Young Clark Kent Says ‘Man of Steel’ is ‘Dark Knight’ Edgy

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 24th, 2013 at 9:46 am,

In between anticipation for 2012 superhero films like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, there’s been question about the next big comic book blockbuster on the way, which is Zack Snyder’s (Watchmen) reboot of the Superman movie franchise, Man of Steel.

Set photos and official images aside, what we’ve learned about Man of Steel so far has come primarily from the words and opinions of the cast and crew – and today continues this trend. Check out what Dylan Sprayberry – the actor who plays of the younger version of Clark Kent – had to say about the Superman reboot’s tone, and how it compares to DC/Warner Bros. other big superhero property, namely Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

According to Sprayberry:

When Zack [Snyder] and I were talking about it the first time, he was saying how Superman, they want to give it a more edgy feel like The Dark Knight but also make it more realistic and emotional so it’s not just the all-American superhero that saves everyone. He has dilemmas and love and struggles throughout the whole movie, especially when he’s a kid.

Regarding the scope of the film:

I didn’t even really notice how big it was until I finished shooting. It was so overwhelming that it was crazy, I was like “I can’t believe I just did all that.” In the moment, I was really focused on the work and the acting.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Man of Steel being compared to the dark and edgier tones of the Nolan Batman films – star Michael Shannon (General Zod) said the same thing a few months back. The “danger” of making such comparisons is that they tend to rile up those fans who either A) don’t think the Nolan Bat-films are as great as millions (upon millions) of people think they are, or B) don’t think that a bright and shining hero like Superman should be in any way similar to a dark and brooding guy like Batman.

superman batman movie Young Clark Kent Says Man of Steel is Dark Knight Edgy

In the latter case, some fans would likely say that it’s Hollywood and the ‘people making the film who know nothing about Superman’ who are trying to blindly emulate the success of the Batman movies at high cost to the identity and legacy of Superman – but that’s not quite the case. Superman, the character, was just re-invented by DC Comics’ “New 52″ reboot, in which the iconic hero is presented as being, well, edgier than before –  complete with scaled-down powers that also make him more vulnerable.

The idea behind these changes is to create a Superman more fitting for our current times – less idealistic and invincible, more complex and vulnerable – and while the rebooted comic books have been doing fine in terms of reception and sales, whether or not the wider moviegoing public is going to embrace this new rendering of a classic icon remains to be seen…

Man of Steel flies into theaters on June 14, 2013.

Source: Clever TV (via Coming Soon)

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  1. I’m not gonna lie: when I first saw that picture, I thought I was looking at a girl.
    How can a young Man of Steel look so feminine?! :(

    • lol You got a point there TheAvenger :)

    • lol…Well hopefully he won’t look that way in the film.

    • Lol, was gonna be my comment

    • haha

  2. I am one that welcomes the dark and grittier Superman. I like everything I am hearing so far. A trailer would be welcome anytime. :)

  3. Well you know what they say….

    • I don’t…

      • iono I was hoping someone else would finish my statement with something clever lol

        • Hahaha! good one :)

  4. “Millions (upon millions)” – Not sure about anything outside my daily world, but out of all the people I know (non movie buffs/average film watchers), general concensus is the TDK was long and bleak. That doesn’t mean they didn’t like it, but I hear more complaints towards that than accolades for it. But film, art, music, beauty, they’re all subjective so I don’t even know why I typed this, haha.

    • Well, in my circles, the general concensus is that TDK is one of the best movies ever made (if not THE best). So I guess it just depends on who your friends/cicles are.

    • perhaps tdk wasn’t the movie you deserved, instead it was the movie you needed.

      • Lol I see what you did there.

  5. Just reading the article now, I know, I’m a little behind today. LOL

    Realized the director of Watchman is directing the new Superman movie. I was in awe…Watchman was soo freaking awesome! As a die-hard Superman fan, I’m honored by the director’s presence and sheer awesomeness of their skill. Superman fans could only be so lucky, to be rebooted by this director is a blessing. We’re very thankful you’re directing our Superman movie, thanks a lot.

  6. I’m hoping we get at least a teaser with TDKR.
    I’m anxious to see some footage.

  7. I like the idea of a character driven Superman, but I also don’t think they should do away with his ideals. Truth, Justice and the American Way are part of his mythology, and without them, he will be missing something arguably crucial.

    Edgy is fine, even welcome. But so are my country’s ideals! God bless Superman, and God bless America!!

  8. This can only be good news.

  9. Edgy doesn’t necessarily mean dark. Im kinda envisioning the movie having a balance of light and serious moments.

    • I hope you’re right. But when an actor involved in the movie says it’s going to be edgy like The Dark Knight, it’s hard to think that it will be light and comedic at times because Dark Knight was rarely that.

      What I’ve heard and seen so far makes the movie seem like “Superman Begins.”

      • How did my post automatically create a link to amazon? Just want to let Vic and everyone know, that wasn’t something I did intentionally.

        • Hiro,

          It’s something I’m testing out. I’m working on figuring out how to not have it work in the comment area.



          • OK, whew. When I saw TDK highlighted as a link, I thought, “Oh, man, Vic’s going to ban me for sure — for soliciting.” :)

          • Please i would like to ask for a request if you don’t mind, the front page of SFX magazine shows a more brighter superman costume, maybe you can put that on Sreenrant, so that fans can see it because some have been complaining constantly about how dark his costume looks

      • Well he is a kid, so his version of edgy and dark could be anything in the slightest resemblance to TDK. I don’t think there will be comedic moments I meant light as in the way the spiderman movies were.

        • What gives me slight pause is that the origins of this Superman resemble that of Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins… which, of course, shouldn’t be that much of a surprise given that Nolan and Goyer also worked on this.

          Seeing some early pictures of Clark Kent sporting a scraggly beard also makes me think of Bruce Wayne early on in Begins.

          I personally don’t mind some comedic moments in Man of Steel. There were some comedic moments in the Donner Superman movies as well as the Raimi Spider-Man movies.

          If this ends up being very similar to Batman Begins, but with Superman as the main character instead, I’ll likely be disappointed.

          • Who knows, with Cavill’s charisma Im sure they have some comedic moments.

            Why would you be disappointed? Yes it seems they are following the “Begin’s” blueprint but it won’t be a carbon copy of BB not in the slightest since batman and superman are in two different types of characters. Actually it seems this could be DC’s movie formula similar to how Marvel has their own formula which they worked into their movies after Iron Man.

            I see this as being a more character driven movie rather than a superpowered deathmatch between two aliens with an origin story on the side. Now we might get better insight as to why Superman feels isolated, why he feels to fight to the death to protect these ppl, his moral codes etc.

  10. I agree with the comment above in that edgy doesn’t necessarily mean dark. I’ve been keeping up with the comics for the dc reboot and superman is just a LITTLE more temperamental, he seems to enjoy the thrill of battle a bit more, a bit more arrogant and in some cases he’s somewhat of a smart-ass. these things make his personality edgy and he’s more entertaining. but make no mistake about it, he still stands up for people who can’t protect themselves, he’s still a “do-gooder” and he still has moral codes. he’s just less of a “boy scout”

  11. Trust hollywood to currupt everything they get their hands on. Superman has always been the polar opposite of Bats, that’s what made their relationship dynamic so engaging. Making an alien more ‘human’, ‘edgier’ or whatever simply amounts to making him WEAKER, less perfect, just because his perfection (as close to/far away as he is to it) shows us just how imperfect we all are, and it threatens us. We aren’t supposed to be able to relate to superman, that isn’t the primary purpose of the character. We’re supposed to be INSPIRED by him, to want to strive to the lofty values and ideals that he held dear. I’m really disappointed with all these ridiculous changes

    •  @Neo & your 24 posts..

      We are suppose to be inspired by Superman but relate to Farm Clark/Kal-El. The interview has really nothing to do with Superman the hero but Clark Kent the person.

      The interview is with the actor who plays a young Clark Kent. Im sure Snyder mostly talked to him about young Clark Kent stuff.

    • I feel exactly the same way. I love Batman and Superman not because I can relate to them, but because I can try to be like them.

    • I feel exactly the same way. I love Batman and Superman not because I can relate to them, but because I can try to be like them.

      Marvel charters are there to relate to. That’s why spider-man is so whinny, that’s why iron man is a drunk half the time, and that’s why bruce banner has no control.

      Superman is supposed be invincible in every way. NOT HUMAN

      • YES!

      • Tell that to Golden Age supes.

    • This is the comment of a true superman fan. I thought exactly the same thing. They can make it edgy and darker without changing the fundamentals of who he is. It can be darker in the way smallville was in that everything around him was darker he was in a corrupt world that needed heroes. But he didn’t sacrifice his values to do so. This would be fine with me. Dark villains( and superman has plenty of them), but a hero that brings a light of hope to that darkness.
      Even the new spiderman with it’s darker tone doesn’t seem to be changing spiderman as he is as a character. It actaully reminds me of some of the macfarlane/todd comics. Dark but with a hero that brings the light of hope.
      If they go with a superman similar to the new 52 I can live with that. But if they make him mirror batman too much, I’ll be pissed.

    • lets wait until we see some footage, or better yet, the film, before it’s trashed. all we are getting are the latest hollywood buzzwords. “darker”, “grittier”, “edgier”. they are meaningless because they are used to death to describe everything. i will wait for the finished product before i decide if i do or don’t like it.

    • No he hasn’t

      Golden Age Superman is exactly like Batman.

  12. We aren’t supposed to be able to relate to superman, that isn’t the primary purpose of the character. We’re supposed to be INSPIRED by him, to want to strive to the lofty values and ideals that he held dear. I’m really disappointed with all these ridiculous changes

    • Actually, that is the EXACT opposite of the original inspiration for the character. Superman came into existence to let humanity know it could stand up to unfairness, injustice, and bullying. We, as normal humans, ARE MEANT TO RELATE TO Superman to some degree. If his power level is higher or lower, if his red briefs are present or absent, if his temper is shorter or his attitude is more worldly, the fact is that the most important aspect of his character remains the same as it has for most of his comic book/film existence: Superman cares for the people of Earth (and others when present, of course). He does not give up. He fights for those who cannot fight for themselves. He holds (and, in fact, pushes HARD against) the line bullies constantly try to cross.

      In the current comic continuity, he maintains this significant element of his character while being, yes, EDGIER.

      I believe, from what I’ve read about the upcoming film, that this element will be present and important in “Man of Steel”.

      • Actually, what you describe sounds more like ‘being inspired by’ than ‘relating to’

        • People can relate to his desire to help people and to resist oppression. THAT is what I was describing. Yes, his determination and concern should also inspire people, but one should not be confused for the other…

  13. I hope they haven’t messed with his powers too much I enjoy his epic battles with Darkseid and Doomsd

  14. I’m really disappointed by all these unnecessary, ridiculous changes. Just give us Superman in black and white, not shades of gray.

  15. Please forgive the multiple postings, my network is acting-up something fierce

  16. May I just say, why is it a surprise that it is going to be Nolanesc? HE WROTE THE SCRIPT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! I could have told you it was going to be darker just by looking at who was working on it! What Snyder film have you ever seen that isn’t dark??? Look at what he has done! 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, Dawn of the Dead… heck even that Owls movie was darker! Also CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS WRITING THE SCRIPT! Nolan has always done more grounded and darker scripts, however he has also done the best with existing material to date. Nolan’s Batman trilogy will always be the best superhero film series EVER because it was dark, it was gritty, and it didn’t feel like you were watching a superhero movie. You felt like you were watching a crime, mystery, thriller. Actually it was more reminiscent of a movie like Inside Man or the International in how it looked. Spiderman was great, but its hard to take seriously. The original trilogy that is. Heck you could even relate it to the original trilogy of Star Wars! It was dark, it was dirty, I mean Empire Strikes Back is VERY dark. So i mean historically speaking, realistic, more grounded films always seem to resonate more with the general public as well as receive better reception from critics.

    Long story short, Superman + Darker Tone = Good News for Fans

  17. Sorry again about the many posts, was an error from my internet connection

  18. I cannot wait for this film! I’ve been a fan of the Big Blue for years, and seeing all this stuff, photos, snippets from interviews etc. have reinforced my hopes for this movie. All I ask for, is some hinting of Lex Luthor, because of this movie does great, it can be the catalyst for a Luthor driven film, but more like comic book Luthor, not Gene Hackman, hungry for land Luthor (not saying AT ALL that his performance was bad, in fact I loved it). But to see a Luthor like the comic book Luthor, heck even the Superman 90’s cartoon’s Luthor would be awesome. But enough of that, bring on the Man of Steel!!! June 2013!!!

  19. So far looks great!! Really hoping that this Superman is true to his origins as in not a poster-child for the American Dream but a Hero that cares about truth, justice and the oppressed that I think will help it to be more dark, relevant etc. Also love the fact that Zack Snyder is Directing this Reboot!!!

  20. So it has come to this…

  21. When I read Snyder saying it’s “edgy,” I can’t help but wonder if his way of being edgy is Sucker Punch – and then I fear for Man of Steel.

  22. TDR is a great film and will always stand a great piece of cinema. IMO though the greatest Super Hero movie of all time is still the original Donner Superman. What they did with that movie was amazing and realy gave us a real look at a real Superman. The effects in todays standards obviously dont measure up to what we get in movies today BUT for its time they were ground breaking. The scenes with Christopher Reeve flying still make me believe hes actualy doing it. Storyline is amazing and is a true representation of the comic material. I love the Nolan Batman movies but as far as best of all time My heart still lies with Superman 1978 and Christopher Reeve.

  23. This movie will rock and the first trailer will have fans wanting more.

  24. Man, she is gonna be hot when she’s older…


  25. The promise of dark and edgy is a concern as we need a positive , pro-active Superman not one full of regret or self torment.

    Please give us an all powerful version of the character, not one full of doubt who spends all his time wishing he was with Lois Lane. We’ve already has that lacklustre hero in Superman Returns.

  26. All you people are beginning to scare the hell out of me. You are putting so much time, effort and brainpower into analyzing and humanizing Superman and Batman. Time, effort and brainpower that could be used to help the less fortunate such as the starving children of America.


    • Ummm, you DO realize we can comment here (repeatedly, in fact) AND still have plenty of time to save the world…right?

    • BTW, if you’re here berating us, who is out there solving the world’s ills?

  27. Um still not like this movie. Love the Boy Scout Superman Truth, Justice and the American way. Why depower him when his greatest weakness was his love of humanity. Remember what happened when they kept depowering Peter and Sylar on Heroes the series got cancelled. Just saying.

  28. First of all you can’t make Superman more Edgy like The Dark Knight’s movies because everyone who knows Superman and Batman all there life. In the First Superman movie when Superman left the fight wasn’t because he knew that he was going lose. He left because cares about the safe of the people. Batman is a superhero that will make you tell him what he wants because once he has you in his hands you know your going get it………. Just watch the justice league when Superman act like Batman

    • umm…what?

  29. I like the idea of Superman being more vulnerable. If people can tire from the same villains, surely they can be bored by kryptonite being the only thing that can hurt Superman. When a bullet fired at point-blank range bounces off Superman’s eyeball (Superman Returns), there’s clearly a need for more danger.

    • what i always thought was silly was the old george reeves superman tv show, when the bad0guys would shoot at supes, you would see animated sparks where the bullets were bouncing off him while he stood in the iconic pose with hands on hips. then when they ran out of bullets, they would throw the gun at him, and he would duck!