Man of Steel is poised to hit Earth-dwellers’ screens next weekend and we are ready. Movie fans love a good superhero flick but we DC diehards have a special interest in this big screen adventure. We were left pretty low upon the release of the last Superman venture, Superman Returns. As a writer, I have the ability to examine my vast vocabulary and decide on the perfect means to describe that film—it TOTALLY SUCKED. I mean, you get Kevin (The Spaceman) Spacey to play Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind in comic book history (except the Joker) and the best he can do is a real estate scam? “Oh, Superman. I’m going to build an island and charge yuppies more than it’s worth.” Dear lord. Not to mention the landslide of other faults that incarnation had.
But I digress.
As DC fans we have a lot going on right now. For the record, though I address DC enthusiasts with particular affection, this article is for all (even Marvel fans). We have the New 52, a fairly recent The Dark Knight Rises release, and now Man of Steel. (Also, I assure you we will discuss the comics, Batman, and a stream of other comic book related topics in future articles).
Today we focus on the forthcoming Super-installment. This chapter promises several potentially awesome possibilities. To start, Russell Crowe is replacing Marlon Brando as Jor-El. This is daunting, but he has the cool voice that sounds like he might be otherworldly. Further, he explodes early on so we won’t have to hear him sing (see, a Les Miserables reference. I can talk about classy stuff too). That was a cheap shot. I love Crowe. Let’s face it, “I’m entertained.“
I forsee Amy Adams being a great choice for the flick as she can dish as well as she gets. That is key for the role of Lois Lane. She ain’t no quiet schoolgirl. She’s a rough and tumble reporter that would rather be at the heart of the explosion than miles away. Michael Shannon (recently of YouTube/Funny or Die Sorority Rant fame) is brilliant and as interesting a choice as the original Terence Stamp. The ultimate success or failure may not ride on the following but we better hear the phrase, “Come, son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod”.
I am intentionally leaving out Henry Cavill because I really can’t tell until I see him drop into Metropolis. There will no doubt be a full article devoted to praising him or seriously questioning his ability to act (most likely praise) to follow the movie.
Possibly most important is the tone and direction of the film. It is very intriguing as we can tell what type of attitude Man of Steel will have even before it comes out. The many trailers for the movie seem to spotlight the “Man” in the Man of Steel. I dig this because I am a huge fan of the entire Superman mythos.
Created in 1938 and now 75 years old, Superman gives us an endearing legacy. 1939, for those of you non-history majors out there, was the start of World War II. Superman crashes onto a war torn planet with severe and terrifying future prospects. A prominent line in the trailer delivered by Superman’s father is, “The humans will race behind you. They will stumble and they will fall, but in time they will join you in the sun”. This says it all. He is our beacon. He as a man who must be on the side of the right and just. Superman is the persona of an already good man.
It will be interesting to see how well they get that across in the flick. I have faith because Chris Nolan did some story work and we all know how good he is at bringing the inner light or darkness of a character onto the screen.
One last point about the man behind the Man of Steel- there is a reason he landed in the Midwest and Mr. Kent found him. The reason is in the motto “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” Raised as a farm-boy, by a farm-man, he learned honor, honesty, love, compassion, forgiveness, justice (not vengeance) and bravery in the face of insurmountable odds. These, if anyone was wondering, are the qualities that make America and Superman great.
They updated the story a little bit but let’s hope that the character born from the greatest generation and brings some greatness to us.
Stay Glued to the Screen
P.S. Russell Crowe is very cool and should not be offended by my comments about his singing.