The other superhero

23:49, Jul 26 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.

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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.