Two official teaser trailers had been released for Man of Steel, a reboot of the Superman franchise directed by Zack Snyder and produced/co-written by Christopher Nolan.
Henry Cavill (Clark Kent) is a journalist in his twenties who was adopted as a child by Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) after he was transported to Earth from the dying planet Krypton by his parents Jor-El (Russel Crowe) and Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer). Raised with the values of his adoptive parents, he feels alienated because of his unique super abilities and struggles to find his place in life, imbuing him with a strong sense of integrity and compassion so that he learn to use his extraordinary powers responsibly – even in a troubled world that views him as a threat, rather than a potential savior. When the world is attacked, he becomes the hero Superman to protect its people.
Warner Bros. premiered a sizzle reel from Snyder’s film at the Comic-Con 2012 Man of Steel panel, and there are chunks of that footage in the official theatrical trailers. The latter are shorter and more structured than their Con counterpart, but manages to leave a similar impression – namely, that Man of Steel aims to offer a nuanced and serious take on the Superman mythos, befitting the contemporary age of superhero movies (and influenced by DC Comics’ “New 52″ reboot).
That approach includes: an altered version of the Superman costume, meant to make the character look more like an armored warrior (than a guy in a skin-tight unitard) – and a stripped-down visual style that lacks the digital polish found in Snyder’s previous comic book adaptations (300 and Watchmen), in favor of the muted colors and realistic texture featured in Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
Narrated by Kevin Costner
With the continued emphasis on the philosophical aspects of teh Superman story – as reflected in scenes where a disheveled Clark travels the world as an ordinary man, and listens to teachings about how we shape our destiny, as passed down by both his biological and adopted father in the two separate trailers (Jonathan Kent – above, Jor-El below), Nolan’s influence is apparently shown in the Man of Steel teasers. Those elements are woven together with Americana imagery (shots of wagons and clotheslines around the Kent farm) that harken back to Superman’s origins as an All-American hero.
Overall, the mix of old and new Superman mythology should go over well with certain fans, while others will be left grumbling about how their favorite superhero has been “Nolan-ized.” It will be arguably be more interesting to see how Man of Steel is received by the moviegoing masses as a whole. If the film is a success, it could set a precedent for the DC Movie Universe; if it flops, that could inspire Warner Bros./DC to drastically change their (as yet, unannounced) game plan Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, and Ayelet Zurer. It is based on a story co-coceived by Christopher Nolan and Davis S. Goyer (who also co-penned the script), and directed by Zack Snyder.
Narrated by Russel Crowe
Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman: A Kryptonian sent to Earth by his parents as an infant to survive the destruction of his homeworld Krypton. He is raised by Kansas farmers and becomes Earth’s greatest superhero, Superman. Cavill was cast as Superman, making him the first non-American actor to be cast in the role. Cavill was on the shortlist for the 2006 film Superman Returns, but lost the part to Brandon Routh. Dylan Sprayberry was cast as 13-year-old Clark Kent while 11-year-old Cooper Timberline was cast as the 9-year-old Clark Kent in June.
Amy Adams as Lois Lane: Reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper and love interest of Clark Kent and his secret alter-ego.Adams was selected from a list of actresses that included Olivia Wilde and Mila Kunis.
Michael Shannon as General Zod: A powerful Kryptonian soldier with superpowers similar to those of Superman. Viggo Mortensen was considered for the role.
Russell Crowe as Jor-El: The biological father of Superman. Sean Penn and Clive Owen were also considered for the role.
Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van: The biological mother of Superman and loyal wife to Jor-El. Julia Ormond had previously been announced as cast, but dropped out. Connie Nielsen was in negotiations for the role before Ormond was cast.
Laurence Fishburne as Perry White: The Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet and the boss of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Fishburne is the first African American to play Perry White in a live-action film.
Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent: The adoptive parents of Superman. Director Zack Snyder said of Costner “Kevin will be able to communicate the quiet strength of this rural man who raised the greatest superhero of all time.”
Harry Lennix as General Swanwick
Antje Traue as Faora
Christopher Meloni as Colonel Hardy
Man of Steel opens on June 14th, 2013.