When British audiences saw the new trailer during the FA Cup final on Saturday night, the trophy was still to play for. The film, directed by Zack Snyder has a North American and European premiere date of June 14 and stars Henry Cavill and Amy Adams in the iconic roles of Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane. Villain of the piece will be played by Michael Shannon, who will probably be familiar to viewers through a recurring role he had on Boardwalk Empire as Agent Nelson Van Alden, playing General Zod. I wonder how he’ll compare to the Zod of Smallville, played by Callum Blue from 2009-2011. And there no doubt will be comparisons as Smallville and Man of Steel both seek to explore origin stories. One had the luxury (if we can call almost annual worries of cancellation luxury) of developing over a 10-season run whilst the latter might do one villain at a time – does that mean we might see Lex Luthor in the already-being talked about sequel? Filling Rosenbaum’s Luthor shoes, I’d like to see that.
The origin story makes sense for a cinematic reboot – first, because in the wake of Marvel’s run of success with Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, DC Comics and Warner might consider this the right time for a reboot. Second, the most recent cinematic outing for Superman was 2006’s Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh, and that story centred around Supe’s return to Earth after an extended stay on Krypton and featured Kevin Spacey as Lex. It didn’t do so well. Let’s just say production expenses were not recouped through domestic sales, and yet Warner Bros threw its hat in the Superman ring once more.
The latest trailer itself was not terribly interesting. I saw Iron Man 3 last week and I really liked the longer Man of Steel trailer they showed for it. This one left me a bit cold - or maybe I just needed a hi-def, HD, 60” TV in a mancave or sports bar to properly appreciate it, or, just more of a trailer): this 40-second series of clips features a bunch of things getting blown up, a military presence (both fighter jets and a clip of Superman in handcuffs/chains that we’ve seen in the other trailers), a brief shot of Russell Crowe as Jor El (you know, Supe’s biological father), and a few shots of Cavill in the water, in space, and a couple of places in between against Crowe’s voice in his Australian accent with “what if a child dreamed of becoming more than what society intended, etc.” sure, I suppose it could serve as an outer-spacey accent. No Costner (he’s Jonathan Kent BTW), no Adams, no Shannon.
And by the time the match was over, at least it was a thrilling game, if not the most thrilling of trailers, however much hyped. Like ManCity fans are well aware right now, with that much hype, ya gotta deliver. Will I still be in the audience opening weekend? Try and stop me.