After what’s felt like an incredibly long wait, there is just over two months until Man of Steel – director Zack Snyder’s updated take on Superman – finally flies into theaters. Things have been fairly quiet on the film thus far (only a few trailers and images have been released), but as a huge fan of the Last Son of Krypton, this has been high on my list of most anticipated movies of 2013 ever since the project was announced. While Snyder has received mixed reviews as a director thus far in his career, I’m confident the guidance of producer Christopher Nolan will shine through and result in the stellar adventure fans have been waiting for.
Filming has long since completed and visual effects are being applied as we speak, but here are five elements we’d really like to see in Man of Steel which would go a long way toward making it better than the last time we saw Supes on the big screen.
A Quick Glimpse of Krypton, Then Move On
The Incredible Hulk wasn’t a great film, but one thing it got right was not retelling the origin story for the billionth time. We’ve seen movies fall prey to this all too often – just look at Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man for the most recent superhero example – but The Incredible Hulk opted to show how Bruce Banner became the big green guy through a series of opening credits flashbacks, freeing up precious time to tell the story that the filmmakers wanted to tell instead of feeling obligated to start from scratch for all the beginners out there. We already know that Man of Steel is telling the origin story again, but seriously: Superman is an American icon and his origin story is one that practically everyone knows. Snyder cast Russell Crowe as Jor-El, but do we really need to retrace the steps of how Kal-El’s parents slipped a baby into a rocket ship? I’m hoping for a quick 10 minute prologue covering this aspect of the story, and then let’s get on with the new stuff that we actually haven’t seen before.
Superman in Action
By far, the biggest complaint about Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns is that Superman doesn’t throw a punch in the entire film. That movie has a long list of issues (more on those soon), but it looks like Man of Steel is well on its way to fixing a lot of those problems. Singer’s vision was always meant as an homage to Richard Donner’s original Superman: The Movie, but Snyder and his team are taking this one in a new direction: what would it be like if Superman existed in modern times? The philosophical questions it looks to raise are intriguing, but for those looking for pure action, just check out the last minute and a half of the film’s trailer – Snyder’s strength as a storyteller (framing action beats) should be on full display here.
A Great and Memorable Lois Lane
Remember how I said we’d cover the issues with Superman Returns? Well, Kate Bosworth’s Lois Lane is the source of many of the film’s problems. It’s not entirely her fault – the character was very poorly written for that installment – but Bosworth failed to bring any of the sass or pizzazz that Margot Kidder had in spades back in the 70s. But with a perfectly-cast Amy Adams as the intrepid reporter in Man of Steel, we should be in for something special. Adams has a breezy, funny air about her, and it should be interesting to see her combine her natural charisma with the Type-A Personality of Lois Lane. Her relationship with Clark Kent/Superman can’t be understated, and I can’t wait to see her banter with Henry Cavill as he adopts both identities.
Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and A Solid Supporting Cast
Fingers crossed this is an amazing screenplay, because Snyder managed to get insanely lucky when it came to casting this film. Laurence Fishburne as Perry White is an inspired choice, and nabbing Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent sounds absolutely brilliant on paper. Crowe as Jor-El sounds great, too, so now all we have to do is hope that the script allows these hugely talented actors to do what they do best. Rumor has it that there’s some sort of secret gender-reversing reveal that Jimmy Olsen will be played by a woman in Man of Steel (pictured above, perhaps?), and that’s fine with us: as long as there’s a Jimmy-esque figure for a little bit of comic relief, The Daily Planet will be able to function just fine.
A Worthy Adversary
We know that Lex Luthor isn’t the main villain of this upcoming blockbuster, but might the scheming, power-hungry maniac make a cameo appearance? Time will tell, but first the Big Blue Boy Scout must face off against General Zod (Michael Shannon), a character made famous by Terence Stamp in Superman II. Rewatching that film, Stamp is fine and everything, but I feel like the internet has built him up into some sort of epic pop culture figure (“Kneel before Zod!”) when – and this will be blasphemy to Superman fans – that character, at least as written in that film, might not deserve such status. But Michael Shannon is an outstanding actor, so we’re hoping he will provide a worthy adversary to our hero, both mentally and physically.
That’s it for our list. What would you like to see in Man of Steel? Sound off in the comments below.
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