Man of Steel alternate ending would have removed the movie's most controversial moment

(Image credit: DC/Warner Bros.)

While Superman has moved on in recent decades from the image of the boy scout-style slice of Americana, his more snap-happy approach to killing in Man of Steel certainly caused quite a stir upon its release.

David S. Goyer, who wrote the 2013 DCEU debut of Supes (played by Henry Cavill), has revealed that an alternate ending was planned – one where Superman didn’t kill Michael Shannon’s Zod.

Instead of snapping the Kryptonian’s neck, Superman would have defeated him through other means, as Goyer explained during a recent Comic-Con 2020 panel (H/T Slash Film).

“The idea was that Superman would – there was one of those sort of cryopods on the ship that ends up becoming the Fortress of Solitude that he’s able to put Zod back into and then throw out into space,” Goyer said. “We did talk about it and maybe some people would’ve been happier with that, but it felt like a cop out for the story that we were telling.”

It’s not quite being yeeted into the Phantom Zone a la Superman II, but it’s certainly more in line with Truth, Justice, and the American Way than Zack Snyder’s finished version.

To his and Goyer’s credit, though, they had a vision and saw it through, with Goyer also revealing there was scene in the script that explained in more detail why Superman’s decision to kill at the end of Man of Steel was a difficult one.

Superman, meanwhile, will ‘return’ in 2021’s Justice League Snyder Cut, with a recent Justice-Con panel showcasing the first look at Kal-El in a black suit.  

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.