Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT - not Miller's the Dark Knight Returns. Dent says, "you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Bruce later takes that to heart when he decides to take the blame for Dent's crimes. Bruce decides to pay the price to let Dent remain a hero to Gotham which, ironically, in the audience's eyes makes Bruce the real hero, of course. Again, even though A TALE OF TWO CITIES is directly references in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, THE DARK KNIGHT actually uses the theme of that book to better effect.
And I think that's what WB was looking for in MAN OF STEEL and probably BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. At heart, MAN OF STEEL approaches Philip Wylie's GLADIATOR, that may or may not have been one of the inspirations for the original Superman (Doc Savage, John Carter and Tarzan are more obvious influences, of course). In Gladiator, Hugo Danner is the son of a genius scientist who is also severely subdued by his overbearing wife. As a result, he only asserts himself in his science and discovers a way to make a person superhuman - a "like a man made of iron instead of flesh." He drugs his pregnant wife and injects her with his super-serum and their son grows into an incredibly strong being easily able to lift thirty tons and withstand any explosive power known to mankind.
Nevertheless, he wanders through his life aimlessly trying to find a place for his superpowers. However, even in war, he's stymied by the basic fundamental weaknesses of our social disorder and baser human instincts. Ironically, the only place his powers do fit is when he performs as a circus strongman where his feats of strength are believed to be stage tricks. Finally, he realizes that there is nothing he can do that many men working together could not do. Instead, if he shares his father's scientific discovery, the only outcome in this world would be a devastating war between superhumans that would probably erase human civilization from the planet.
The book was more a socialist commentary than a science fiction adventure, but it does provide a literary counterpoint to Clark's struggle in Man of Steel that they could have emphasized a bit more. Jor El in the movie reveals that he believes the human race wants to be better. That they just need an example to follow. However, that's been the motivation behind every bad political leader in history. Clark's lived in the human world and should know that if we really did want to be better, we don't need a godlike superhuman to show up to do so.
At this point, Man of Steel makes sense, kinda. It's still poorly plotted and not too well written, but you can see why Clark would not really want to be Superman or go public even after Jor El' speech. But the motivation in the movie is a little too self-centered. He doesn't trust the human race. Instead, he really shouldn't trust himself. The human race is fine without him. His existence is just gonna cause a lot more problems than it solves.
Then, of course, the bad plot takes over, throws Zod and the surviving Phantom Zone Kryptonians into it making any further debate on getting involved ridiculous. Of course, he's gonna have to take action. From then on, it's just a dumb action movie.