What story is going to power the new Superman film to be directed by Zack Snyder? We know that David Goyer, who wrote the script, pitched an idea to Christopher Nolan that the Batman director regarded as a great way to “address Superman in a modern context.”

And Zack Snyder has said a few crypic things about the film (including what seemed to be a refutation of the report that General Zod is in the movie) while not offering much real detail. But David Goyer penned the introduction to the Superman: Secret Origin collection, and his text has a couple references to the upcoming film. Read it after the break.

Here’s what the screenwriter had to say about the Secret Origin tale penned by Geoff Johns:

There is a heart breaking moment halfway through the first chapter in which young Clark is told the truth about his heritage. He races out into the night, sobbing, stumbling through the cornfields. Eventually, his foster father, Jonathan, finds him. ’I don’t want to be someone else,’ says Clark. ‘I don’t want to be different. I want to be Clark Kent.’

‘I want to be your son’

Right there in that moment, Geoff contextualized Superman in a way that I’m not sure has ever really been done before. I had an ‘aha’ experience when I read that. For the first time I was able to grasp how lonely Clark must have been when he was growing up. And what a sacrifice Clark must continually make by being Superman.

As I write this, I am midway through my first draft of a new Superman screenplay. It’s a task that has stymied many talented filmmakers in the years since Donner’s film. And for all I know, it will end up stymying me as well.

But I’ve got one advantage that the screenwriters who came before me didn’t have—and that’s access to all the wonderful Superman stories written by Geoff Johns—first and foremost being the SECRET ORIGIN issues reprinted in the very volume you are now holding.

And let’s recap what Zack Snyder said not long ago:

It’s a different story. I won’t say there’s a break from the canon or anything like that, but there is definitely an approach that makes you go, ‘Okay, that’s a way to get at it.’ David is very respectful of the canon and stuff like that. It has its roots in the canon and again, like I say, it has a point of view about who he is. I’m being cryptic, I know, but it’s the best I can do.

Secret Origin is meant to be the definitive telling of Superman’s origin, and notably doesn’t begin with images of Krypton, instead beginning with some of Clark’s first memories. Clark and his alternate identity, and the alienation that results from that split, is a part of the tale. So how does that influence come together with David Goyer’s idea to tell Superman’s story in a modern context and the fact that the story definitely has a point of view about who Superman is? And how is it all different from the pretty specific and also relatively modern version we saw in Superman Returns? That’s the puzzle.

[CBM]

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