The other superhero

Last updated 11:49 27/07/2012

It's been a superhero kind of week.

The week has been dominated by The Dark Knight Rises and "the Batman", but also featured a surprise appearance from perhaps the biggest superhero of them all. The original superhero. The man with the red cape.

Superman.

Man of Steel comes out next year and is directed by hyper-stylist Zack Snyder - the man behind Watchmen, 300 and, er, Suckerpunch.

If I'm honest my hopes were not high. Superman is a difficult character to pull off, especially when the trend is for pitch black entertainment like Dark Knight Rises. Superman needs a lighter touch, he is not at home in the dark like Batman, he is a figure of hope and decency - a symbol of our better selves.

The choice of Snyder for director did not fill me with hope either. Snyder is not known for his subtlety and doesn't appear to have the gravitas to take on something as mythic as Superman. Watchmen was an interesting take on a difficult graphic novel to adapt for film, but was more of an exercise in style than character or story.

But the trailer for Man of Steel shows promise. Surprisingly, it reminds me of Tree of Life. Now that I didn't expect.

There are two trailers, both identical except the first one is narrated by Kevin Costner playing Pa Kent and the second is narrated by Russell Crowe playing Superman's Kryptonian father, Jor-El.

Have a watch:

 

 

Quite cool, eh? I like the idea of Superman taking his big OE, perhaps backpacking across Europe as he ponders his fate through an experimental beard. Perhaps flat-sharing with 27 others in Shepherd's Bush until he works out what to do with his superpowers.

Superman has had a patchy cinematic record since he first took to the big screen in 1978. The original, directed by Richard Donner, is a pop culture masterpiece, note-perfect in its handling of Krypton, Superman growing into his legend and Metropolis. Hard to beat.

Superman II is also great fun with General Zod providing a perfect supervillain for a hero who can often seem a little too perfect.

But from there it all got very cheesy, very quickly. I have fond childhood memories of Superman III, but I can't defend it as a great film. The less said about the later films the better.

Superman Returns in 2006 was also disappointing. Film director Kevin Smith said it should have been called "Superman lifts increasingly heavy objects". It was surprisingly beige and bland for a movie about a man who can fly.

So, I hold out hope for the new Superman. He is an enduring character who deserves a big-screen outing worthy of his stature.

What do you think of the Superman trailer? Do you think the film will be any good? Let me know below.

18 comments
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gazza   #1   12:03 pm Jul 27 2012

Superman is hard to pull off because hes a boy scout, he's a figure that almost defines honor and decency...but unfortunately that means that when hes not stopping a runaway train or fighting a super villian hes just a little boring and hes largely always predictable.

Too make him interesting he needs to be more flawed and relatable. So the diffculty is how you add that into his character and still keep him as Superman.

I actually think some of the animated movies have done this well at times, especially the most recent, Superman vs the Elite (or something like that). A dark storyline, questions about comparative morality and a glimpse into how terrifying superman could be if he ever lost that trademark honor and kindness.

Supes   #2   12:11 pm Jul 27 2012

I'm not a Superman COMIC fan (more of a Marvel guy). There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that gives you goosebumps more than an Iconic Superman moment on screen. Movies or TV.

One of the lesser known moments that I got a huge buzz out of was in Seas 2(?) of Smallville when Clark came face to face with a legendary professor played by Christopher Reeve. As they met John Williams' famous score started to play in the background. Awesome.

Superman Returns - Everyone seems to agree that Brandon Routh was great, but the film was practically a remake of the original. And that was on Bryan Singer.

I have my fingers crossed that we get something that gives Batman and The Avengers a run for the money.

SF   #3   12:24 pm Jul 27 2012

Good trailer. Optimistic that this will finally be a Superman film that isn't rooted in the 1950's boy scout, 'truth, justice and the American way' anachronisms.

M1   #4   12:31 pm Jul 27 2012

I think Superman would be well at home in the Dark and personally I would love to see him in the thick of it pitted against a more powerful foe's. Put him in a place where he has to rely on more than his strength and speed.

Nick   #5   12:31 pm Jul 27 2012

Check out the comic con trailer. THAT will get the juices flowing.

Chris   #6   12:42 pm Jul 27 2012

It won't be a hard job to give this character justice after watching the horrible takes on Batman that Nolan gives us. I hate the "realistic" take on Batman, the dark knight displayed the most uncharacteristic version of the Joker I've ever seen. C'mon, superhero movies are meant to be fantasy action, not realistic drivel.

I just hope that Snyder can do a better job than his other movies. Every movie I've watched of his are mind-numbingly boring and plotless. So far, Marvel definitely have DC out-matched when it comes to live action super-hero movies.

As Gazza mentions above, the animated take of Superman vs the Elite was great, likewise are the other Superman animated movies are superb.

Anthony   #7   12:52 pm Jul 27 2012

Trailers give me the feel that they're going to be focussing on what Superman truly is. An alien. Someone out of this world. Maybe trying to find his place in the world.

The last movie should be destroyed immediately.

Anyway very happy Nolan is involved with this project.

Nick   #8   01:12 pm Jul 27 2012

I recently saw supermans costume for this film... It seems he has learnt that the underwear goes on he inside...

It's a shame Tim Burtons Superman starring Nicolas Cage never got the green light.

Niri Tacen   #9   01:16 pm Jul 27 2012

@Chris #6 - Nolan is one of the producers for this, and co-wrote the story with David S. Goyer. The two also co-wrote the story for Dark Knight Rises.

So I'd expect the same kind of realistic portrayal here, insofar as realistic can be applied to a man who flies and shoots laser beams from his eyes.

I for one am looking forward to this.

Jason   #10   01:38 pm Jul 27 2012

Charlie,

I think you should watch Sucker-punch with the Zack Snyder narrative. Its easy to focus on the outfits and the action at the expense of looking deeper.

Time Compression, Perception, Escapism, Choice, Consequence, Loyalty, Sacrifice, Responsibility.

An analogy. When you watch the 6 o clock news and its a 30 second bite of a bomb explosion, all it is is a bomb. But when you ask why, how, where and look at the pattern of what has happened before then you get more from it.


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