Now that Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy has come to a close, fans of DC Comics are scrutinizing every small detail of Warner Bros.' next high-profile comic adaptation, Man of Steel, to see if Zack Snyder will deliver a worthy Superman movie - as well as successfully kickoff a DC shared movie universe. Nolan's approach to Batman, as a grounded crime drama, helped bring in movie fans who might have otherwise been turned off by masked vigilantes and caped crusading; however, Superman, an alien being who can fly and shoot focused heat waves out of his eyeballs, is a little trickier to adapt.
Despite unparalleled enthusiasm for the character, Superman's big and small screen adventures are dotted in a mishmash of enjoyable, campy, and downright problematic adaptations - resulting in a lot of anxiety about how Snyder will approach the character. The Man of Steel teaser hinted at another grounded take on the property but, if new "official" commercial spoilers are to be believed, the director is also set to deliver plenty of over-the-top trouble for Superman to manage.
It goes without saying that the rest of this article will contain potential SPOILERS for Zack Snyder's Superman film, Man of Steel. If you are attempting to avoid Man of Steel story details, we advise you to turn away now.
The reported story spoilers come in the form of two new Superman toy commercials that feature Zod, a robotic army, and a Black Zero spaceship. While the toy spots do contain shots of Brandon Routh in Superman Returns, they are official internal promos (pause either video in the first second and you'll see the production info) and directly reference Superman's next return in Man of Steel. These are internal promos, not TV spots, and none of the promoted toys are available until 2013.
You can check out both commercials (via Bleeding Cool) below:
The first promo doesn't give any new info but the second one may have outed a couple major plot spoilers - a robotic army and Zod's Black Zero. We previously heard speculation about Black Zero in leaked titles for upcoming Man of Steel LEGO playsets. At the time, we mentioned that several Black Zero references appear in Superman comic book history: A space saboteur, a Kryptonian military force commanded by Ursa (a.k.a. Faora, who will appear in Man of Steel), and an intelligent computer virus, among others. The commercial directly references Black Zero as Zod's spaceship - though, it appears as though there's more to Black Zero than simply transporting Zod (and/or his robotic army). Zod is shown "plugged" into the vehicle at the end of the spot - adding fuel to speculation that Black Zero could also be related to Michael Shannon's rumored CGI armor.
It's unclear whether the robot army depicted in the promo will actually be included in the final film - or merely serve as faceless enemies for the toy line. However, tied to the Faora/Black Zero connection, it's looking more and more like Snyder intends to deliver a full-on Kryptonian invasion, relying on a variation of the Ursa-led military force, with Black Zero robotic minions overseeing the assault (and providing plenty of generic bad guys for Superman to dispatch). The Avengers utilized a similar tactic, with the Chitauri army, allowing the superhero team to kill-off hundreds of bad guys in a variety of cool set-pieces - without distracting from the core Loki super villain story.
Similarly, a generic army of dangerous robots will allow Superman to showcase all of his cool superpowers without ruthlessly tearing through humanoid Kryptonian invaders. Automatons would be a smart variation, given that traditional Kryptonian Black Zero operatives would a) complicate things by acquiring the same powers as Superman and b) occupy a moral grey area (merely following Zod's orders) - where as nobody bats an eye when hundreds of synthetic robots meet their end.
As a result, when it's time for this new, edgier, Superman to bring actual pain, it'll likely be face to face with an established super villain, Zod (likely buffed with Black Zero armor), in a more intimate one-on-one battle.
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Man of Steel will be arriving in theaters on June 14th, 2013.
Source: Bleeding Cool