• Zack Snyder stands by the controversial Pa Kent death scene in Man of Steel, believing it was crucial for Clark Kent’s character development.
  • Despite criticism, Snyder defends Jonathan Kent’s death, explaining Clark’s reluctance to reveal his powers prematurely.
  • Snyder’s perspective sheds light on Clark’s emotional struggle and fear of exposing his true self before being ready, summing up the themes of the film by defending a controversial moment.



Zack Snyder, director of 2013’s Man of Steel, has defended the film’s Pa Kent death scene. Upon Man of Steel‘s release, the film caused much controversy that upcoming DC movies like 2025’s Superman will hope to avoid. Despite Man of Steel overall being one of the better-ranked DCEU movies, several specific elements of the film were divisive. One moment included Superman’s murder of Zod in Man of Steel, while another involved Kevin Costner’s Jonathan Kent. The death of Jonathan was one of the film’s more controversial scenes, primarily due to the fact that Clark Kent could easily have saved him.

In light of this controversy, director Zack Snyder has defended the Jonathan Kent death scene in an interview with GQ. In Snyder’s mind, Clark allowing Jonathan to die made perfect sense. Many who are fans of the film would agree with Snyder’s sentiments, as they likely agree with the concept the filmmaker was aiming for when filming the scene. Snyder described the scene from Clark’s point of view, stating:

“The conversation is exactly what he says to Lois… I let my father die to protect the idea that my father was trying to protect. The idea… that I wasn’t ready to be outed to the world because I wasn’t Superman. I’m just a teenager that… could’ve made a mess of it. I have the power to do it, but have I ever used my powers in this way?… I trusted that his vision for what I could be was bigger than him… This little incident in Kansas was not the thing that was going to expose me to the world.”

How Zack Snyder’s Explanation Redeems One Of Man Of Steel’s Most Controversial Scenes

Superman Fans Have Debated Jonathan Kent’s Death Since The Movie Released In 2013

Debate has been heated about Jonathan Kent’s death since Man of Steel was released in 2013. However, with his comments on the scene, Snyder has perfectly explained why it works within the context of the film. The crux of Superman’s story in the movie is the decision to reveal himself to the world. Jonathan Kent believes, arguably rightly, that if humans found out about an alien with superpowers living among them. As Snyder explains, “That’s what Jonathan’s point of view was: ‘The world is gonna be afraid of you… and there’s a really good chance you’re gonna become the enemy.”


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Based on these story concepts, Clark allowing Jonathan to die certainly makes sense. As Snyder mentions in the interview, Superman can only reveal his powers to the world when he is ready and when the people of Earth need him to. This moment comes later in the film when Zod attacks, spurring Superman into action and allowing him to become the hero Jonathan Kent believed he could be. However, if he had revealed his powers earlier, Earth may not have accepted Clark/Superman, proving how effectively Snyder has defended Jonathan Kent’s death from Man of Steel.

Man of Steel Poster

Man of Steel

This new take on Superman’s origin story, Man of Steel, centers on young journalist Clark Kent/Kal-El, a being who came to Earth as a child from Krypton. Though he has trouble fitting in with his secret superpowers and questions his purpose in life, Clark is forced into action when fellow Kryptonian General Zod arrives on Earth hellbent on conquest. Clark is built by the values set upon him by his parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, who adopted him as an otherworldly orphan, inadvertently raising him to become the hero humanity needs.

Kevin Costner , Laurence Fishburne , Richard Schiff , Amy Adams , Harry Lennix , Antje Traue , Michael Shannon , Henry Cavill , Christopher Meloni , Diane Lane , Russell Crowe

Source: GQ

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