Given the number of empty buildings seen during the final battle, some fans had rationalized the violence in the movie’s conclusion by assuming that the city was mostly empty, following evacuations that would have occurred during the 24 hours that Zod gave the world to turn over Superman. It would have helped soften the blow of a Superman movie in which so many people seemed to be slaughtered–but Snyder suggests that the slaughter is actually part of the philosophy behind the movie.
“I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling. In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters,” Snyder told the Japan Times. “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 is probably the closest we get. It’s a way of recounting the myth.”
Man of Steel, which opens tomorrow in Japan, has so far made just under $650 million worldwide. It comes to DVD and Blu-ray on November 12. The sequel, which teams Superman with Batman, is due in theaters on July 17, 2015 in the U.S.