Last night Mr. Beaks of Ain't It Cool joined me for some drinks at a local bar. Because we're big fucking nerds our conversation eventually turned to Man of Steel, and the depiction of Superman in that film. The Battle of Metropolis was touched upon, and the idea of whether or not the city was evacuated before Zod and Superman began enacting multiple 9/11s across the city. I've always held that if the movie wanted to show that the city was evacuated it should have had Perry White helping evacuate - that would have actually made the character have some sort of point in the movie (currently he's in there because a Superman movie needs Perry White, I guess) and would have softened some of that destruction.
But it turns out Zack Snyder DID NOT want to show the city was evacuated because he wanted to have mass casualties in Metropolis. Talking to the Japan Times (Man of Steel is opening in Japan this weekend), Snyder explains why he killed so many innocents at the end of the movie:
“I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling. 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. In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology. Superman (who first appeared in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938) is probably the closest we get. It’s a way of recounting the myth.”
I really like Zack Snyder, both as a filmmaker and a person, but sometimes I am baffled by what comes out of his mouth. This is one of those times.