With Man of Steel‘s brand new tagline proclaiming that “it’s time for a change,” any doubts that this Superman would be one for a new generation are long gone. Apparently the changes are working, as the early reactions claim it’s a great combination of director Zack Snyder and executive producer Christopher Nolan’s best work.
The other half of the writing team behind Man of Steel‘s ‘Nolan’ story, David S. Goyer (who is rumored to already be working on a sequel) has commented on the new, relatable Superman fans will get to know this summer.
Goyer claimed in the past that Man of Steel would approach the Superman story “as if it were real,” dividing opinion between those who thought the shift long overdue, and those who point out that Superman is, in fact, not real. In the latest issue of Total Film (thanks to CBM) director Zack Snyder helps elaborate on Goyer’s meaning.
According to Snyder, fans shouldn’t take Superman being made more human or relatable as a sign that he’s becoming less of a superhero. Instead, his actions will be ones the audience can grasp, not far-fetched plot devices:
“We’ve tried to make a Superman movie where he does stuff and you go, ‘Yeah, if I was Superman, that’s what I’d do.’ Even though he’s an alien, he’s more relatable, more human.”
When Goyer, who helped pen Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, was entrusted with updating Superman for modern audiences, fans immediately suspected that the ‘grand-daddy of all superheroes’ would be removed of his wonder and saddled with emotional turmoil instead. Despite star Henry Cavill’s insistence that Man of Steel will not be a ‘dark’ movie, it’s comments like those above that lead many to fear a grim, dour movie instead of a blockbuster.
For what it’s worth, he’s once again reminding everyone that writing a Superman story the same way as a Batman would’ve not only been easier than the direction they took, but the wrong story to tell with such a positive figure:
“Relatable and realistic doesn’t necessarily mean dark. I think it would be inappropriate for us to approach a Superman film as if we were doing The Dark Knight. The Batman films are a lot more nihilistic; Superman has always been a story about hope.”
To put the final issues to rest, the man trusted with bringing Superman to life – a task he doesn’t take lightly – Cavill explains why Man of Steel will give fans the best of both worlds:
“Sometimes you want to watch a whiz-bang movie. Other times you want something introspective, that really provokes something inside. This hits a wonderful medium between the two.”
We could take a moment to ask why people seem to think that a ‘realistic’ story is inherently a sad, troubling, and nihilistic one…but instead, let’s focus on the characters that will be re-imagined and updated alongside the Man of Steel himself; Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, for instance. Despite some rumored spoilers about her character, and a promise from Snyder that her Lois Lane is everything a comic fan could hope for, much of her role is still a mystery.
That’s no mistake, as Adams was cagey in explaining Lois’ relationship with Superman, simply stating that they begin “at odds” and end up as “friends.” Surprisingly, Adams also confirmed that she had read for the part twice before: once when J.J. Abrams and Brett Ratner were attached to the film, and for Bryan Singer prior to Superman Returns – a movie Snyder seems to take a few issues with.
So what was the four-time Academy Award-nominated actress’ approach to the character this time around? See if you can spot a theme developing:
“I wanted her to be a woman other women could relate to. And not be sort of a pest. Lois can be kind of omnipresent, turning up at very inconvenient times – which she does! – But you understand her reasons.”
Building a superhero story around characters that audiences can identify with is a wise move, and even more important when your central hero is from another planet. But the fact remains: Man of Steel is apparently chock-full of action sequences that haven’t been shown, a brand new spin on Lois Lane that has barely even been glimpsed, and a villain who isn’t really a villain at all. One might think Warner Bros. isn’t showing their hand too early out of fear or hesitation.
While that is entirely possible, Goyer reminds us that the same approach was used fairly recently, and it turned out just fine:
“It’s something Chris tried hard to do with the Batman films. I’m genuinely pleased with how much secrecy we’ve been able to maintain. There’s so much of the movie that people don’t know, that hadn’t been touched upon. The trailer’s just the tiniest, tiniest tip of the iceberg.”
With the exact plot and conflicts still shrouded in secrecy, it’s hard to know what to expect beyond surprises. Maybe even an appearance by Lex Luthor, perhaps? We’ll have to wait and see.
What do you think of a Superman who thinks and reacts the way you could, if you had his powers? Something that’s been sorely missing from the series, or the wrong approach altogether?
Man of Steel is currently in post-production and will hit theaters on June 14, 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for more on Man of Steel.