No Kryptonite in ‘Man of Steel'; Superman ‘Lost & Angry'; Powers Not Kryptonian? [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 23rd, 2013 at 10:04 am,

Superman Man of Steel No Kryptonite and Plot Details No Kryptonite in Man of Steel; Superman Lost & Angry; Powers Not Kryptonian? [Updated]

[WARNING: Possible Spoilers Ahead!]

[UPDATE: The reason behind Superman’s “specialness” – even on Krypton – has leaked. Scroll for details.]

Though Man of Steel will be the first standalone Superman film since 1978 – Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns was more or less a sequel to Superman 2 – the anticipation for the film isn’t exactly through the roof at this point. According to Fandango’s Most Anticipated 2013 Summer Movies poll, MOS didn’t event break into the top five. Of course, that’s partly because the film’s marketing campaign has yet to be fully unleashed.

Speaking of marketing, the cast and crew – including director Zack Snyder, producer Charles Roven, star Henry Cavill (Superman/Clark Kent), and co-star Amy Adams (Lois Lane) – recently talked in some depth about what we can expect from this new take on the Man of Tomorrow.

The interview – courtesy of Entertainment Weekly – covered everything from plot details to action scenes to character development to superpowers to whether or not Superman’s greatest weakness, Kryptonite (that green rock that renders him weak and sometimes deathly ill), will make an appearance in the film.

But first, check out the June cover of EW, featuring Cavill as Superman in a fairly iconic-looking pose:



Man of Steel Entertainment Weekly Cover 280x170 No Kryptonite in Man of Steel; Superman Lost & Angry; Powers Not Kryptonian? [Updated]


According to EW, the focus of this new Superman film is, in many ways, to humanize the character. A common argument as to why Superman’s star hasn’t shone as brightly as it once did – both in the comic book world and in the movie world – is that he’s become too perfect, too much like a boyscout, too ridiculous, too much like a god, and therefore totally unrelatable. (It’s debatable how true this is – Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman (2008) created a Man of Steel that was all of the above and yet simultaneously relatable, successful, and hailed as a masterpiece far and wide.)

So the question is, how does Man of Steel intend to depict a flawed and “human” Superman? Well, not with Kryptonite, that’s for sure. Says Zack Snyder:

“I’ll be honest with you, there’s no Kryptonite in the movie.”

While Kryptonite has been successfully utilized in many Superman stories, it’s also true that it has often functioned as a crutch for creating convenient conflict. Apparently, Zack Snyder and company wanted to avoid using that crutch at all costs. (Which isn’t to say it couldn’t pop up in a sequel.) Instead, this Superman will be vulnerable emotionally. From EW:

Once on Earth, his adoptive parents, Ma and Pa Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), urge him not to use his immense strength – even in dire emergencies — warning that not every human would be as accepting of him as they are. So Clark Kent grows up feeling isolated, longing for a connection to others, and constantly hiding who he is. As a result, Man of Steel presents the frustrated Superman, the angry Superman, the lost Superman. “Although he is not susceptible to the frailties of mankind, he is definitely susceptible to the emotional frailties,” Cavill says.

The “frustrated, angry, lost” Superman certainly brings to mind the one recently introduced by Grant Morrison in The New 52 Action Comics. That Superman – who more closely resembled the rough and tumble version that first appeared in 1938 – was angrier, more violent, and more likely to use outright intimidation tactics to stop criminals from committing dastardly deeds. In the comic, a portion of that anger came from the deaths of his parents. Will something similar happen in Man of Steel?

man of steel vfx joe letteri No Kryptonite in Man of Steel; Superman Lost & Angry; Powers Not Kryptonian? [Updated]

The EW article also reveals that, even on Krypton, Superman – or Kal-El – is considered to be “special.” So special that his birth “caused alarm” the world over. Uhh, say what?

So what does this mean exactly? Could Superman’s powers in Man of Steel be unrelated to his Kryptonian heritage? Might he have been endowed with said powers from birth by his scientist father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe)?

It would explain why Superman could plausibly defend the Earth from not only General Zod (Michael Shannon), but numerous Kryptonian enemies (possibly even an army). Perhaps Zod has no “superpowers” at all. Perhaps his strength comes from his Kryptonian armor and advanced alien technology. Of course, this is all speculation at this point, but it’s interesting to consider. If true, it would likely be a really controversial change for comic book fans.

What about Lois Lane? What can we expect from her relationship with Superman? According to Amy Adams:

“I think she’s very transient. She’s ready to pick up and go at a moment’s notice. I think that definitely could be part of what she sees in Superman — not really laying down roots, not developing trust.”

Lois Lane will end up being one of the main reasons Superman steps forward to defend Earth from Zod. While he’s grown into adulthood feeling alienated (see what I did there?) from the Earthlings around him, Lane will turn out to be someone he genuinely cares for and wants to protect.

Amy Adams Lois Lane Man of Steel1 No Kryptonite in Man of Steel; Superman Lost & Angry; Powers Not Kryptonian? [Updated]

Lastly, producer Charles Roven talked about the “building-smashing, train-slinging, heat-vision-blasting” action scenes we’ll see in the film – something Superman fans have been waiting for since the dawn of modern special effects technology:

“You want to give the audience great spectacle. You want them to go to the movie, be eating their popcorn and be like, ‘Wow!’ But it’s just not good enough to give them the ‘Wow.’ You want them to be emotionally engaged. Because if you just have the ‘wow,’ ultimately you get bludgeoned by that and you stop caring.”

Sounds good to me. Even if Man of Steel doesn’t end up “wowing” both in terms of action spectacle and emotional engagement, it’s encouraging to know that the filmmakers are determined to do just that. Only time will tell if they can pull it off.

What do you think, Screen Ranters? Are you okay with Kryptonite not being in the film? Are you interested in seeing an action spectacle that also happens to be emotionally engaging? Let us know in the comments.

If you want more details on why Kal-El might be extra-special (beyond just being the last of his alien species), you’ll have to read the June issue of Entertainment Weekly.

UPDATE: Thanks to ‘Brian MakeDaMovie’ in the comments, we now know that the reason Superman/Kal-El is special even on Krypton is because he was naturally conceived. Why does this make him special?  Because by the time Man of Steel begins, Kryptonians have turned to “scientific engineering” for reproduction. Natural reproduction is, apparently, illegal.

This vaguely recalls John Byrne’s post-Crisis origin reboot (incidentally titled The Man of Steel) from the 1980s, wherein Krypton was depicted as an emotionally cold and sterile planet and babies were regularly created in test tubes. Superman’s father and mother, Jor-El and Lara, were unique in that they actually loved one another.

Ultimately, Kal-El was sent on a ship to Earth not as an infant, but rather as a fetus inside of a “birthing matrix.”

Man of Steel hits theaters June 14th, 2013.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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    • He is not a man.. He’s an alien gay hero

    • kryptonite would not reach earth it would be thousands of years till any got to earth supermans ship had a light drive engine jumping space and time. kryptonite is just stupid all around so is the love story no one in 2000 or 2013 wants it. on screen.

  1. I never found Superman to be perfect. What i mean by that is his powers in his early life he might of thought of as a curse but used them as a gift to help people as a force for good. In Donnor’s film we already seen how he felt helpless when Jonathan died but for a moment not realizing his powers couldn’t do nothing to to save him. Doesn’t get more human that. Plus we seen his trials & bad/good decisions throughout the series Smallville not realizing there was purpose behind them in due time.

    I been sick of both Kryptonite & Lex Luthor both really. To be honest, i wouldn’t wanna see Lex in the sequel. Id prefer other physical villains, such as Brainiac as lone villain perhaps. Superman 2 & Superman 4 were the only past Superman film yet not to have Krytonite while Superman 3 was the only film not to have Lex Luthor but instead have someone simliar to him instead.

    I think thats why i prefer NOT to see neither Krytonite or Lex Luthor for 1 or 2 films later. That’s just my opinion.

  2. I totally agree with everyone. Kryptonite is so overused and cheaply done. I don’t know the whole original comic story. But I find it refreshing that it isn’t being used again. So far it seems to me that Man of Steel is to Superman as Dark Knight is to Batman.

  3. Of course kryptonite isn’t in the film. The villains are from Krypton. They have superpowers under the yellow sun. They don’t need some lame plot device to make Superman weaker so they stand a chance.

    I swear kryptonite was only invented so Supes didn’t end up being some boring invincible hero.

  4. I have always been a big fan of superman and as soon as I hear this movie was coming out I thought it looked ok but now that i read your article you can tell the makers I’m already saying wow. Thanks so much for the article.

  5. First thought when ‘no kryptonite’ was read- NOOOOOOO!!!! YOU’VE RUINED HIM!!!!
    Second thought- wait, no, this is good. Kryptonite is hard to believe in the first place. Oke, so, apparently, Superman’s invincible to a friggin’ NUCLEAR WARHEAD, but he can be brought to his knees with a piece of radioactive dirt from his home planet. Sure, I mean, who wouldn’t die from radiation? Except humans don’t die if they were to, oh, say, pick it up?
    But seriously, the ‘naturally concieved’ part struck me as oddly cool, considering I read the ‘Man of Steel’ comic, and LOVED every letter of it. But I’m still wondering how Kal-L actually has his powers…?

    • Maybe I am wrong, but I thought Kryptonite basically turned Superman into a normal person… I didn’t think it could kill him in and of itself, I thought it just took away his powers thus making him no different than an average joe

  6. I have always enjoyed the past superman movies,
    the only thing I am really disappointed in is that this is obviously not a family friendly movie it would definately not be for 10 or younger children with all the violent scenes in the trailer alone & I think thats a shame that families wont have a superman movie to see & enjoy together

    thats where I applaud the other superman movies!

  7. first of all I like all the original superman movies a. I think it’s cool when they used kryptonite. Made movies more interesting and fun. These remakes they are making aren’t really family oriented.

  8. I hate when film makers change the rules. kryptonite was in the original movies and the series. Now they want to change it. That is like Vampires cant go out in the sun or they burst into flames but then Twilight changed that. It is messed up when there is a series or set of movies that set thing in place then you change them.

  9. I’m sorry but Superman doesn’t do it for me as an adult. As a kid he was cool, as an adult he’s completely lame and boring.

  10. While not referenced, Kryptonite is in the film. SPOLIER ALERT – When the ship carrying Zod and his followers comes out of hyperspace, it brings along fragments of Krypton with it and they float away in to space around the moon. Very quick easter egg but, there you have it.

  11. 1. So Zod is so powerful that he passes through huge buildings while hiting his neck & head but he dies when superman twists his neck… the lamest death they could give!!! There were so many ways to defeat him & they decided to give us this s***** ending.
    2. Krypton is so much different than the original story. The kryptonians dont use crystal powered technology. Superman doesnt buid a crystal fortress.
    3. There is no kryptonite. Superman is weak outside of earths atmosphere…
    4. Superman finds his suit in an 20.000 years old abandoned spacecraft he accidentally found in north pole…
    Result: man of steel is a superman rip off but not a superman movie! This is horrible…

    • all of this is correct but a 1978 superman and rules in the year 2013 this is better less questions on why his outfit never gets burnt or how the hell did kyrptonite travel in space to get to earth no chance it would be pulled into a gravity field from stars and planets and never get to earth and why could people hold it and superman almost dies really stupid, the movie world and real world want more action and darkside and all the rest of the bad guys, also he loses the powers on the ship because of the atmosphere is set to home world think about the little things first.

  12. 1. So Zod is so powerful that he passes through huge buildings while hiting his neck & head but he dies when superman twists his neck… the lamest death they could give!!! There were so many ways to defeat him & they decided to give us this fail ending.
    2. Krypton is so much different than the original story. The kryptonians dont use crystal powered technology. Superman doesnt buid a crystal fortress.
    3. There is no kryptonite. Superman is weak outside of earths atmosphere…
    4. Superman finds his suit in an 20.000 years old abandoned spacecraft he accidentally found in north pole…
    Result: man of steel is a superman rip off but not a superman movie! This is horrible…

    • You are so right thanks

  13. Only a zombie could look like this Superman movie. This is a total insult to the moviegoers intelligence. I mean write a story and make him a hero not video game character. I mean buildings falling down and him and the bad guy beating on each other I mean just think about how damn dumb the whole thing was. At the very end when he started at the daily planet that should’ve been where the movie started. I still can’t believe how horrible this movie was. I’ll bunch of video game bullsh*t. What so maddening is that it would’ve been so easy to write a good story line. Yup this was a real puker

    • i guess your an older guy,stop looking at this from old man eyes look at in the universe dc is in now. turning a head and breaking a neck are 2 different things also

  14. Sorry I can’t believe how bad it really was. I guess the word is disappointing!

  15. For anyone reading this article, who hasn’t yet seen the film but is debating going to see it.. turn off your PC, walk out the door, and go and see it. There is no kryptonite in the film, and the film works exceedingly well without it. Not to detract from Singer’s version, which had some beautiful moments, but this film is a rocket-leap more substantial, has amazing effects, the cast and their acting are spot-on, the storyline coherent, and it has a wonderful original score. The action scenes in Singer’s Superman Returns were of Superman saving a plane, stopping a speeding car driven by Lex Luthor’s accomplice, beating a robber, lifting a boat, and lifting a large rock, in between stalking Lois Lane. This film has Superman saving the planet from a global threat. Go and see it.

  16. Actually there is TONS and TONS of Kyptonite featured in the man of steel. people obviously just missed it. Clear as day on the big screen when General-Zod’s ship is set free from phantom zone and they hyperspace into our solar system the space Debris aka Krypton aka kyrptonite is seen all around there ship. and hence pieces of krypton will somehow make its way as meteors to earth.

  17. as for kyptonians having power.. no– they never were suppose to. Krytonians arent super beings. Our yellow sun and earths natural conditions allow kryptonians to do far more. This idea comes from the notion of weightlessness in space and how a real earth man on the moon is theoretically many times stronger than his natural ability on earth. In all equal thinking. a man born on the moon would develop far less physically due to environment conditions. that man confronting one from earth would see him as physically powerfull. Even Dragon-ballz exploited the idea. Training at several times gravity. Believe it or not this is used in the real world as well. centerfuge training and weight training gravitron.