Ever since it was first announced that Zack Snyder was preparing to bring the Man of Steel back to theaters, details have been scarce - forcing stars Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, and screenwriter David Goyer, among others, to discuss the film in especially vague terms. However, following the release of the latest Man of Steel trailer, Warner Bros. has officially opened their PR floodgates - allowing the cast and crew to talk openly about the highly-anticipated Superman reboot.
In the last few weeks alone we've seen a viral warning message from General Zod, discovered there's no Kryptonite in the film, and confirmed several Man of Steel story spoilers. Cavill and Goyer have kept exceptionally busy with pre-release interview work but today's Superman news comes courtesy of Snyder - who offers fresh information on what viewers can expect when the Man of Steel takes to the skies as well as the reaction on set when Cavill wore an original Christopher Reeve-style super suit (back in the early days of pre-production).
The latest update comes from an interview with SFX. The full article isn't available until it hits newsstands on May 1 but the UK magazine provided brief snippets to sate Superman fans. In the preview, SFX focuses on some of the iconic visuals that Snyder had to tackle in Man of Steel - specifically flight, the alien world of Krypton, and the Super Suit.
Considering that "You'll Believe a Man Can Fly" was the tagline for Richard Donner's 1978 Superman: The Movie, viewers are always eager to see how subsequent filmmakers intend to tackle Superman's most challenging, and at the same time iconic, superpower. For anyone familiar with that "grounded" approach the filmmakers have touted for over two years, Snyder's claim that flying in Man of Steel is "violent" shouldn't come as much of a surprise:
“It’s a more violent experience. It’s raw. It takes effort to do it, and that’s what we were really going for. It’s almost like there’s this kind of Right Stuff quality to it. He’s constantly booming around, accelerating. You think he’s going as fast as he can and then it’s like ‘Yeeaahh!’ He’s always got an extra gear he can use.”
While we've seen Henry Cavill's pre-flight routine in the Man of Steel teaser, the most recent trailer gives viewers a much better look at that "booming" effect that Snyder mentions - most notably in a brief shot depicting Superman chasing General Zod through Metropolis (likely in the film's final act).
The latest preview also gave fans a surprisingly clear look at Krypton - hinting at a much larger role for the alien world than in previous live-action Superman stories. Interested readers who want to learn more about Kal-El's home world can check out our trailer analysis post for a few Krypton-related details (that were later confirmed by Snyder). However, in his conversation with SFX, the director was much more focused on talking about the visual aesthetic of the planet - which he describes as "advanced" but "rusty":
“I really wanted my Krypton to be this kind of special place that’s immersive and totally different from Earth, but not unbelievable. And ancient. I really wanted to give this ancient feeling to Krypton. I love technology that’s rusty because it’s so old. It’s so advanced, but it’s so old. That was the kind of world that I tried to create. A dying world that’s ancient and torn apart.”
In keeping with a more realistic depiction, Warner Bros. went back to the drawing board for both the design of Krypton as well as the Man of Steel suit - which borrows heavily from Superman's look in the New 52 comic reboot. However, long before Krypton and the suit's CGI cape were fully-realized through the power of post-production digital effects, Snyder put star Henry Cavill into a retro super suit - the same version worn by Christopher Reeve - to see if he looked the Superman part.
Here's how Snyder described the time he saw Cavill in the original Superman suit:
“God, he’s so Supermanish it’s crazy! There was a telling moment – we put him in the Christopher Reeve costume, because we didn’t have a suit yet, we just had the old spandex suit. He stepped out of the trailer and no one laughed. It’s the difference between being Superman and dressing up like Superman. If I’m dressed up like Superman it’s like a Halloween costume. If you’re Henry it’s your clothes. It’s awesome. Watch the movie and you’re like ‘Holy S**t, that’s Superman.’ And it’s not weird or crazy, it’s just cool.”
Cavill would later don his own version of the outfit (no curled hair or red "underwear") - once the prop department had finalized the suit design and fitted the costume to the actor's body. Still, it's interesting to know that Snyder believes there's something innate about what makes a quality Superman - regardless of which super suit he wears.
Plus, taking a Superman actor serious is key in the current superhero landscape - with so many mutants, aliens, and highly-trained heroes vying for box office dollars. According to an interview with the LA Times, it's a pressure that Snyder was cognizant of the entire time Man of Steel was in production:
“In the comic-book universe, you have all these sort of minor celebrities that have been put up as the end-all, be-all. And then you have the fallen king who’s sadly relegated to the shadows. It’s cool to resurrect him and say, ‘Understand that this is the granddaddy of all superheroes.'
"It’s the most realistic movie I’ve made. There’s no tongue in anyone’s cheek. I’m not apologizing for Superman in any way. I’m saying, ‘Superman is a thing that must be taken seriously and embraced and understood.’”
Of course, "most realistic" is not a phrase that a lot of moviegoers (or comic book fans) would have likely associated with Superman. Still, Snyder's grounded realism coupled with super-powered action has made Man of Steel one of summer 2013's most anticipated films.
Man of Steel is currently in post-production and will hit theaters on June 14, 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Man of Steel as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.