Superman: Man of Steel film (2012) casting and storyline


What we know:

  • 99.99% odds that Chris Nolan’s brother Jonathan will direct it. I think because J will have a better sense of how to depict an American icon. New frontrunners to direct, including Darren Aronofsky, Zack Snyder, Matt Reeves, etc. CONFIRMED: Zack Snyder is directing. Now people want to know who’s playing Superman.
  • Set for theatrical premiere Christmas 2012, a few months after premiere of Batman Begins 3. Theatrical premiere is June 14, 2013.
  • Likelihood of Lex Luthor and/or Braniac as the main villain(s). Confirmed: Villain is General Zod.
  • No Brandon Routh or any returning cast members from Superman Returns. UPDATE: I’m thinking Routh might get a second chance now. Doesn’t make sense marketing-wise not to re-hire him. Warner Bros. always plays things close to the vest. If you’ve already conditioned all the fans into thinking Routh is Superman, it’ll be too much effort to re-market a new guy. Odds are, Routh is returning as Superman. Doesn’t matter who Superman is played by (as long as he’s white), people will watch it no matter what. What a strange phenomenon.
  • Henry Cavill is the new Superman – Who is this guy? Doesn’t look like an epic hero type. Alas, must wait and see if Snyder can deliver.
  • Diane Lane is confirmed to be playing Ma Kent.
  • Kevin Costner is confirmed to be playing Pa Kent
  • Snyder hints that the new title will be simply “Man of Steel”, taking the Nolan approach similar to naming “The Dark Knight”. He also says there will be no references to any of the previous Superman films before. Confirmed: the official title is “Man of Steel”.
  • Amy Adams is confirmed to be playing Lois Lane
  • Michael Shannon has been cast as General Zod
  • Connie Nielson has been offered the role of Lara El; Russell Crowe has been offered the role of Jor El;
  • Rumor Neil Patrick Harris is Jimmy Olsen Character has been replaced with a generic female archetype Jenny Olsen

Jun 1, 2013 – Here’s the full beast unleased onto nature:

May 31, 2013 – A LOT of confirmed spoilers being leaked prior to tomorrow’s lift for the embargo on real early reviews from the press.

Jonathan Kent’s death would be quite poignant if he whispered to Clark, “Either I die, or you die”, from a distance, because Clark has super hearing and therefore only he knows that his Pa is about to sacrifice himself during the tornado. Apparently, the spoiler is that Pa Kent sacrifices himself during the tornado, even though Clark could easily save him, and he forbids Clark from saving him, is because he doesn’t want to reveal to the world Clark’s real nature and power. Man, that is some tough emotional trauma going on. Emo Superman.

May 31, 2013 – Been reading supposed “early reviews” online and they seem to be legit (or making it up like I would, hee hee). Either or, seems people are digging the energy. And if I have an understanding of how Hollywood works now, a Batman vs. Superman movie is obviously going to be an awesome money grab. They won’t gamble on Justice League because it would be too “faggoty” with all those hunky, muscular white men in tights. Batman and Superman films ALWAYS bring in money no matter how shitty. They only thing I think is that Batman would be played by an older actor. And the plot would probably be similar to The Dark Knight Returns. Heck, they would have to sell it as a Batman movie, so that might actually be the title. Of course, Superman is the villain UNTIL the end when they have to team up. Coolest crossover since Alien and Predators, Jason and Freddy, etc.

May 30, 2013 – Man of Steel soundtrack’s last track is titled “What will you do when you’re not Superman?” I’m assuming this is the Batman Forever/Batman Begins of this new interpretation of Superman, so he’ll respond “I’ll never stop being Superman.” Or something like that. Because if the rousing Hans Zimmer Man of Steel theme doesn’t clue you in, the movie has to end on a very uplifting note. I’m assuming it’s going to be a montage of Superman being Superman, saving people all over the world, and thusly, ending with the tried and true American Imperialist imagery of Superman orbiting the Earth.

May 29, 2013 – A lot of new “spoilers” have been released regarding the nature of Superman’s super-suit, the Fortress of Solitude, Zod’s sentencing to the Phantom Zone, etc. None of which affect the story whatsoever.

Mackenzie Gray apparently is playing Jax-Ur, a rogue Kryptonian scientist that sides with Zod. I’m pretty sure he is Brainaic. Because Kryptonians are genetically engineered, it would explain why Mackenzie Gray has control over Zod.

Taking a play out of the X-Men playbook, specifically regarding Cyclops, I think it will be revealed that in order for Superman to have his lazer eye rays, he has to go to a dark place or be angry. So, according to the recent spoilers, Zod will torture Superman until he is angry enough and can’t control his rage lazers. This, of course, is all Freudian stuff about a boy controlling his wet dreams.

May 27, 2013 – Just did some research on what Brainiac is all about. Apparently, Brainiac rides around in a “skull ship”.

Brainiac Skull Ship

Brainiac Skull Ship

Brainiac Skull Ship

Brainiac Skull Ship

And this is the ship “Black Zero” as seen in the previews and trailers so far:

Man of Steel Black Zero ship

Man of Steel Black Zero ship

Apparently, the Black Zero is where General Zod and his homies are being held prisoner.

According to the original comic book lore, Brainiac is his strongest when he is in his skull ship. Superman defeats him by tricking him out of the ship. Brainiac is vulnerable to disease and bacteria like that.

Brainiac also is in cahoots with Lex Luthor. But since Zack Snyder doesn’t want to rehash Luthor, I’m assuming that Brainiac inhabits a generic businessman or it’s Lionel Luthor. Might leave it open so that Lex has a reason for revenge when Superman pops him.

May 25, 2013 How Clark Kent becomes a Daily Planet reporter is that Lois finds him a job to keep him busy when he’s not being Superman. I wonder if she’s the only one who knows his real identity. I was thinking it was somekind of witness protection program type of thing because eventually, everyone would come after Superman, now knowing he exists.

Maybe the last shot of the movie is Clark Kent putting on his fake glasses when he enters the elevator.

May 22, 2013 Here’s an exercise for myself to see how predictable these blockbuster movies are:

Who will die in Man of Steel?

-Jor El – Superman needs a motive to take revenge against antagonists.
-Pa Kent – Superman needs a motive to be a hero.
-Colonel Hardy – Sacrificial character will die during a face-off with Zod and his gang, a no holds-barred knife fight. If Hardy represents military might, then in story-telling sense, his death represents Zod overpowering the military.

Other predictions:

-Faora has a shape-shifting suit, a helmet that can copy a person’s face. She’ll be impersonating Lois. In story-telling, they do this to stir up the protagonist’s loins, to see if Superman does have feelings for Lois or to create conflict between him and Lois.

May 21, 2013 “Fate of Your Planet” Trailer 5?

And there is a shot of Lara-El or someone, crispy dead at 1:22 mark. Don’t know if that corpse is encased in steel or not.

But this trailer sums up the tone of the film. It’s a brawler. I think Faora is even an homage to Samus from famed Metroid series.

May 17, 2013 I got a hunch Brainiac, possibly played by Mackenzie Gray, is the main villain. Zod is to Man of Steel as Bane is to The Dark Knight Rises. Taking a cue from Smallville, Zod will be “possessed” by Brainiac. Brainiac is known to be a shapeshifter, so in movie style, when Zod has red eyes, that’s when Brainiac is in control.

May 13, 2013 It seems Jonathan Kent dies in a heroic fashion in front of Clark’s eyes. Maybe during the Smallville tornado. There’s a track on the soundtrack called “You die or I die”. Sounds like a sacrificial death to me. It’s also a cliche plot device for building motivation. How Clark learns to be a hero.

May 10, 2013 Wanna learn what the “S” stands for? Check this out:

May 10, 2013 I think “Man of Steel” refers to Jor-El in his death state, encased in steel ala Han Solo in carbonite. Jor-El dies a martyr in Krypton, with his S family crest exposed, thus becoming a symbol of hope when Kal-El “returns”. I think Brainiac is the real villain. Zod is “just doing his job”.

Also, I wonder if Kryptonians have been to Earth before. And that humans are Kryptonian after all, which would give an excuse for Kal-El and Lois to be able to procreate. They elope.

Side note, not having anything related to the story, but I find it funny that Russell Crowe, an Australian, is being used to play “regal British” because as Americans, we’re obligated to make the Brits look good due to a peace treaty from WW2. And this is why Henry Cavill, a Brit, has the “privilege” of playing an American superhero. Lesson of the day, kids!

Jan. 23, 2012 – I’m waiting for a second source to confirm this, but it seems Man of Steel will try to get their trailer out with Dark Knight Rises or Rock of Ages. So Warner Bros. is really trying to make Superman “rock and roll” cool. A whole year of marketing? Yowza.

Dec. 10, 2011 – New “leaked” photos of Michael Shannon as Zod in what appears to be a similar Kryptonian suit that Cavill wears. He also has Bart Simpson bangs thing going for him. I’m convinced now he’s Kal El’s uncle, Jor El’s brother. Knowing how the movie industry is, Thor was a set-up for it. Jor El’s a “peaceful” general, or is allies with the Earthlings, and sent his Jesus messiah son to protect it. And that would make the Zod character a power-hungry wants-to-rule-a-planet-of-his-own sibling rival to Jor-El. It’s kinda like watching Optimus call Megatron “brother” in utter Bayhem with a feeling of convoluted nausea. But, alas, I can be proven wrong.

Boys and girls, lest you not know, there are actually only a handful of movie studios, and they all have to work like organized crime with movie theatres to keep spoon-feeding you what you want. Just like America is literally only like 5 gigando companies/industries. You can either look at it as the world being incredibly small (therefore, predictable) or that these companies are huge entities and that you can’t do anything because you’re little people. Or, you can look at it as an organic system, and that in order to feed these power-hungry egos, they must rely on someone to feed them their allegiance. Can you imagine, if people cold-stopped watching movies, meaning no YouTube, no Blurays/DVDs, no movie theaters, nada, zilch? America would literally collapse because it’s propaganda machine died. If Superman was depicted as a loser, why would “foreigners” want to idolize him… idolize the mighty, enviable America? Think about it.

Zod might as well be Ming the Merciful. “Kneeeeel before your emperor, Zod-ching Zhang!” SMDH. Hey, what do I know about iconography and symbolism?

Aug. 11, 2011 – I think General Zod is going to be revealed as Kal-El’s brother. Jor-El is going to be a bad guy. It don’t get more cliched (yet, epic) than that. Ripped from Smallville, Russell Crowe sent his sons to Earth to take it over. He didn’t count on Kal-El being raised to be a traitor. My main justification is because Michael Shannon bares too much of a similar resemblance to Cavill, AND since Zack Snyder is a lazy sonbitch of a filmmaker, will try to rip off Gladiator’s father/son dynamic, but with Zod and Kal-El in place of Maximus and Commodus. Tsk-tsk-tsk.

Aug. 4, 2011Here it is, the first official “leak” of what the new Superman’s costume looks like:

Superman Man of Steel New Film costume

Yikes. My personal opinion, they overkilled it. Why have Cavill put on all that muscle then put rubber on top of that? Takes away the charm or naivete of design. But, I’m aware that it is a product of the time and wouldn’t sell otherwise. But, man, Zack Snyder really gets the Jim Lee aura Superman going doesn’t he?

Mar. 18, 2011My latest concept fan art:

Jan. 21, 2010 After Warner Bros. officially announced the villains for Dark Knight Rises, my inclination as to whom the new Superman will be is pointing to Tom Welling. Rumors existed before, but now knowing how “difficult” it is to cast such an iconic character in Americana, I think Warner Bros. is going to play it safe as Welling has already been Superman to a generation of fans already. Pure speculation.


Speculation (mainly from what is already rumored online and what my inclinations are):

  • Since Nolan likes to “play things close to the vest”, he’ll recycle his same workflow and methodology (pure motivation is the money).  Superman will be grounded but presenting just enough fantasy elements to suspend your disbelief.  Expect to see things already done before with Supes, playing it safe. Same blue and red tights, same square jaw figure, cape, strong and fast.
  • Story-wise, it might take place on Krypton, or Earth is going to be transformed into Krypton. If Braniac is involved, then he’s going to be doing some Riddler mind-game stuff. He might be using Krytonite to transform the Earth (yeah, similar to island forming plot of Superman Returns, but what the hey) into a low-gravity, volcanic hell, which would give an excuse for Clark Kent being able to fly on Earth. And then Warner Bros. can utilize their new collapsing-towers visual effects they just showcased in Inception. Superman has to save the Earth like Silver Surfer does.
  • Some “experts” are thinking Nolan will want a classic looking Superman; one who doesn’t look cut, or like an underwear model. The logic possibly being that the man is a super being with super powers, so it doesn’t matter what he looks like physically. Rumors swirling that Tom Hardy, the burly, yet slick mercenary from Inception could be a contender.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he was cast, just like when I learned Robert Downey, Jr. was cast as Tony Stark. Sometimes, the actor’s skill is more important than his looks.

What I would do:

  • Nolan seems to like to have practical reasons for elements in a story, just like he and Goyer made Batman’s training and suit originate from the ninja-like League of Shadows. So I wouldn’t doubt it if Superman’s “tights” was actually his second skin and his cape was his wings. Something like that, something that makes him look like an angel, or deity. Otherwise, it not practical for a big guy to be wearing a second layer of clothing underneath a three-piece suit and not look it. Anyone seen The Rock’s skit on SNL?
  • How else does Clark Kent disguise himself from obviously being called out as Superman? Wearing a pair of glasses doesn’t really change anything does it? The citizens of Metropolis must be dumb if they can’t tell the hulking man with glasses shopping for nacho dip doesn’t match the build and likeness of the boy in blue. Solution: because Superman is 2nd fastest to Flash (correct me if I’m out of the loop), no one ever captured or witnessed what he looked like, so identity always remains concealed.
  • As I posted way back when, I’d like to see Russell Crowe as General Lex Luthor. It’ll just be havoc when he’s calling tanks and jets to shoot down Superman all throughout the rubble of Metropolis. Of course, this was when I was eyeing Tom Cruise to be a government-experiment-gone-wrong Superman. It would have been a maniac, Nazi-like Superman, but I digress. I also suggested Matthew Fox, famous from TV’s Lost, as an older, gray-haired Superman stuck in a youthful new culture that he can’t get with.  It’d be like when John Wayne was trying to school hippies on what it meant to be a man, but instead the young and sexy Lois and metrosexual Jimmy Olsen would call the pops names and not kick it with him. Something like that.
  • Captain Marvel is a hunky Asian. China’s very own Superman. Gimmick genius!!! What-what!

How I envsion a live-action remake, Nolan-style

My Superman Live Action Skin concept. (Left to right) Clark Kent in dull color tones not to draw attention; Clark sheds his "human" skin camo to reveal his real alien blue and red skin, has scar carved into chest from Krypton war training; Superman has dragonfly like wings

My Superman Live Action Skin concept. (Left to right) Clark Kent in dull color tones not to draw attention; Clark sheds his "human" skin camo to reveal his real alien blue and red skin, has scar carved into chest from Krypton war training; Superman has dragonfly like wings

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