The Dark Knight Rises has already been in theaters a whole weekend, so what better time to look at the next big DC Comics property to hit theaters: Superman. Specifically, next year's Man of Steel.
Perhaps I should have said "only other big DC Comics property." After Supes and Batman, the recognizability factor drops precipitously. You probably won't be seeing another Green Lantern movie anytime soon, after last year's Ryan Reynolds fiasco. Wonder Woman is always a possibility, but they've been trying to get a feature film off the ground for over a decade and chances weren't improved by last year's failed TV pilot. Green Arrow? They were promoting a CW TV pilot at this year's Comic-Con (yeah, ask the network how their Aquaman pilot went), but a rumored feature film is in development hell.
So a mere seven years after the disappointing Superman Returns (that word gets attached a lot to not Batman-related DC Comics film adaptations), the last son of Krypton gets another go. The teaser for Man of Steel dropped last weekend and naturally invited a great deal of commentary. Some serious, some...less so.
Let me start off by saying I know next to nothing about the plot of Man of Steel, aside from the villain (more on him later). Any speculation found herein is only that.
Let's do it.
This is significant. Syncopy is Christopher and Emma Nolan's production company, which co-produced - you guessed it - The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. He's listed later in the trailer as well, the only name included beside that of the director (*sigh*).
Well, this doesn't look like Kansas. Or Metropolis. Gotham City, maybe. The waterfront.
Aw man, *if only* Superman had been on the Cornelia Marie, I bet Deadliest Catch's Capt. Phil Harris would still be with us today.
Ugh. You'll notice they didn't list Sucker Punch. With good reason. At least Snyder didn't write this (that honor belongs to Batman Begins scribe David S. Goyer).
Kevin Costner plays Pa Kent (and supplies the trailer's narration). It's all quite clever; invoking the father-son themes of Field of Dreams while allowing us all the joy of anticipating watching that guy from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves die onscreen from a heart attack.
Hey, I just realized the narrator in the alternate version of the trailer is provided by Russell Crowe, who plays Jor-El (Superman's actual father, duh). Crowe also played Robin Hood. Too bad the likelihood of an archery contest between these two paterfamilias is pretty much nil.
Wait a minute...can Superman even grow a beard? I remember old-timey Supes talking about never having to shave on Earth, but I've seen enough alternate future pics (and Superman III, of course) to know this isn't set in stone.
Still, beards are how we traditionally identify evil intent. Have I been wrong about my dad all these years?
Krypto! This movie's going to be awesome!
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Okay, all kidding aside, that was pretty badass.
I have no idea why Clark Kent is doing time on the Downeaster Alexa at the beginning. I know the main villain of the film is General Zod (who will be played by the inestimable Michael Shannon), so maybe it's some variant of the Superman II plot, with Superman stripped of his powers or something.
At this point, DC and Warner Bros are doing everything but handing the keys to the studio over to Christopher Nolan. It makes some business sense to give the guy who's generated almost two billion dollars in box office revenue some measure of control of your other comic franchises, but...Superman isn't the kind of character who tries to "find himself." I was never a fan of the comic as a kid, but it's for precisely that reason -- that he seemed so inviolate, with hardly any flaws -- that I mostly ignored his character. Even so, this On the Road stuff seems out of place.
Probably no chance of a Puzzler appearance, either.