Tagged: superman

Latest trailer for “Man of Steel” is a very, very good trailer

“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:

New trailer for “Man of Steel”

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.

Judging books by their covers: Apes, Catwoman and Superman Edition

I just wrote about cautious optimism with regard to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which sounded awful on paper but wound up turning into a pleasant surprise. So it’s perhaps fitting that this week in particular Warner Bros. revealed two highly-scrutinized first official glimpses: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman* in “The Dark Knight Rises” and Henry Cavill as Superman in “The Man of Steel.”

The reaction to both images was fairly negative. Hathaway’s casting in particular wasn’t positively received, because she really doesn’t give off the vibe one would associate with Catwoman or a superhero movie in general (personally, I didn’t mind it, because she’s talented and we don’t know precisely what her character will wind up being on-screen). Yes, the goggles look pretty goofy. But Warner Bros. had to get the image out quickly, because the film is shooting in Pittsburgh and new photos seem to be streaming out by the minute. We don’t know if that is her ultimate costume. As for Cavill’s Superman, much of the consternation revolved around his costume and his hair. I’ll just chalk that up to people being upset because he’s British and is playing and American icon and they took ‘er jebs and so forth.

Anyway, so these are just initial images and it’s pretty damn near impossible to fully judge a movie based solely on first glimpses. We now know that Anne Hathaway will wear leather (we knew that) and that Henry Cavill will wear a Superman outfit (we knew that, too). People are already overreacting to these photos, but it’s wise to wait and save our bile at least until the first full trailer. That way we can be fully primed to overreact when the time is right.

* – I say Catwoman because she’s Catwoman, even if she doesn’t put on the cat ears and crack the whip, she is still playing some variation of the character Catwoman, much like how the Red Skull in “Captain America” was only called the Red Skull once (derisively) (and, though it was delivered secondhand, it was said by Hitler, for what it’s worth), but was still that character nonetheless. It’s not a perfect comparison, but my point is that even if she plays Selina Kyle (Catwoman’s real name, and the name used in the Warner Bros. casting announcement, and also the name of this image’s file when Warner Bros. released it), we are all fine calling her Catwoman until we hear that she is definitively not playing Catwoman, okay? Okay.

Russell Crowe might add his patented rage to the “Superman” reboot

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.

Warner Bros. is eyeballing a “Batman” reboot and a “Justice League” movie

Ben Fritz profiled Jeff Robinov in today’s L.A. Times. Robinov is about to succeed Alan Horn as the top film exec at Warner Bros., and is one of the main candidates to replace studio chairman Barry Meyer after his contract is up in 2013. So it’s worth taking a look at the man who would run Warner Bros., the studio that finished among the top two studios in market share seven times between 2001 and 2010. And he has some big plans for the company’s comic book properties.

“The Dark Knight Rises” and the new “Superman” are both due out next year. Looking beyond that, Robinov is talking up a “Justice League” film in 2013 as well as a rebooted “Batman” in the post-Nolan era. Yes, the new “Batman” hasn’t even started filming, and he’s already plotting for a reboot with Nolan and Emma Thomas producing. The “Batman” thing is unsurprising — at this point in time, the two biggest comic book movie properties are “Batman” and “Spider-Man” (no, “X-Men” and “Superman” don’t make the top two) — but the “Justice League” tidbit was unexpected. After all, a “Justice League” movie (directed by George Miller and starring Adam Brody and Armie Hammer, among others) was thisclose to production before the writer’s strike of 2007 and 2008.

Robinov is clearly watching Marvel (and their new parent company, Disney) rev up for “The Avengers,” and has decided to take the same road but in the opposite direction. Whereas Marvel is rolling out solo flicks for Captain America and Thor before they join Iron Man on-screen next year, Robinov wants to put everybody together in a “Justice League” movie and give The Flash and Wonder Woman solo adventures afterwards. (This doesn’t include “Green Lantern,” already heading for theaters this summer, but that film is mentioned as one of their big comic book properties.)

This guy has an intriguing history. He likes big-budget “tentpoles,” as you can tell from the comic book movie thing. He closed the specialty movie division in 2008 and infamously passed on “Slumdog Millionaire.” According to the story, people say “Robinov’s greatest strength is his willingness to take creative risks on ambitious movies — a rarity in a business that increasingly plays it safe.” This is defined as hiring Chrisopher Nolan, Guy Ritchie and Zack Snyder to direct major properties, and I guess those are creative risks. Nolan’s “Batman” movies were stripped-down, realistic affairs about vigilantism and terrorism; Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” devoted an entire film to the unconsummated love between Holmes and Watson.

He takes over movies during a crucial moment for Warner Bros. The “Harry Potter” gravy train ends this summer, and next year brings Nolan’s final “Batman” as well as the potential relaunching of “Superman.” Nolan’s film is a sure thing, but Snyder’s “Superman” has a lot of work to do to achieve the megahit status Warner Bros. wants. Meanwhile, Marvel properties should soak up lots of the attention next year, with “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” looking to be two of the biggest films on the schedule. It’s interesting to see how Robinov is choosing to bank on his company’s established, but often cinematically troubled, stable of characters. After all, if Marvel and its affiliated studios can make two “Hulk” movies, a “Daredevil” flick and two “Punisher” movies in a matter of years, why shouldn’t iconic characters like Wonder Woman and the Flash get their shot?

Lois Lane will be more famous than Superman

Amy Adams, who is a Disney cartoon princess come to life (“Enchanted” was a documentary, obviously), will play Lois Lane in the forthcoming “Superman” reboot. (This news comes courtesy of Geoff Boucher, who runs the excellent L.A. Times blog Hero Complex.)

Amy Adams! The three-time Oscar nominee, perpetual charmer of audiences and scene partners alike, is much more famous than her co-star, Henry Cavill. This makes me happy for some reason. Maybe it’s because of the inherent gender inequality in superhero flicks? It’s probably that. (Will their fame disparity be true three or four years after this movie comes out? It very well may be, because she is delightful, and he has a thankless role as the most boring major superhero in comics. Superman’s an iconic character, but interesting? Please.) She also joins Diane Lane and Kevin Costner, who will play Superman’s adoptive parents, and whatever classy actor is handed a huge paycheck to play the bad guy.

Adams is racking up the iconic roles/franchises these days. She’s in “The Muppets,” Jason Segel’s update of that series, which is very fitting. She’s going to play Janis Joplin, maybe, if that movie ever gets made. And now she’s Lois Lane, Superman’s journalistic paramour. (If the movie is going for modernity and realism, she’ll probably just be a Daily Planet blogger with a hyperactive Tumblr.) I can’t wait for the angry fanboys to picket the movie because Lois Lane doesn’t have red hair.

Is Superman an American citizen?

Q: Superman became president at one point, and his immigration status wasan issue. The Supreme Court decided that he was an American citizen. Did you agree with that decision?

A: It occurred in an alternate universe, and under the facts as presented there, I think it made a lot sense. If he was in a birthing matrix—an artificial womb—while in transit, and did not actually leave the womb until the rocket ship opened in the Kansas cornfield, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say that the point at which they’re born is the point at which they exit that womb, by analogy to the natural birth process.

This is very entertaining: A legal discussion of Superman’s citizenship, health insurance for superheroes and whether Gotham City needs special laws because of all the supervillain attacks. Among other issues. Enjoy.

Hey, speaking of unnecessary sequels and rushed productions…

Wasn’t I just saying something about unnecessary sequels and rushed productions? This story has a little bit of both.

The gist: Vulture reports that Warner Bros. has offered Guy Ritchie the job directing “Xerxes,” the sequel to “300.”

The intrigue: Zack Snyder directed “300,” and has been developing “Xerxes” with Frank Miller. Why is Warner Bros. offering his job to someone else?

The twist: There are a few reasons. For one thing, Warner Bros. needs Snyder to focus on the “Superman” reboot. They have to get the film into production soon, or they lose the rights to the estates of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. And Vulture cites insiders who say the new “Superman” script “suffers from major third-act problems.”

Also, Warner Bros. is reportedly unhappy with “Sucker Punch,” Snyder’s forthcoming fever dream of a movie, which would make him 0-for-3 his last three times at bat (“Watchmen” and that godforsaken talking owl movie both made some money, but not nearly enough).

Why we care: Well, there’s a hope that the “Superman” reboot doesn’t suck. After all, Christopher Nolan worked with David Goyer on the script. (This is where I feel obliged to remind you that, while I am a big Christopher Nolan fan and have liked pretty much everything he’s done, his movies have tended to start strong and encounter some third act troubles; most notably “Batman Begins,” the last time he took a David Goyer idea and worked with him to expand it.)

But again, this is the problem with rushed movies. Warner Bros. doesn’t have a great concept and great director for a new “Superman.” They have a narrow window of time to launch this new thing or they financially suffer. The movie gets a release date, it gets a production schedule and, hopefully, everything else can be worked out along the way. This is troubling.

Also, why in the world is there going to be a “300” sequel? Let’s worry about that one later, I guess.

(Also, Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” sequel has a subtitle: “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” So I’m guessing that movie’s third act twist is that Moriarty got performance enhancers from BALCO or something.)

No, Lindsay Lohan probably won’t be in the new “Superman”

No, Lindsay Lohan probably isn’t up for a role in the new “Superman” movie. But under TMZ’s incredibly SEO-happy headline, this story would like you to believe otherwise. Until this is reported by, you know, the people who report this type of news, there is no reason to believe it. There are charges of felony grand theft, there are obviously lengthy and well-documented personal issues, there’s the well-documented unreliability on film sets, there’s the issue of insurance bonding and, of course, there’s a time-sensitive franchise being overseen by precise and careful people like Christopher Nolan. Other than that, she’s probably your next Lois Lane.

New “Superman” might not feature Lois Lane

There were rumors earlier this week that several actors (including Rachel McAdams and Jessica Biel) had been invited to read for the part of Lois Lane in the new “Superman” movie. Now Variety reports (via DH) that Lois Lane isn’t actually the female lead in the movie. They also reported three actors being considered for the as-yet-unnamed character: Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds,” the “National Treasure” movies), Rosamund Pike (“An Education”) and Alice Eve (“She’s Out of My League”). The three were born in Europe (Kruger is German, Pike and Eve are British), so expect more pearl-clutching and trendspotting any day now.

Kruger has the highest profile of the three due to the “National Treasure” films, appearing in a Best Picture nominee and her L’Oreal campaign. But Pike is the most interesting contender. After appearing in 2002’s dreadful “Die Another Day” as a Bond girl, she has done a lot of good work and gotten a lot of notice for supporting turns in smaller movies (2005’s “Pride and Prejudice,” “An Education,” “Made in Dagenham,” “Barney’s Version”). I know the least about Eve, but she was up for “X-Men: First Class” and “Captain America,” so clearly the studios like her.

So here’s what we know: The female lead won’t be Lois Lane. That doesn’t mean Lois Lane won’t appear in the movie, but they could be casting Lana Lang (Superman’s childhood sweetheart) or another character entirely. And Variety also reports that director Zack Snyder is looking to cast his villain, but goes into no further detail about the character.