Superman killing General Zod in Man of Steel remains one of the most controversial moments in a modern superhero movie. A lot of DC fans out there hated the Zack Snyder film’s gloomy ending and still do today. At the same time, Snyder diehards have always defended the twist as necessary for the director’s own interpretation of Kal-El, who’s known never to kill in the comics.
Perhaps part of what has kept Zod’s demise so divisive is because we’ve never really been able to see the after-effects of it. Instead of a true Man of Steel 2, DC ordered Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was then followed by Justice League. So a deeper focus on the Last Son of Krypton’s character arc was pushed to the side. But star Henry Cavill maintains that executing his nemesis was the key moment in the hero’s journey as it made him vow never to kill again.
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, The Witcher actor was once again quizzed on whether he would come back as Supes. Cavill made clear that he believes there’s more to explore, returning to the topic of MoS‘s conclusion to illustrate that there’s more to explore in “the psyche of Superman”. As he put it:
“The killing of Zod gave a reason for the character never to kill again. Superman falling to the ground and screaming afterward — I don’t think that was originally in the script, but I wanted to show the pain he had. I did far more emotional takes they didn’t choose; tears were happening. He just killed the last remaining member of his species. That’s the choice he made in that moment, and he’ll never do that again. There’s an opportunity for growth after that, to explore the psyche of Superman as a deep, seemingly invulnerable god-like being but with real feeling on the inside.”
Some fans feel vindicated about Cavill defending Zod’s death, including Narr the Misfit on Twitter, who commented, “Been saying this for years. Y’all just don’t understand character development past the 1 dimension.”
Others are surprised we’re still having this conversation; another fan on Twitter noted, “It’s kind of insane this has to be explained at this point.”
That said, Cavill’s words didn’t manage to win over those who just don’t like the moment and never will. As one fan commented, “No it was stupid he should found another way. [sic] Just killing him showed weakness. He is supposedly a intellectual and no an average man. He could figured another way.”
Speaking more generally, though, there’s much excitement going around on social media over Henry Cavill still being eager to don his cape and tights again in some future project. At this point, he’s got to be one of the busiest people in Hollywood but his commitment to the DCEU just shows how much he cares about Superman and how he understands his story needs to come to a satisfying conclusion.