Warner Bros. has a lot riding on its latest Superman revamp, “Man of Steel.” Marvel and Disney are setting box office records for the cape and tight genre. They’re doing so with heroes such as Thor and Iron Man, who they had to introduce to audiences not versed in comic lore. Meanwhile Superman, the comic hero that inspired them all, can’t find movie success.
“Man of Steel” is the cover story for the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. The interview director Zack Snyder gave them has comic book lovers, including me, a little bit worried. Snyder says Kryptonite, one of the character’s few weaknesses, won’t appear in the movie.
I get that. It’s a story crutch a lot in the comic books. Besides, the intro for Kryptonite can be a major plot point for the second or third movie. More worrisome is Snyder’s reveal that Kal-El’s birth was cause for concern on Krypton, suggesting he might have been special even if he stayed there.
Snyder talks about Superman being “lost and angry” about hiding his true powers and identity. The lost and angry Superman is raising fears about the “grim and gritty” trend in superhero movies. It works for Batman. Being dark and angry is his character. It’s the complete opposite of who Superman is. He symbolizes hope. He’s all about the American Way because he’s the ultimate immigrant. Clark Kent/Kal-El wasn’t born here, but he was raised here and has Midwestern values.
There are rumors now that if this Superman doesn’t fly, it ends any possibility we’ll see a Justice League movie. That’s something anybody that has ever enjoyed superheroes wants to see. The promotional push for “Man of Steel” should kick into high gear in the coming weeks. That should give us further clues whether we have another “Iron Man” or another “Superman Returns” in store.