Director Zack Snyder's reboot Man of Steel ranks high on our Most Anticipated Movies of 2013, and with good reason. The Superman character is far more than just an emblem of comic book superhero lore; he's a moral compass for humanity and represents its potential for greatness. Hence, the anxious masses waiting to find out how Snyder, writer David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan move the character forward into the 21st century.
Goyer has voiced his intention to carryover the naturalism of his and Nolan's approach to Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy, giving rise to a re-interpretation of Superman's origins with contemporary relevance (ie. not the redux portrayal from Bryan Singer's Superman Returns). In a new interview, Goyer further compares the process of writing Superman versus creating a Caped Crusader for the current age of Hollywood.
Nolan recently halted speculation that Man of Steel should be considered "his," insisting that Snyder is instead bringing his own artistic sensibilities to the project and building off the template established by Goyer to make Superman "relatable and relevent for [audiences]." The screenwriter/director's latest comments fit with that assertion; that is, the mindset of Henry Cavill's Kal-El won't amount to merely a remixing of Christian Bale's psychologically-scarred Dark Knight (but with the ability to fly and near-physical invulnerability).
Here's how Goyer put it, during an interview with Access Hollywood (via MTV):
"I'm really proud of it. I never thought I would be doing a Superman film, but I think the only possible way to top myself or ourselves on Batman is to tackle Superman whose kind of the Granddaddy of all the superheroes. He's trickier, it's kind of easier doing a dark character who doesn't have any super powers but I'm really proud of what we've done and I can't wait for people to see it."
Man of Steel marketing so been secretive when it comes to spilling explicit plot details (see: our trailer analysis), but hasn't shied away from planting the seeds for introducing the world to a Superman with a modern perspective. The poster, for example, alludes to the idea of the superhero symbolically allowing himself to be shackled so he may answer to the law (a la Hancock without the satirical edge). Similarly, the teaser trailers juxtapose the philosophical lessons handed down by Supe's dual "fathers": Jor-El's (Russell Crowe's) moral idealism against Pa Kent's (Kevin Costner) practicality about how humanity might perceive him.
No surprise, Goyer is keeping his mouth shut on that subject, beyond saying:
"I think the movie is going to be the right movie for the times. I'm happy that movie is coming out in the summer, because I think it's the kind of movie that the world needs right now."
Check out a new official Man of Steel image featuring Cavill (via USA Today):
The task of renovating Superman for a new generation is not without risks, such as possibly ostracizing fans who prefer his previous screen incarnations (Christopher Reeve, in particular). Similarly, Snyder's storytelling is occasionally second-hand to his visual know-how (see: Sucker Punch), while Goyer's history includes many a disappointing title that he had a hand in writing (Jumper, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) or directed from his own script (Blade: Trinity, The Unborn). Thus, Man of Steel is far from a guaranteed success, as far as artistic merit is concerned (box office returns, on the other hand...).
However, both of these gentlemen have done fine work while collaborating with others (as is the case with Man of Steel), so we remain hopeful for the time being. The same goes for Warner Bros., giving those circulating rumors that Snyder's superhero blockbuster maintains continuity with the developing Justice League movie...
Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Laurence Fishburne and Ayelet Zurer.
Look for it in theaters on June 14th, 2013.
Source: Access Hollywood, USA Today