective than I. You offered what’s known in the common parlance as your OPINION, just as many people (myself included) have been doing. As for being critical, well, yes…THAT you are doing. You are not, however, THINKING CRITICALLY. You are merely criticizing…big difference. You are welcome to do that, but, please, do not puff yourself up to be anything better (or more “correct”) than anyone else.

          You’ll deal with it somehow, I’m sure…

    • Cannot agree with you more sir.

      • D Boy that is

        • Yes, Akai…

          I KNOW quite well already how much you and I differ in our opinions.

    • Wow, really? I’d say you’re dead wrong here. The main problem is not that they’re trying to ground them, it is that they’re trying to ground them and often don’t pay attention to anything else.