Some people might think that by now, Superman’s story has been told enough in the form of Hollywood movies. Everybody knows that Kal-El was born on Krypton, skyrocketed to Earth moments before his home planet exploded, adopted by a Kansas farmer, raised as Clark Kent, and has been borderline breaking public nudity laws in Metropolis phone booths for decades.
Still Warner Brothers Studio opted to reboot the franchise and hopes to find success along the lines of the current wave of superhero movies such as Iron Man and the Avengers. Christopher Nolan is the producer of the film, fresh off his successes with the Dark Knight trilogies. Zack Snyder of 300 fame will direct and David Gory, an experienced comic book screenwriter who has worked on the Dark Knight, Ghost Rider, and Blade has penned the script. The man of steel is being portrayed by British actor Henry Cavill and Amy Adams take on the role of Lois Lane.
Jerry Siegel created Superman, who ironically was portrayed as a telepathic balding villain in his first incarnation. Obviously the super hero underwent some changes over the years and became a national icon starting with Action Comics #1. Siegel and co-creator Joe Schuster eventually sold the character likeliness for a whopping $130 in addition to a contract to continue creating Superman comics for Warner Bros, the parent company of DC. Long story short the heirs of Siegel have been boiled in lawsuits for decades trying to get full ownership of the Superman icon (or at least another $130), finally being awarded 50% of the likeliness in 2009.
The court ruling basically stated that Warner Bros. did not owe the Siegel family royalties from previous Superman films, but would do so going forward in the future. To prevent Warner from sitting idly on the icon, the suit stated if they didn’t begin production on a new Superman movie by 2011 the family could sue the company for lost royalties. In some ways, the Man of Steel was developed to prevent a lawsuit – a shotgun movie of sorts.
It should be noted that Warner Bros. tried a relaunch of the popular character not too long ago with 2006’s Superman Returns. The movie was moderately received but the studio was disappointed with the $391 million box office return and scrapped a 2009 sequel. Still, this didn’t stop the company from going forward with a reboot with Man of Steel, hoping to have a similar result as Universal Studios in relation to Ang Lee‘s critically panned Hulk movie and the subsequently profitable ‘The Incredible Hulk’ released a mere five years later.
Casting of Superman
The casting call for Superman went out in November of 2011. Some heavy Hollywood hitters were rumored to be interested in the role such as Jon Hamm and Armie Hammer but Warner wanted to cast either a television actor or relative unknown to build on the rebooting theme. Director Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. eventually decided on Henry Cavill, a UK actor who was one of their favorites since day one. According to reports, the studio thought Cavill was big and strong but also brings a modern feel to him, which is perfect since the Man of Steel is set in the present time. A star studded cast rounds out the ensemble including Russell Crowe as Jor-El Superman’s biological father, Kevin Costner as Johnathon Kent, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White from the Daily Planet, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.
Filming and Release
Principal photography for Man of Steel began on August 1, 2011 under the super secret production code name Autumn Frost. Filming took place in Illinois as well as in a Vancouver film studio. Bucking the contemporary trend of shooting in 3D, director Zack Snyder instead took the route of shooting in 2D and converting the film into 3D, reducing the limitations that the technology brings with it. Man of Steel will be released in 2D, 3D, and IMAX and legendary composer Hans Zimmer has produced the score of the film, adding to the big movie experience.
Three trailers have been produced for Man of Steel, each one further building on the hype until the nationwide release on June 14, 2013. The domain name ‘manofsteel.com‘ was owned by a member of the public until a lawsuit filed by Warner Bros returned it to the studio, enabling it to serve as the official web page of the movie. A teaser poster showing Superman being arrested was also released, generating plenty of buzz in online forums and social networking sites.
Man of Steel Plot Details **Spoilers**
One of the main reasons that Warner Bros decided to go ahead with a reboot of the Superman franchise (besides the threat of an impending lawsuit from Jerry Siegel’s heirs) was the opportunity to create the film in a modern context. Ideas were pitched about telling Superman’s story from life to ‘death’ in an 8-hour trilogy but Nolan liked the idea that Goyer pitched while both were working on Dark Knight Rises. The writer and director aim to bring a new demeanor to Superman while mixing in some time honored traditions of the Big Blue Boy Scout.
- Superman was born illegally on Krypton because he was birthed naturally without genetic alterations which are mandatory to define a being’s role in Kryptonian society.
- Clark Kent travels the world doing superhuman deeds and Lois Lane gets wind of it. Clark has some internal struggles dealing with his powers and he doesn’t immediately know what his course in life is meant to be. A few of these scenes are shown in the Man of Steel trailers.
- The iconic red and blue costume is actually what would be known today as Under Armour. Kryptonian’s wear armor over the material but Superman was shipped off Kryptonite before receiving his.
- The Fortress of Solitude, Superman’s ‘cabin in the woods’ is a Kryptonian spaceship hidden underground on Earth, likely sent there by Superman’s dad Jor-El.
There is plenty of other information leaked online but the real fun is going to actually see the movie on June 14th. There are a few significant deaths in the film and one spoiler that’s making plenty of head waves is the fact that there will be no kryptonite in the Man of Steel film. Maybe Superman’s weakness will be gluten in order to truly give off a modern affect.
The budget for Man of Steel is $225,000,000 and the worldwide box office returns will go a long way in deciding the future of the rebooted franchise.
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