Clueless studio notes are a common thing that movie fans hear filmmakers complain about, think the classic Superman story that Kevin Smith tells about a script he wrote where he was told he shouldn’t show the hero flying around or saving people. Though that was one example, Man of Steel screenwriter David Goyer has revealed one of the worst notes he ever got while working in Hollywood and it was his time with Superman that he chose to share. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Goyer said that one clueless person in the room had a gripe with a scene originally designed for the movie, and their complaint…didn’t hold much water.
“One note I got was on Man of Steel,” Goyer said. “Where the ending involves Superman utilizing the pod that he arrived in as a child in order to bring down General Zod’s ship. The note we got from the studio said, ‘You have to change that.’ We asked why. They said, ‘Because if Superman uses that pod and it’s destroyed while saving the city, how is he ever going to get back home to Krypton?’ There was just this long pause and we said, ‘Krypton blew up. You saw 30 minutes of it!'”
Goyer, whose many credits also includes The Dark Knight Trilogy plus Terminator: Dark Fate and the Blade trilogy, also opened up about the sticky situation that writers face in Hollywood. With so many writers working on any one script, and perhaps credit only goes to one, you could really dislike something in a movie that the person whose name is on the poster didn’t even want to do.
“The tricky thing with writers, particularly in film, less so in television, is you have to have written roughly one-third of a film in order to get credit — but someone else could have written 25 percent, someone else could have written 20 percent and someone else could have written 15 percent,” Goyer added. “So you can end up being the only credited writer, but 70 percent of the script isn’t yours. So I definitely have projects that I’ve worked on where I’m the sole credited writer, yet I’ve been taken to task for elements in the film that I actively did not write, for scenes that I fought against and I was fired. So that’s frustrating.”
Goyer’s work can next be seen on Apple TV+ in the series Foundation and on Netflix’s highly anticipated adaptation of Sandman.