In 1980, one of the first and arguably the best superhero films of the modern era debuted to rave reviews. Director Richard Donner famously promoted his red, white and blue clad hero with the line: “You will believe a man can fly”. This Friday, Superman flies again and when he does, it is sure to be an experience unlike most have grown accustomed to over his storied 75-year history.
Amazingly, Man of Steel is only Superman’s sixth appearance in the past 30 years with Christopher Reeve’s iconic portrayal spread over four of those movies; cementing the image of Superman for modern movie goers, including through his predecessor for one film, Brandon Routh, in 2006’s largely disappointing Superman Returns. We have all become familiar with bumbling newspaperman Clark Kent who tranforms himself via costume change into the Son of Krypton – an all-powerful hero (save Kryptonite) beloved by and dedicated to his adopted planet.
Known for his faithfulness to comic book story lines, Director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) is sure to unveil a very different Superman and a world that reacts very differently to him. How, for example, might our government and military act when faced with an all-powerful alien from another planet? It also appears we will be provided with a more in-depth look at how Clark Kent deals with discovering he is not who he thought he was (a sort of self preservation vs. self discovery dynamic).
It is sure to make for more complex and conflicted characters and story lines and great entertainment (have you seen the trailers and the special effects glimpses?). Superman, in his flag-like attire, has always been about truth, justice and the American way. Here, he will be a world-saver in the never-ending battle of good vs. evil. A far cry from “…it’s a bird, it’s a plane…”, Man of Steel will instead present a more intuitive – even human – portrayal of the extra-terrestrial “man” who fell to earth.