“Man of Steel” opens in just under a month. It’s funny to think about how some of us (me, specifically) were not sure how to feel about this movie because, you know, Superman as a character is kind of dull and Zack Snyder is Zack Snyder. We (and by “we” I mean “me,” because whatever, I already wrote it, let’s just move on and never mention it again) weren’t against this movie, because it had potential, but it wasn’t atop our summer must-see list, you know? (You know.)
Now I can’t wait to see this thing. The last few trailers really won me over. The last one was great, sure, and this latest (and last) one is even better. It focuses a lot on Michael Shannon’s General Zod, the villain of the movie, which is wise because you can’t go wrong focusing on Michael Shannon playing a crazy person. And the new ad spotlights the action, which — based just on the trailers so far — looks nifty but also doesn’t seem like it will be the sole focus of the movie. (Each trailer does a great job selling different aspects of the movie. I realize I’m just complimenting the marketing here, which is odd, but the marketing has been very good!)
The point here is that “Man of Steel” looks great and I’m very excited, just in case you were wondering:
Here’s the latest trailer for “Man of Steel.” The Superman reboot, due next summer, is directed by Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen” and “Sucker Punch”) and produced by Christopher Nolan (duh). The Nolan involvement, in particular, gives us hope that the latest attempt at forcing a Superman movie will finally prove worthwhile.
Remember, the last decent Superman film (“Superman II”) came out in 1980. Since that movie came out, we have seen two crappy sequels, one so-so sequel/reboot (“Superman Returns”), 14 seasons of live-action television (“Lois and Clark” and “Smallville”) and at least two aborted cinematic nightmares (the Kevin Smith/Tim Burton version and the J.J. Abrams version, both of which would have been SO BAD in SO MANY WAYS, if the scripts are to be believed) (and that doesn’t even account for all of the other Superman film ideas/projects that went nowhere, by the way). That is a long, long, long time without what can be accurately described as a high-quality caliber of live-action Superman.
Superman is an unusually hard nut to crack, at least in terms of superheroes. The character is inherently disinteresting, or at least less interesting than Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine and the other top-tier comic book heroes. The first “Superman” movie, released in 1978, worked at the time (and still operates as the inspiration for every single superhero origin movie released since), but we have entered an era where that doesn’t cut it. Making a decent comic book movie (see: “The Amazing Spider-Man”) doesn’t rev anyone’s engines or rake in jaw-dropping numbers; you need to deliver something different, something special (“The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man,” “The Avengers”).
Superman, the godlike guy with so many powers it becomes dull and the vanilla main story, is not that intriguing of a central character. But as “Iron Man” proved, the comic book character doesn’t need to be tremendous for the movie to work. All it takes is an interesting take. Nolan seems to have brought his trademark seriousness and realism to this project, and he and Snyder have assembled a stellar cast around Henry Cavill (Amy Adams plays Lois Lane, Michael Shannon is the bad guy, Russell Crowe is his birth father and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane play his adopted human parents). I’m still not convinced Superman is an essential big-screen character, but this trailer shows a lot of potential. It looks like it could finally make the strained efforts at rebooting the franchise worthwhile.
The forthcoming “Superman” reboot, titled “Man of Steel,” will hit theaters on June 14, 2013. It was previously expected to premiere in December 2012, which caused me to worry a tad that the film would be rushed due to legal factors. It’s nice to know they have a little more time to work on the movie and, hopefully, iron out the rumored issues plaguing the script’s third act.
“Superman” is the third superhero movie slotted for June 2013, following the third “Iron Man” (in May) and the second “Thor” (in July).
Semi-related note: “Star Trek 2,” which doesn’t have a finished script, is currently scheduled for June 29, 2012. It’s clearly going to be delayed because there’s no way that thing will be ready in 373 days. There were rumors that “Trek” would be pushed back to December of that year, which until today was already the home of two high-profile, attention-grabbing movies: “Man of Steel” and the first “Hobbit” movie. (“The Lone Ranger” and “Django Unchained” are also scheduled for that month.) Now the path is clear for Paramount to announce “Star Trek 2” is being bumped to December 2012, which I expect, unless they move it all the way to the summer of 2013, which I doubt.
UPDATE: Brook Barnes reports that Warner Bros. is saying they moved the film because they are already releasing “The Hobbit” in December 2012.
Here’s some mildly interesting news about the “Superman” reboot: Sentient ragebot Russell Crowe is in talks to play Jor-El, Superman’s dead biological father (uh, spoiler alert, I guess?). I guess we know young Kal-El won’t be circumcised.
Marlon Brando played Jor-El in the first two “Superman” movies, and Brando famously pocketed a lot of money for a small slice of screentime. Christopher Nolan, who is producing this revamp, wanted a big name to step into Brando’s shoes (insofar as you have to step into the shoes of someone who made a relatively brief cameo in a movie more than three decades ago). Sean Penn was also “considered,” so Nolan clearly had a type in mind (and by “type,” I mean talented Oscar winners prone to violent outbursts).
Whenever I think of Brando and this role, all I can think about is the (possibly apocryphal) story of Brando suggesting that Jor-El appear as a green bagel with a Brando voiceover. That’s Method, right there.