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Friday, November 30, 2012 

More info on the next Superman movie still suggest it'll veer to the dark side

The New York Post's written about the upcoming Man of Steel movie for next year's summer, and says:
The one thing that can be gleaned from the single teaser trailer that’s been released is that this could be a darker, more humanistic take on the character than movies past.

“We tried to approach this as though there’s never been a Superman movie before, but at the same time respecting the canon and mythology,” director Zack Snyder tells The Post in an exclusive interview. “There are the pillars that you have to respect, and I’m not about to break them. But it is fun for me to bend them and mess with them.”
And if he's made this more about bleakness and overly emotional or hand-wringing forms of drama, then has he ever messed with the Man of Steel indeed. If he really respects Superman, he'll also respect the optimistic side that served the big blue boy scout well in decades past and not stoop to potentially the opposite of that, nor will he depict Clark Kent as too uncertain of his talents, both in and out of costume.
Henry Cavill, who becomes the first Brit to play the character, says he’s also a fan of the more down-to-earth approach.

“I liked the idea of the realism immediately,” Cavill tells The Post in an exclusive on-set interview. “Traditional Superman fans know what it’s all about, and they will hopefully love and associate with the character anyway. But the people who aren’t die-hard Superman fans still need to associate with the character, and that needs to have some realism in today’s world, certainly, in sense of a science as opposed to mythology attached to it as well.”
I've heard that whole argument before, and it's become tiresome by now, mainly because it's virtually always being used as an excuse for producing darkness without any real light at the end of the tunnel. Pessimistic writing doesn't provide for big inspiration.

For now, if there's any problem that did play into this movie's production, it's the new mandate on the costume design:
One of the obvious changes is with Superman’s costume. Gone is the flimsy spandex in favor of a slightly metallic, more armored look.

“The costume was a big deal for me, and we played around for a long time,” Snyder says. “I tried like crazy to keep the red briefs on him. Everyone else said, ‘You can’t have the briefs on him.’ I looked at probably 1,500 versions of the costumes with the briefs on.”

The final version is a brief-free, all-blue unitard with red boots and a red cape.

“If you look at the costume, it’s very modern, but the relationship to the original costume is strong,” Snyder says.
Really? It sounds like an editorial mandate found its way into this movie just like in the comics! Just what good is an armor-like suit? It actually cheapens the impact even more, not because it makes it look like Superman isn't tough enough to face off with the really challenging villains who could come his way, but because it makes it look like he doesn't have enough courage to face them in just regular spandex. Or something like that. I'm afraid this is a telling example of how political correctness and overly trendy ideas have trumped the more impressive, classic costume designs, presumably because they don't think the audience will care otherwise.
“You come onto a project like this, and you hear about modernization and you hear about bringing things forward to today, and all you can do is hope that it’s going to look cool and different from anything you’ve seen before,”
But if it's all flash in costume design and little substance in character drama, then they've hardly accomplished anything. And "modernization" doesn't necessarily equal say, a patriotic approach, nor does the mention of it here guarantee that this'll offer an optimistic viewpoint while avoiding an overshadowing with darkness.
What’s perhaps most interesting about “Man of Steel” is that it might serve as the launching point for a DC Comics universe of films in the same way 2008’s “Iron Man” inaugurated Marvel’s interconnected movie world.

Warner Bros. is reportedly plowing ahead with “Justice League,” a superteam movie featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and others, rumored to hit in 2015. Nolan’s Batman trilogy has concluded and bomb “Green Lantern” is likely to be disregarded, making “Man of Steel” the first film set in this new universe.

“I don’t know how ‘Justice League’ is going to be handled. Honestly, I don’t,” Snyder says. “But ‘The Man of Steel’ exists, and Superman is in it. I don’t know how you’d move forward without acknowledging that.”
As much as I'd like to anticipate a Justice League of America movie with excitement, I'm not confident in WB's ability to copy the strategy that led to the Avengers movie as successfully as Marvel's adaptations did. Mainly because they may not even use America in the film's title, and it isn't mentioned in this article. However Marvel's been handling their adaptations, DC isn't doing much to show that they've learned from their own past mistakes.

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