‘Man of Steel’ Will Feature a ‘Different Take on Clark Kent’

Published 1 year ago by

Man of Steel Henry Cavill Diane Lane Man of Steel Will Feature a Different Take on Clark Kent

While the world prepares for Man of Steel‘s pulse-pounding action, and the chance to see Zack Snyder’s take on Superman on the big screen, the other side of the superhero’s identity is being seriously overlooked. Although the first photos and video of Henry Cavill on set implied that Clark Kent’s Metropolis alter ego would indeed be a character alongside Superman, evidence has been hard to find since.

According to newly released comments from both Snyder and Cavill, there’s a good chance that the ‘mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent’ may not be involved at all. At least, not a version that audiences will be expecting.

In an on-set interview with Collider, Zack Snyder was quick to evade questions about the Clark Kent side of the superhero’s identity – a tradition that has held, as audiences still know very little about Clark’s pre-Superman activities. We know he’s bearded and on a journey to find himself, but what happens to his identity once the red-and-blue suit gets thrown on is still unknown.

Man of Steel Clark Kent Journey Man of Steel Will Feature a Different Take on Clark Kent

In fact, it would be fair to say that at this point, given what we know, the ‘secret identity’ of Superman may not even play a major role in Man of Steel at all. As Snyder explains, the lack of a recognizable incognito Kent is yet another case of the filmmakers’ wish to make the hero’s origin story a bit more realistic:

“I’ll only say that I think in a lot of — well, definitely in the movies — he always jumps straight from childhood to Clark.  Like, he jumps from sort of his teenage version of himself to the adult version of himself.  Frankly, The Daily Planet Clark, that happens pretty quick.  I just think that our Clark, he’s not fully realized and I think — by the way, that’s huge information — but I think that’s the big difference.  That’s why there’s this talk about who Clark is.

“In a lot of ways, the movie really is about the why of Clark, not to say that this kind of bumbling — I don’t want to call him bumbling — his mocky, nerdy Clark is…  But that’s not the Clark that we went after or are going after.  We’re going after sort of a different, there’s a different take on Clark, how Clark is.”

Now, for those who aren’t the most hardcore fans of Superman comics we should clarify that the ‘identity’ of Clark Kent/Kal-El is a tricky notion. It’s generally accepted that Clark began as simply his Smallville self, engaging in heroics when needed, despite his parents urging restraint. Thus came the need to create a public face – Superman – where he could exhibit his own personality while wearing the suit and cape. But to live a normal life, Clark changed his Kent identity into that of a clumsy, uninteresting and disguised ‘everyman.’

Man of Steel Adoption Story Man of Steel Will Feature a Different Take on Clark Kent

That works just fine in a traditional ‘secret identity’ story, but when family, relationships and realism are factored in – all the elements Goyer, Nolan and Snyder are emphasizing – things begin to get messy. Did Superman get noticed in civilian clothes first, or the suit? When he goes home to Smallville, does he remain in disguise, or get to be himself (and obviously Superman)? It’s not hard to see why tackling all of these issues can be challenging, and frankly, not particularly gripping for mass audiences looking for a ‘blockbuster.’

So we’re not shocked to see that the reason behind a lack of ‘mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent’ in marketing may be due to the fact that there won’t be one in Man of Steel; not one fans would recognize at any rate. Instead, Snyder’s comments imply that Man of Steel will fill in the gaps writers tend to skip over.

Audiences may react differently to seeing Clark and Superman less rigidly defined, but realism dictates that splitting a life down the middle isn’t easy. That idea of an identity in flux – at least for the first movie in the franchise – helps shed light on some of Cavill’s quotes as well. When asked how the actor is balancing the relationships with Lois Lane in and out of the super-suit, his response was cagey:

“Superman, Clark and Lois, the key to making it work?  Hm… let me think about that so I can give you a decent answer… I mean, the easy answer is acting, but there’s a fine balance between — again, I’ve gotta be careful what I say here.  There’s an honesty to Clark, Kal-El — Kal-El’s the better way of saying it because he is both Superman and Clark — there’s an honesty to him which crosses over on both—I don’t like to use the word identities, but I will because I can’t think of a better one.  So, it is not that tough to make that swap and change.”

“I connect with both equally.  I really want to explain why because I’ve got a great answer, but I’m going to give away plot points.”

Man of Steel Easter Eggs Trivia List Man of Steel Will Feature a Different Take on Clark Kent

To us, that sounds like Cavill is refusing to acknowledge that the two characters – Superman and Clark – are separate identities at all. Again, it’s not shocking to hear that Snyder is avoiding the minutia of Clark’s glasses, changing hairstyle and slumping posture – since the film tells of Superman’s first public reveal, all of that would come later anyway. But after so many on screen incarnations, a complicated Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El is something we’d welcome, if handled properly.

If our suspicions are accurate, and Man of Steel may not heavily feature a bespectacled Clark Kent as an intrepid reporter, then questions will need to be raised. Is the dual identity a problem to tackle in the inevitable sequels? How will Clark’s desire to be a journalist be handled? And most importantly, how will Lois Lane’s inability to recognize Clark as Superman be handled with any sense of realism? Could she be in on the secret?

What do you make of these latest comments? Have you had enough of the clumsy and bumbling Clark Kent, or was that one of the more charming aspects of the character in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments.

________

Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14th, 2013.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Collider

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TAGS: man of steel, superman, superman man of steel

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  1. I think spectacle-clad Clark Kent will be shown at the end of the movie, fully shown in the sequel (if this movie works)..there is a soundtrack by the name “What will you do when you are not saving the world”, probably lois lane asking clark that, and offering him to apply at daily planet. Also there was a shot of him wearing the specs entering the daily planet in the comic-con trailer.

    • Excellent detail point. Yes, that is true. Clark is walking through a revolving door
      and reaches into his backpack for glasses trying to be inconspicuous, places
      them on holding his head down trying not to be noticed and recognized.
      This must occur after Superman is known to the world and may be
      at the end of the movie where he begins work as a reporter.

  2. In the comic con trailer doesn’t he put a pair of glasses near the end of the trailer.

    • Excellent detail point. Yes, that is true. Clark is walking through a revolving door
      and reaches into his backpack for glasses trying to be inconspicuous, places
      them on holding his head down trying not to be noticed and recognized.
      This must occur after Superman is known to the world and may be
      at the end of the movie where he begins work as a reporter.

    • My reply was intended for Ssen.
      I have the Comic-Con trailer and
      the scene I described is from that.

    • Anyway, your thinking was correct j, it was the Comic-Con trailer.

  3. At this point I honestly feel they could do no wrong with the direction theyre going and im looking forward to seeing their possibly drastiC twist or reduction on i think sometimes quite unnecessary emasculation his persona goes under to affect a suitable disguise

    AND if they do indeed go the Omni Man* route (from the comic Invincible) where stay home dad/Superhero who is also an author doesnt wear a mask and no one prettymuch bats an eyelid because realistically speaking NO ONE is looking for “him” or a secret identity
    &providing no one really knows what Clark looks like since he left smallville on his walkabout/self discovery (esp with THAT beard)… theres no reason to believe he cant go unnoticed by keeping a low profile

    his work for the daily planet (if indeed at all) could come as freelance or even staff blogger who works offsite &submits his work via email actually in my personal script i wrote AGES ago (&have intermittently mentioned on this site) detailed the daily planet nolonger being a “paper” but an intrepid monthly magazine/daily blog..
    a kindof Huffpost meets Millenium Magazine (Girl w/the Dragon Tattoo) mostly geared towards unearthing finanicial crime/political corruption/intrigue/natural wonders of earth etc..

    the way i worked around his disguise was simply hair/glasses.. the hair in Kent mode is longish and fringed almost covering his eyes (think a young Clark in Smallville TV series) topped off with the glasses.. once he took them off &slicked the hair UP the transformation would be distinct this is actually a real life technique used by those in intelligence circles where someones entire facial profile takes on a new look when u either can or cant see their foreheads.. the personality is a subdued &not an act as realistically he has had to “limit himself and hide his true self his whole life.. this psychologically aswell as making him slightly introverted would have the effect of making him seem less outgoing as any sensible parents would realise what they had on their hands &forbid him to compete in public sports/activities etc

    once he decides to step up so to speak and come out of his shell to save the world aswell as discovering his birth fathers lofty ideals and hopes for him on earth gives him a fresh sense of confidence that was naturally there to begin with but never had an outlet.. in this way he has ownership of the dualities neither being an act but both neccessary to carry out what needs doing

  4. the way i worked around his disguise was simply hair/glasses.. the hair in Kent mode is longish and fringed almost covering his eyes (think a young Clark in Smallville TV series) topped off with the glasses

  5. I just don’t trust Zack Snyder and WB especially after Sucker Punch, Superman Returns, and Green Lantern.

    • That’s why Christopher Nolan wrote the script and the cast from batman begins and dark knight are involved. In reality from the biggest film fan around, I can tell u that the graphics used in the film are Zach Snyder all he did was the special effects and actually pick the cast,Christopher Nolan is the one who created the story, character direction and interaction, I know this for a fact.

      • That is the bigger thing to worry about. Nolan already destroyed Batman, now Sups too huh?

        • He did not destroy Batman. Fix your life.

        • Nolan, et al, SAVED Batman. Now, he and Snyder and Goyer are also reinvigorating Superman..

      • Um no. Goyer crafted the story and Nolan had input afterwards. Wouldn’t be surprised if Jonathan had some sort of input as well after the fact. And there’s no need to short change Snyder’s efforts. He IN FACT directed the film. He brought the vision into fruition so his fingerprints are all over it.

        • Jonathan Nolan did in fact have a pass at the script. When Snyder came on board he had it rewritten again into the final draft that was used for filming.

      • You may seriously want to recheck your facts although your conviction is strong for Nolan writing the story. The story was brought to him by the story teller Goyer.

    • Actually it has been stated on here in an article, that this is Snyder’s story, not Nolan’s. you have it backwards. This is Snyder’s film, and Nolan is just along for the ride. Which is perfectly fine. And I wouldn’t say he ruined Batman, because Im not one of those fans that can’t accept change, In fact those 3 movies, IMO, were done great. Yah there were som plot holes, but that’s a Nolan thing AND a Batman thing.

      • No offence, but you’re the one who has it wrong. Nolan and Goyer were the ones who developed the story and screenplay and pitched it to Warner Bros and got Snyder on board. See the new interviews that came up on Superherohype. Goyer mentions how Nolan kept himself involved in production even when he was filming TDKR, and Synder mentions how Nolan was the one who pitched him on the story and got him on board.

  6. To be honest i want superman and not Clark Kent to be featured more and since ZOD is inbound i don´t really care much for the Journalist side of Clark Kent nore a love story with Lois lane etc…Bring on the action!

  7. Superman is Kal-El and C.Kent is his alter-ego/disguise. The bumbling nerd reporter is Kal-El’s vision of man. Dark Knight was a hit because they potrayed this. Batman was the man, Bruce Wayne was the disguise.

    There have been many incarnations of Clark Kent (movies and series) but there has always been one incarnation of superman. The glasses hide his eyes and therefore his superiority as the Man of Steel(supervision/heat vision). This is a new take on the origins and from the “Fate of the Planet” trailer it can be assumed that we will see a version of superman where he is not the last son of krypton. This is the story of Kal-El finding a home, clark (reporter) has always been the final piece of Kal-El’s integration into society. He will join the daily planet to be closer to Lois.

  8. Maybe he has the ability to grow facial hair?

    So when he’s clark he puts glasses on and grows his facial hair?

  9. I imagine the entire movie will be very similar to the Superman: Earth One comic, which was a grounded story that followed a post-high school renaissance man Clark as he tried to fit in with the world, and is forced to come out as a hero during an alien attack related to Krypton’s destruction. Only in the end of the comic does the Daily Planet ego appear.

    Keep in mind, Superman: Earth One was highly praised by Goyer and was published when they were still developing the movie script.

  10. Yeah the Clark Kent hair will come down to his eyes messily. This is how Clark looks in the New 52 comics and in trailer 3 there is a scene with Clark (shaven) and some kids on a street during a storm, and his hair is down.

    They are using glasses (look at the censored halloween costumes post), but my guess is that the glasses have some ability to trick human minds. I think this was also from a comic, but I can’t remember which one.

  11. I read in the April/May Entertainment Weekly that pre-hero Clark is basically a bum because every time he accidentally uses his powers publicly to save someone or because he loses control, he has to move on to a new location. Ergo, Clark is nomadic. Perry White gets Lois Lane to follow the reports of mysterious heroic acts and see what she can dig up. And that’s Man of Steel, up to the Fortress-Ship of Solitude.

  12. I have a feeling that the government/army will be involved. Sort of a witness protection program for Superman. They will help Clark Kent live a close to a normal life as possible as a reporter. While Lois Lane will be the sole civilian who knows about it.

  13. The set photos and Lois’ commentary in trailer 3 kind of point out that she knows what he can do before he becomes superman.

  14. The set photos and Lois’s commentary in trailer 3 kind of point out that she knows what Clark can do before he becomes superman.

  15. It’s “in the can” as they say, so whatever they’ve done, they’ve done.

    That said, IMO if they want any sort of “realistic” feel to this movie they are going to have to almost entirely ditch the traditional Clark Kent idea.
    At the very least, they’ll have to establish that all the central Daily Planet characters know that Clark is Superman and are cooperating in covering for him, and keeping him in the background. Or maybe he is primarily Superman/Kal-El, and occasionally uses the disguise to mingle in public, but don’t ask the audience to believe that anyone and everyone could not see that these two people are the same, especially once they’ve seen and interacted with them up close.

    He will always be “Clark” since his adopted parents named him that, but I think they should, and may, play-down the reporter Clark Kent from tradition.

  16. I agree with the deletion of the boring lex luthor in this movie. But I totally disagree with the deletion of the legendary red briefs and clark’s glasses. I hope zack still keeps supe’s red cape.

    • I hope you’re kidding about the trunks. As for the cape, I KNOW you are joking…every picture of Superman shows his cape flowing behind him.

      The word DUH comes to mind…

  17. Ur right, I believe th ey will save it for part two, this is the beginning of the man of steel, superman comes next,which means clark and glasses, kryptonian glasses that make someone look different, I read that, idk, they savin a story for two with lex

  18. As a kid, my introduction to Clark Kent was through George Reeves portrayal in The Adventures of Superman. Unlike later incarnations, he treated “Kent” with respect and no small amount of dignity. I’ve always resented the big screen presenting Clark Kent as a bumbling, stumbling girly-man. It’s a relief to learn “Man of Steel” is not once again dredging up that tired interpretation. Can’t wait to see this fresh new approach.

  19. As a long time Superman fan, I’ve always been willing to overlook the ridiculous notion that a person can mask their identity by donning a pair of glasses. But having been introduced to Clark Kent as a kid via DC Comics and George Reeves portrayal in “The Adventures of Superman” tv series, I’ve always been dismayed that the Christopher Reeves movies portrayed CK as a bumbling, stumbling girly-man. George Reeves (and the comics) treated Clark Kent with respect and no small amount of dignity. What they did to the character in these films, to me, was unforgivable. Needless to say, I wait with great anticipation for what seems to be a fresh, new and intelligent approach of my favorite super hero. It’s about time!

    • While I respect your right to your opinion, I disagree that Christopher Reeve’s portrayal ok CK was “girly-man”. Bumbling and stumbling, yes, but that was purely for comical effect and was very successful at it too.

      As for the “glasses as disguise”, this has long been a bone of contention with some people. However, I have commented elsewhere on this thread that as Superman doesn’t wear a mask (and is trusted by the public because he apparently doesn’t have anything to hide) everyone assumes that he doesn’t have a secret identity. And I can attest to the camouflage effect a pair of glasses can have; when I was 18 I left my home town and moved to London to attend university. I never used to wear my glasses a lot before then, but with all the reading and studying I was doing I decided to invest in a nice frame and wore them more frequently (even down the bar when I wasn’t studying). 3 months later I came home to visit my parents and catch up with some old school friends. I walked from the train station into the town centre, passing several people I’d known for years. As I was wearing my glasses (something they had never seen before) they didn’t recognise me! lol. People can be incredibly oblivious to things, especially when they aren’t looking for them!

    • Ah but if you watch the movie you will see that after Christopher Reeve (Clarke) finishes bumbling he actually smiles as if to say “fooled you again”

  20. I remember reading an interesting article about the Superman/Kal-el/Clark Kent identity trio. It stated that Suoerman is the hero persona adopted to give hope to the people of the world. That’s why he doesn’t wear a mask, so people can see who he is and learn to trust him, especially given the totality of his powers. Clark Kent is his human identity, that he uses to blend in and be able to live some semblance of a normal life when he is not out saving the world. Kal-el is who he truly is. This is who is when he is on the Kent farm or in the fortress of solitude. This is an appropriate place to highlight the fact tat, as Superman doesn’t wear a mask, as far as the public is concerned, he doesn’t have a secret identity. In fact,in one comic, Lex Luthor created a A.I. computer to find Superman and it deduced that Superman was Clark Kent. Luthor rejected this premise as he didn’t believe that anyone as powerful as Superman would adopt such a weak alter ego.

    I, for one, will be interested in seeing Clark’s travels as he leaves the farm and explores the world trying to decide where he fits in, in the grand scheme of things. I hope they successfully manage to convey conflict he must feel – how much does he get involved and help? Just because he has the power to do everything, should he? Would that lead to some kind of dictatorship (like in the excellent Elseworlds comic Red Son). Would it lead mankind to become complacent about everything knowing Superman will always be there to make things better?

    I think it’s right that the focus be a bit more on the “Man” as well as the “Super”. And while the bumbling Clark Kent persona has served him well over the years, even that has changed and been updated in the comics. And if we are all honest, for the vast majority of people, Christopher Reeve was and is Superman. He struck the perfect balance between bumbloing Clark Kent and heroic super hero. The scene in the first movie when he has just been flying with Lois Lane and then comes to her apartment as Clark Kent: lois goes to get a sweater and the camera stays with Christopher Reeve who in a split second goes from Kent to Superman in Kent’s clothes purely by removing his glasses and straightening up – absolute genius. I doubt anyone can do the bumbling Kent persona better than Reeve did and it would be mistake to try.

    If Nolan/Synder/Goyer have the conviction to make a few changes to the mythology in order to make a better/more compelling/more realistic movie, then I say they should change this aspect as well.

    • Compared to George Reeves, he WAS a “girly-man”. I was a kid at the time. The Superman I knew was from comics and the tv show. I didnt then…nor do I now…see the necessity of “comic relief”. Clark Kent deserved better than what they gave him.

  21. I remember reading an interesting article about the Superman/Kal-el/Clark Kent identity trio. It stated that Suoerman is the hero persona adopted to give hope to the people of the world. That’s why he doesn’t wear a mask, so people can see who he is and learn to trust him, especially given the totality of his powers. Clark Kent is his human identity, that he uses to blend in and be able to live some semblance of a normal life when he is not out saving the world. Kal-el is who he truly is. This is who is when he is on the Kent farm or in the fortress of solitude. This is an appropriate place to highlight the fact tat, as Superman doesn’t wear a mask, as far as the public is concerned, he doesn’t have a secret identity. In fact,in one comic, Lex Luthor created a A.I. computer to find Superman and it deduced that Superman was Clark Kent. Luthor rejected this premise as he didn’t believe that anyone as powerful as Superman would adopt such a weak alter ego.

    I, for one, will be interested in seeing Clark’s travels as he leaves the farm and explores the world trying to decide where he fits in, in the grand scheme of things. I hope they successfully manage to convey conflict he must feel – how much does he get involved and help? Just because he has the power to do everything, should he? Would that lead to some kind of dictatorship (like in the excellent Elseworlds comic Red Son). Would it lead mankind to become complacent about everything knowing Superman will always be there to make things better?

    I think it’s right that the focus be a bit more on the “Man” as well as the “Super”. And while the bumbling Clark Kent persona has served him well over the years, even that has changed and been updated in the comics. And if we are all honest, for the vast majority of people, Christopher Reeve was and is Superman. He struck the perfect balance between bumbling Clark Kent and heroic super hero. The scene in the first movie when he has just been flying with Lois Lane and then comes to her apartment as Clark Kent: lois goes to get a sweater and the camera stays with Christopher Reeve who in a split second goes from Kent to Superman in Kent’s clothes purely by removing his glasses and straightening up – absolute genius. I doubt anyone can do the bumbling Kent persona better than Reeve did and it would be mistake to try.

    If Nolan/Synder/Goyer have the conviction to make a few changes to the mythology in order to make a better/more compelling/more realistic movie, then I say they should change this aspect as well.

  22. He will wear glasses. This product partnership gives it away. Glasses frames based on the new Man of Steel movie.

    http://www.warbyparker.com/man-of-steel

  23. “What do you make of these latest comments? Have you had enough of the clumsy and bumbling Clark Kent, or was that one of the more charming aspects of the character in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments.”

    That’s a great question… To often in stories of costumed heroes one aspect of thier persona is made to look better at the expense of the other.Its a great challenge to make the hero and the man behind the mask interesting and respectable.But i believe it is worth the effort. To your question: Have you had enough of the clusmy and bumbling Clark Kent?

    Hell yes! I relate to that Clark in some ways actually; but what Dean Cain did for Clark Kent on Lois & Clark the New Adventures of Superman was a godsend. I still feel like his contribuitions to Superman’s legacy are underappreciated.He gave Clark Kent a soul.A personality. He was opinionated. He talked back. When I first started watching the show. I was only interested in seeing Superman in action. But overtime I came to almost dread seeing him in costume. Not only because Dean Cain was a terrible Superman, but the life of Clark Kent was just more interesting, plus Dean Cain looked good in his Daily planet clothes.

    In a way given the story they were telling of a Kal-El who didn’t even know that that was his name till he was a grown ass man.It made sense for him to come across as stiff and ackward as Superman. As the Pilot episode showed. He only took on that persona to help people. Its an act. People see a man who can fly and shoot fire from his eyes. And they don’t know how to react around him. I imagine Clark feeling like — saying something similar to what I once heard Denzel Washigton say, “You want to be yourself, but your not allowed to be yourself.”

    People see someone who is Godlike, and they expect him or her to be aloff or otherwordly and unaccustomed to our ways and cutsoms. I remember hearing Dean Cain himself talk about how he couldn’t wait to get out of the Superman suit and back into Clark Kent’s wardobe and persona. And this of course showed in his performance. I still think that this would be an interesting take on the character in comics, tv or film. A Superman who prefers his normal life over the heroic.

    One of the things I like so much about watching (Dean Cain) Clark is that he was always smiling and had high energy and enthusiam.He really seemed like he loved his job and enjoyed the company of the people he worked with.

    I always sort of felt like. If Kal-El didn’t have superpowers he wouldn’t be about to celebrate his 75th Birthday. Dean Cain proved to me otherwise… If Lois & Clark was just a show about News Reporters.Like Newsroom (or whatever its called on HBO) I would still watch it.

    The best interpretation of The Man of Steel’s dual identies would (perhaps) be Christopher Reeves Superman & Dean Cain’s Clark Kent.

  24. MAN OF STEEL will make Over $1 BiLLiON Dollars Worldwide, Henry Cavill is a Great Actor & Amy Adams is a Multi-Oscar-Nominated-Actress & Very Beautiful Plus Multi-Oscar-Nominated: C-NOLAN is The Writer & Producer, i think The New Suit Looks Great & Much Better than The Old Light Blue Suit that Looked Like a SMURF & with The OutSide UnderWear was Real Bad, i Will See MAN OF STEEL in 3D.

  25. I the this superman creates his facial hair at will this is one of the new abilities

  26. I think this superman creates his facial hair at will this is one of the new abilities

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