Back in 2010 when I first heard about a potential Superman film, I was indifferent. There was no reason to get excited or be bothered by the prospect of seeing the granddaddy of superheroes back on the big screen.
My feelings never changed as I read up on Henry Cavill’s casting, saw images of the new suit on set and watched the first teaser trailer. I never truly got excited about Man of Steel. Then something changed. When the third trailer was released, along with a snippet of Hans Zimmer’s new Superman theme, I instantly went from being lukewarm to being very excited. If for some bizarre reason you’re not excited yet, I’m here to point out why you should be.
Realism vs Comic Debate
Since Marvel started their Cinematic Universe and DC produced their Dark Knight series, there has been a strong debate between fans of both properties about which method of adapting comic book films is best.
The Dark Knight trilogy offered a unique representation of Batman and his history by giving us a series of films that played out as if they could somehow be plausible in our day in age. Effectively, it brought the character into the real world, as it looked to show audiences what Batman would be like in modern society.
On the other side of the spectrum, Marvel decided to introduce audiences to the world of the comic books. Instead of trying to make the property live in our world, Marvel’s films invite moviegoers to peak into this unwieldy magical world of gods and aliens.
Looking at Man of Steel, there seems to be a good mixture between the two. It has that natural real world feeling to it, but it doesn’t look to negate the spectacular/fantastical elements of the source material (although, it does change and enhance it a bit). In one of the trailers, we can clearly see Superman flying away from a huge ass tentacle-alien-thingy. Fans say it could be Sun-eater or Solaris. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t know. It’s just good to see that Man of Steel might actually get the perfect balance between realism and fantasy in its film.
A New Origin Story
There are some fans that are a little upset about the new origin story. I’m quite intrigued by the prospect. The writers of the film approached it as if aliens were real, creating the realistic/fantastical mixed tone I spoke of earlier.
The history of Krypton and Clark Kent will be a very different to the original story. This incarnation will show Kal-el as a prince of Krypton and NOT the last of his species. In fact, there have been rumours that there are more Kryptonians somewhere out there in space, that Superman is not alone and that his race survives. This certainly brings a new dynamic to the character. This simple change could have huge ramifications on the direction of potential sequels and bring about a dilemma that Superman never had to face in other incarnations.
Krypton’s back story:
Krypton has been civilized for 100,000 years and they have been traveling in space for over 25,000 years. In addition, the gravity on Krypton is 4 to 10 times that of Earth and humans can’t breathe on the planet. This is all going to be used to explain why Superman can fly, how he gets his powers and the science behind everything. Krypton is a truly alien world and the production created a full Kryptonian language. When we see some of the buildings on Krypton and they have writing on the side, you will be able to translate it as they will have to mean.
Superman Uses All His Powers
Zack Snyder pushes the limits to show the Kryptonian in all his glory. This will be Superman like you have only seen in animated films and comic books! He’s going to be running at full speed, flying at Mach-10, punching bad guys through buildings and leaving mass destruction behind as he and Zod engage in a battle of epic proportions! This is not only good for Superman but the comic book genre as a whole. His powers won’t be downplayed.
I’m glad to see that Superman will be as badass as we all hoped he would be when Superman Returns released.
Saving Lex And Kara For The Future
Personally, I’m glad that they decided to leave Lex for a future installment. I think trying to introduce Lex would be a little harder now than introducing him in a sequel when the world as been fully set. It gives the writers a chance to look retrospectively at the world that was created with the first film and figure out the best way to reincarnate the character for the film, just like we’ve seen with Joker and Two-Face in The Dark Knight.
Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Lex in Smallville, demonstrates my favorite interpretation of the character. It would be interesting to see how this incarnation of Lex would fit into this world.
Now most of the time when it comes to these female counterparts or spinoff characters, comic book films tend to avoid them altogether. Man of Steel is quite different it seems. If the rumours are true, then we might just get Supergirl (Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El) in the next Man of Steel film. Just the possibility of seeing Superman and Supergirl in one film take on some villain in super speed madness has me excited already!
Supergirl has already made her way into the Man of Steel comic book prequel, revealing her part in the story. Introducing such a counterpart could mean that DC/Warner Bros. is ready to accept the complete character’s history and all it entails.
The Justice League World
When I first heard the executives at Warner Bros. talking about how Man of Steel would be the launch pin for the Justice League I was highly skeptical. The film was already into full production and was certainly not planned to be a film that would take place in a shared universe. Now when I think about it, it finally makes sense.
Firstly, breaking the realism versus comic book debate, Man of Steel created a unique specific tone, which takes the fantastical elements of the comic and reimagined it in the real world. Not toning down to fit within the real world like Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Secondly, by creating its own origin story, it allows DC’s other properties to go through a little re-imagination of its own. This allows other filmmakers to look at characters like Wonder Woman and Aquaman and try to figure out how best to adjust, change and enhance their origin stories, setting it apart from the comics while still respecting the source material.
And lastly, if everything that I have said is taken into account, then DC might be able to create a DC universe that will not only rival Marvel’s Cinematic Universe but would have the potential to dwarf it.
I personally think that DC should just do a Batman and Superman film, or at least a trinity film (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) film first. This will setup up the Justice League, which would eventually come later.
Are you excited for Man of Steel? Do you want Supergirl joining the franchise? And do you think the DC Universe will ever come to fruition? Let me know and comment below!