A Conversation with “Man of Steel” Producer Deborah Snyder

"Man of Steel" producer, Deborah Synder

“Man of Steel” producer, Deborah Synder

On June 14, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Man of Steel,”™ opens nation-wide. Directed by Zack Snyder, it stars Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, and Antje Traue.

During a recent interview, Paula K. Parker spoke with producer Deborah Snyder about the heart of the film; its messages.

Paula K. Parker: The film has a very strong pro-adoption message. When Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van put their infant son into the space pod, I thought, ‘That reminds me of Moses.’ And it was an open adoption, because both sets of parents told him, “Your other set of parents loved you.”

Deborah Snyder: Yes, it’s funny; we [she and husband Zack Snyder] adopted our two children during the course of making this film; so, for us, the adoption message is super personal. And super strong, because it is about self-sacrifice, people giving up for a greater good.

It’s also about figuring out who you are; Clark realizes that – through the sacrifice – his parents gave him this choice, he could be whoever he wanted to be. He wouldn’t have had that opportunity.

And then he lands in this field. We thought, “Thank gosh that he lands in the fields with the Kents, because they give him his moral compass. They realize that because he is different – because he has these powers – there is a great responsibility that is even bigger than them. They try and do the right things.

For me, one of the big themes in the film is about doing good, and what that means, to do good. But, in doing good, you have to make choices, and how you make those choices. Sometimes you don’t know what is the right choice, and Clark goes back to what his mother and father taught him. That is how he is able to make these right choices.

Even when Jonathan is not on screen, every decision Clark makes, I feel the influence of his father and his parents; and I think that is something that is really powerful.

To have this really strong message of family and how family supports you and how family loves you unconditionally, no matter who you are, and how family shapes you and shapes who you are going to be.

PKP: Also there was a strong message of dealing with bullies. Clark had the power to hurt them, but the Kents taught him to rise above it in other ways.

Deborah Snyder: It takes a bigger person to turn the other cheek; it takes a bigger person, when you know you have the super strength and you could do a lot of harm. The bullies were hurting him emotionally.

That’s the thing too, that is interesting about our Superman is that I don’t know that we’ve ever seen him as emotionally vulnerable. Yes, he is super strong, but also he has these feelings. He can be wounded. He can be hurt. I think that is what makes him more relatable than we’ve seen him in the past.

PKP: The film has a strong family message.

Deborah Snyder: It is about family. Who is your family and what family really means. Especially today, where families are not as traditional as mom/dad/two kids, I think the message here is family is what you make of it. It’s the people who love you. It might not be the people who gave birth to you biologically, but it’s the people who’ve adopted you into their life and will give you this love, this unconditional love. And it could be anybody. I think that is a really great, positive message.

I think there is also a message about hope. Sometimes things might look bleak, and you might not be able to see it, and you might not be able to see what’s right, and you might not be able to see there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but you have this hope. Sometimes you just have to believe.

PKP: There are a lot of faith messages, in the dialogue and the iconography. Was that intentional?

Deborah Snyder: Yes; I think that, in many ways, Superman is a Christ-like figure. I think that a lot of the themes of sacrifice, hope, love, leading by example as Jesus did, I think that that is very accurate. He is this man who has extraordinary powers and people follow him. I think there are a lot of parallels.

What I liked about it, with a movie like this, people are expecting spectacle and action, but what they are not expecting is the depth and the emotionality.


For more information, visit the official “Man of Steel” website.

 “Man of Steel” opens in 2D and 3D in select theaters and IMAX Friday, June 14. This film has been rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language.

“Man of Steel” poster and trailer © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.