Thursday, August 04, 2011

This Is Your New SUPERMAN

Warner Bros releases the first official image of Henry Cavill as Superman in Zack Snyder's "The Man of Steel," which is still shooting despite having it's release date moved ahead a year to 2013:

I like it. The textured-look is a little much, but I like the big heavy cape and the "shield" taking up damn near his whole chest (and being way up to his neckline, so it almost looks like part of the cape a'la the "Last Son" outfit from the "Reign" arc.)

The closest thing to a "big" change is that he appears to be wearing just the red belt instead of the traditional yellow belt/red briefs ; which if so makes this more-or-less a live-action translation of the new outfit from the recent DC Universe "reboot." If so... I'm for it. It's a better look overall, and the original purpose of the briefs - to make superheroes look less-naked when depicted in black-and-white - isn't as big an issue in live action.

This is a "press release" image, which means it's wholly appropriate to pick it apart and try to discern what they want it to "say" to audiences. In that respect, the overall aesthetic - action scene, imposing "Superman-is-gonna-kick-your-ass" pose/expression, high-contrast lighting, etc - seems to be "this is NOT 'Superman Returns.'" I liked "Returns," but I'm fine with this. It'll be nice to see "tears shit apart with his bare hands" Superman for the first time since "Superman II."

This is gradually turning into a much more interesting prospect of a film. Initially set up as something WB had to make to shore up legal claims, the notion of holding it up a year to (supposedly) work on the script's third act intrigues me. It's almost certainly a reaction to the ongoing "Green Lantern" disaster; but to what end? Are they just looking to make sure "this one" doesn't suck? Is this going to be reworked into the "launch film" for a DC Movieverse like "Lantern" was at one point supposed to be?


Paladin said...

They have succeeded in the easiest possible part in making a Superman movie. Hooray.

Chris Cesarano said...

I wasn't much a fan of Returns, but I did like Brandon Routhe as Superman. Bit of a shame he couldn't reprise the role.

mr-knightmare said...

Justice League movie >>>>>> Avengers movies

I really hope we get a DC movie verse!

Dave from canada said...

How unsurprising. The guy who shits a buick every time anyone even breathes any word about a minor costume change is somehow completely ok with it when Snyder does it.

What makes it so funny is that this costume contains examples of damn near everything he claims to hate in other movie costumes.

Why is superman wearing scale mail? Isn't that taking man of steel to literally? Why is the colour palette a mix of gray and brown? Why does the comic book equivalent to jesus look like he's about to assault someone?

Why is the grittier take on the one superhero described as a boy scout somehow acceptable when Snyder does it?

Why is he hunched over like wolverine?

Why is his crotch shaded out for no reason?

Why has his hair been changed form the spitcurl to what appears to be a mass of product?

Why does the suit glitter?

Why does this look like jon peters finally found someone who'll do everything he says?

motyr said...

I want to see Zack Snyder direct every DC movie.

The Offender said...

I hear this one will be a rough remake of Superman 2. Why can't they do something more original? Why can't we see Bizarro, or Brainiac, or go off the walls and have Lobo? I would just like to see something new, with something that hasn't been done on the silver screen already.

Goku50k said...

I'm not a huge fan of Superman, never really was but I do hope that this film is more gritty and doesnt make Superman to much of a "boy scout". Like Batman I've always thought that Superman needed an update something that kind of reflects the current state of the United States. Because I am a fan of David Goyer and the Nolan brothers and Zack Snyder I really do hope that this film is successful. But the question is can Zack pull this film off and another thing that i'm curious about is how much influence does Chris Nolan have on this project?

The Projector said...

I don't know... I feel that Superman is getting a little too dark these days. I loved the first two Superman films because they were bright, colorful, and cheerful. Now, it's been reduced to.... THIS! But I won't keep my hopes down entirely. Who knows? I could be wrong. Maybe the darkness is exactly what Superman needs.

Dave said...

I really have to agree with Canadian Dave here. This does look like a heavily-photoshopped/CGIed picture that just screams of issues, and if you've been paying attention to the other TMoS news, you'd know it suffers from INAPPROPRIATELY HORRIFIC miscasting.

And I'm not at all talking about Lawrence Fishburne being the new Perry White. I'm talking about the rest of the cast.

So why is it okay for all these things Bob hates to be present in this Superman movie? Because Biased, Fanboy, Hypocritical, Antithinker Bob has a hard-on for Snyder, who he views to be this great big visionary director.

NEWS FLASH: He's not. And Bob's a biased, fanboy, hypocritical antithinker when it comes to anything comic book-related.

Dave said...

Also, never mind that Supes looks like he's wearing a basketball.........

Goku50k said...

The way I see it is that Superman doesnt have to be dark like Batman but i would like to see this Superman a little more like the Justice League Superman in the Animated Justice League series. He had a cheerful side but also had a darker side to him.

Danny said...

Bob I think you're great but you have a huge blind spot when it comes to Snyder. If this was from JJ Abrams you would hate it.

Adam said...

I don't know. The image itself certainly looks nice, but I'm not certain what this means for the direction of the Superman character. Superman is an ideal of the American consciousness, not necessarily a superpowered badass. I always thought that part of the appeal of Supes was that he's the most powerful being ever yet his ideals meant he could be a bit of a softie, unlike the grittier Batman. If there's a story I'd like to see told it would be the ideals of Superman vs. the modern America. That could make for some very compelling storytelling.

Q said...

Yep, looks exactly like what Zach Snyder Superman film would look like.

I just love the diversity in his visual style.

patrick.b.healy said...

Zach Snyder is only as brilliant a director as Tim Burton. "I can make colorful look dingy" is no more visionary than "I think slow mo is neat".
I definitely agree with the "needs better lighting" sentiment here.
Superman needs his spitcurl. That little tuft of hair not being there is like leaving out the cape.
He also needs eyebrows. Dude looks like a neanderthal here.
I like the big "S" on him.
I actually like the destruction, it implies a big fight. Which is what Superman needs.

It's a cute little teaser, hasn't discouraged me.

motyr said...

Say what you will about Zack Snyder's aesthetic, but I think it works brilliantly for comic book adaptations. I agree with Bob. The physical weight of that cape is phenomenal. I can only dream of a Snyder directed Batman film, which might be a possibility if they go through with the introduction of a Justice League continuity. It would be the perfect way to bring Batman back after the Nolan trilogy - heavily stylized, not so ultra-realistic, perhaps the introduction of an actual cowl with white eyes (now that would be a tasteful use of CGI)....ahhhhh I can see it now.

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...


Now there's a thing I hadn't thought about. Zack Snyder and Batman, you are so right. You know, the only way to bring Batman back so soon (And it is so going to happen regardless) would indeed be to do something totally different with it distancing it as much from Nolans universe as possible, and to that Snyder is a god damn perfect choice!

And I don't care, I love Zack Snyder, I love his distinctive movie style, he really has a personality on the screen and it's very recognisable, I love Watchmen and how he uses images and moody music to tell the stories just as much as he uses dialouge.
Sucker Punch, actually.. I ended up giving it a second viewing as I was stuck in a plane for seventeen hours in the vacation and well, spend the time watching a ton of movies, what else do you do? I erh.. Actually found a whole of a heck lot better on the second viewing. That was nice, It really is nice with movies which becomes better and not more boring upon more viewings. I adore Zack Snyder and I am so happy he is there and given those projects. I do believe his style is truly unique and what I want to see. And I can't wait for this superman movie.

Aiddon said...

Just keep Snyder off the writing table and things should be fine. Sucker Punch's script and narrative were AWFUL

MovieBob said...

@Dave from canada,

Yes, I am generally more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to filmmakers and/or projects with what in my opinion are good track records, or that appear to be on the right track in my estimation. I was unaware that this was a controversial or unusual position.

Chris Cesarano said...

In terms of "a darker Superman", I think in the end you'd have to change the character as a whole if you took into consideration modern America. When he was created Superman was sort of a symbol of goodness that fell in line with the stereotypical American way. It was something a lot of people could get on board with.

Modern America is too divided against itself. Everyone has an agenda, everyone feels opposing viewpoints are the enemy and our politicians don't actually care what is good for the country, just good for their political careers. In other words, it is awfully depressing.

I think a modern Superman would have to be a character built around the idea of defending humanity as a whole, but struggling to figure out why. A rather cliche concept as it would normally result in "There's SOME good in humanity!", but on the whole it is the best you can get. The world has changed since Superman came around.

That, or you have a sort of Captain America angle, only instead of being frozen in ice you have this guy that's been alive for almost 100 years and is frustrated that all the things he once held dear has changed. Hell, now that I think about it, that's the Superman I'd pay to see. "Traditional conservative values" having to see the change of the world, things like hippies, Vietnam and the Iraq War.

Just don't let Mark Millar anywhere near it, or Superman will be a womanizing drug addict that hates black people.

Dave from canada said...


Do you stop breathing or something if you got too long without knowingly misrepresenting an argument or something? Both of us know you aren't dumb enough to consistently miss the point when it has been explained to you dozens of times.

Your estimation of the right track is completely arbitrary and seems to depend on whether you like the idea of a project or not. For how many months did you bitch about Spiiderman casting choices because they were too well cast.

You routinely bitch about costumes being altered. How many posts in the last year have been titled "[superhero name] looks like[superhero name]"?

You routinely bitch about costumes being done by CGI.

And how even the tiniest change to a product somehow makes it inspired by twilight. Still looking for an explanation on that one.

Hell, you wrote an entire post about how stupid the modern DC costumes were but now that Snyder is using it everything is suddenly ok?

Leaving out issues of the utterly atrocious miscasting going on and focusing entirely on the suit, we are still left with a costume that needlessly up armors superman for no reason, adds a crapton of unneeded detail to the suit, is of a much darker colour palette and appears to be taking a darker and edgier take on the character (and don't even try to pretend you haven't whined about that multiple times).So it all ends up with a character who looks like a mid 90s tim burton was designing Bizarro.

But because the project is helmed by a director for whom you are biased, it is all ok.

So biased that you are even willing to effectively disregard reality and endorse Sucker Punch, one of the biggest critical flops in the last 5 years (scored even lower than transformers, to drive the point home.) as some kind of brilliant cinematic masterwork.

buzzkillinton said...

I would like to see him fight the Elites because if give everyone what they want. It lets superman wax on about truth justice and the boyscout way but it also pushes him to the limits and has him lose it and be completely badass. If i was making a superman movie i would get the origin story and maybe the first few years of his superman stuff out of the way in a musical montage intro cause everyone and they dog knows all about superman. What they dont know is all the cool stuff.

jojjo said...

Isn't it funny when people who whine about bias reference their own opinion as fact?

p.s. Yes I can kinda get where you guys are coming from, just not why you are so vindictive. Did MovieBob kill your cat or something?

BS Digital Q said...

Dave from Canada, proving that no matter how much you dislike MovieBob, there's always someone worse out there.

MovieBob said...

@Dave from canada

Protip: People who expect to be taken seriously here shouldn't quote/reference aggregate numerical scores assigned to films to back up their point. Pet peeve of mine.

I am aware that I'm in the minority on "Sucker Punch." I can live with that. For some reason, my giving that particular film a positive review causes you some form of high-level psychological discomfort, about which I feel bad but don't quite understand.

As for Superman I'm not a fan of the texture stuff, and I'm hoping that the color scheme looks less muted when he's not in an underlit interior; but those are minor maybes next to the stuff I DO like - i.e. that Superman looks like an adult, that he's got a imposing build than we usually see, that the setup suggest an action-heavy/proactive take, etc. The return to the BIG shield (I hope he has the yellow one on the cape, too) and the splash-page-ready "busting through vault" angle is fun, too. And yes, it helps that the project's director's previous superhero movie was an out-of-the-park home run, for me.

KevinCV said...

Looks pretty good. Especially like how the cape looks. It has a nice weight and gravity to it. However, feel free to call me shallow or nostaligic, it may not make much of a difference if they don't use John Williams' "Superman March" in some capacity for the musical score.

I'm very emphatic about that, because it's such an iconic piece of music, and is so undeniably "Superman". Hell, Bryan Singer himself said if he didn't have permission to use it, he may not have bothered making "Superman Returns".

Dave said...


Pet peeve of mine: Brushing off someone's criticism of you as something not worth taken seriously because he can reference past things you have said that show you're a huge hypocrite.

Admit it, you just don't have the courage to admit you're wrong, and are a complete douchebag to people who point that out.

Keep shooting your credibility in the foot. Let's see how much farther that gets you.

Chris Evans said...

Superman is too much of a twink for me to care about him. In Superman Returns he managed to fly a proto-continent MADE of his ultimate physical weakness into SPACE after being stabbed with some and beaten up... and he survives.

There's no tension with this character. He is the ultimate Mary Sue.

William Righetti said...

You know, I see this picture and the armor like appearance of this costume and the movie title being "The Man of Steel." You know what this all makes me think of? The original incarnation of the character. (I'm no old timer but I got a chance to read some online reprints of the original comics, and I remember a few of the old cartoons too.) Back when his powers were limited? He could leap tall buildings in a single bound (not fly), was faster than a speeding locomotive (instead of a speeding bullet) and his suit actually was armor because while strong, he wasn't bullet proof. I don't know about the movie, so I'll risk looking like a fool and ask the questions anyway. Is Snyder perhaps setting the movie in the 30's? Limiting the characters powers? Doing a setting more in the roots of the character, when he was called the "Man of Steel" because he wore it? Any answers here?

lemonvampire said...

At first I was happy with it but not excited. Now, the more I look at it the less I like it. Mostly it's just the texture, which is way more overpowering than Routh's, and the color. I know that the lighting has something to do with it, but compare this to the first publicity photo of Brandon Routh. The colors in Superman Returns were already toned down somewhat, but by comparison they look vibrant while this looks practically monochromatic. I get the feeling that if they have to do another Superman reboot they're just going to render him completely in black and white, like a reverse Pleasantville.
I agree with Bob that this is still totally going in the right direction but I'm just not nearly as excited by this as I was by Returns.

Dave from canada said...

@ Bob

Astounding as it may be, I don't really care one way or another what your pet peeves are.

And regardless of how you phrase it, the overwhelming critical response was not only NEGATIVE, it was profoundly negative.

White chicks got a more positive response.

Now I'm not attacking you for enjoying the film. Implying someone is somehow stupid for enjoying a different form of entertainment than you is a pretty douche move, as I'm sure most people would agree on. I wouldn't want to live in a world where we couldn't enjoy a terrible movie when the mood struck us.

What I am attacking is your transparent attempt to try an act as though a truly horrible movie is in fact just too damn smart for all us proles who couldn't possibly understand it.Enjoy sucker punch all you want, but when you try and pretend its a god movie and we are too dumb to get it, that's where we leave opinion and go into 'delusion.'

For whatever reason, Snyder's joined the ranks of directors that you refuse to hear anything bad about, and you are defending things in this movie that you would excoriate another director for (as evidence by the catwoman post. You honestly seem resentful at the fact that people like Nolan)

This tendency of your to ignore reality in order to get others to feel the way you think they should about something isn't new. You even admitted to it in the transformers 3 review when you talked about not wanting people to know it was better because then they might see it.

d35497d8-c14b-11e0-9dbc-000bcdca4d7a said...

@Dave from Canada

Afraid I'm going to have to back Sucker Punch on this one; visually stunning, decent story, character arcs, etc. Since when did it become blasphemy to like or defend something panned by critics? I was not aware the tyranny of the majority was so in vogue.

Also, just because you and many others call a movie horrible, a truly horrible movie no less, doesn't make it fact; indeed, most of what we consider facts are merely interpretations, so hows about you take your interpretation and those of us who like Sucker Punch will take ours, and we can all either discuss the movie like gentlemen, or (more likely) just move on with our respective lives. Whatever vendetta you have against Bob is your own business, but don't pretend you have the moral high ground simply because you accuse someone of hypocrisy (something all men are guilty of, by the by), or because you agree with the majority about something.

As for the picture itself, I think it looks fine, if a little goofy (but then, that's Superman in a nutshell isn't it). I do wish they had kept the previous guy as Superman, as "Returns," while weak in plot, was strong in character (I mean come on, it is impossible to hate anything with Kevin Spacey!)

Also, Bob, curious as to your opinion of "Moon." I thought it was purdy durn good myself, but I'm a sucker for sci fi, hell there isn't a Star Trek movie I don't like, haha!

Dave from canada said...

@ Numbers man

Funny how tyranny of the majority only ever happens when said majority disagrees with us.

All your post is doing is essentially saying that everything is subjective, which like solipsism might be an interesting thought experiment but unfortunately such a position is useless in reality. According to your logic, there's nothing wrong with me claiming than PLan 9 is the greatest movie ever made and Citizen Kane is absolute garbage. After all, that's just my interpretation, right?

The simple fact is that in functional human society, not all interpretations are equally valid.

And this is all moot considering that Bob himself clearly DOES believe that there is a difference between interpretation of facts and some kind of objective reality.(his intermission on Green lantern would not be possible otherwise)

And I'd bet that YOU believe it too.

if I contend that the smurfs is a better film than Schindler's List, I'm willing to bet

The difference in opinion is why I don't have issue with people enjoying movies other than the ones I do and vice verca.

lemonvampire said...

@Dave from canada

I really don't know where all this is coming from. You act as though Bob spends every single post worshiping Zack Snyder as some kind of a god. So he liked Sucker Punch, so what? I don't remember ever seeing Bob attribute the kind of infallible perfection to Snyder which you seem to be accusing him of doing. The only times Bob has ever mentioned Snyder have been when reviewing his films, most of which were legitimately good. Sucker Punch was a huge letdown, but just because Bob liked it doesn't mean he's obsessively praising Snyder no matter what. It just means he happened to be one of the few people that actually enjoyed Snyder's first flop.

Dominic said...

This won't really have effect, I think so.
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