Why You Should Be Excited For Man of Steel

This article was written by deldog30, a high school teacher with a deep fondness for comic books and the culture surrounding them.

—Written by deldog30—

—Edited/formatted by Vagrantesque—

Man of Steel is the upcoming Superman reboot from director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) and producer Christopher Nolan. I have been counting down the days until this film’s release for some time now, and my level of anticipation has grown to the point where I have been consuming as much Superman-related media as a can. From comic books, animated movies/TV shows, even the classic films starring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel himself (Yes I have even been dabbling in some Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman).

Below (in no particular order) are five reasons why Man of Steel has the potential to be the best film of the year.
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1. Superman is a great character.

Superman is indeed a great character and has been since his creation in 1932. It is only the greatest of characters that stand the test of time, and lend themselves to a variety of interpretations. Superman, alongside Batman and Wonder Woman, is no doubt among the greats. I cannot wait to see another interpretation of this character, this time on the big screen. It will be interesting to see how Snyder chooses to handle Superman’s great power combined with his compassion for humankind and his willingness to protect life even at the cost of his own. Here’s a taste of Superman’s sheer awesomeness: In the comic book All-Star Superman, after learning of his imminent demise he wastes no time and goes to work to help as many as he can before his time is up. Rather then searching for a cure for himself he literally cures cancer for the benefit of others; it is this selflessness that makes him so great.
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2. Henry Cavill as Clarke Kent/Superman.

Many of you may not have seen much of Henry Cavill but the casting of him is indeed inspired. Cavill showed me what he was capable of during his 38-episode stint on The Tudors from 2007-2010. Here he played a character that parallels Superman/Clark Kent in many ways. Cavill’s Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk captured the struggles and trepidations a good man encounters when he possesses great power and wealth. There is no doubt Cavill can bring this to Man of Steel and allow the audience to empathise with Clark Kent/Superman at a higher level. Not to mention Cavill just has that look and on-screen presence you associate with Superman (yes I am saying he is a handsome man).
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3. The supporting cast.

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Morpheus, Detective Stabler and The Postman all in the one movie! Are you kidding me? But in all seriousness the supporting cast is stellar with the likes of Russell Crowe, Lawrence Fishburne, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, and Diane Lane. I am very excited to see what these actors bring to these iconic characters, and judging by the trailer and from what I have read, it will be something that feels both fresh and familiar – exactly what is needed to usher in a new era of Superman on the big screen. Underestimate the importance of Superman’s supporting characters at your peril, for they are essential to the character’s development and the success of the character in popular culture.
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4. Michael Shannon as General Zod.

Michael Shannon is a great actor, and a perfect fit for the role of General Zod. Shannon has proved through his work on Boardwalk Empire that he is an actor of the highest quality and that’s who you want taking on the role of a villain in these sorts of movies. Zod needs to be intimidating, and Shannon will no doubt deliver. Let’s not ignore the fact that General Zod is an awesome character in his own right, because not only is he a physical match for Superman on Earth, but being a Kryptonian himself, his presence on Earth brings the two worlds Superman is a part of together in a dramatic and emotional way.
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5. The team behind the cameras.

Directed by Zack Snyder, written by David S. Goyer and produced by Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel has a ridiculous amount of talent behind the cameras. However it is the combination of these three talented individuals that will contribute to Man of Steel’s greatness. Snyder has proven that he can direct action better then most. However where he falls short are those subtler more emotional scenes in his past films and this is where Nolan can assist. The level of sophisticated story telling Nolan has displayed in his past films, including the Batman trilogy, will give greater weight to the more emotional scenes in Man of Steel. Goyer will also contribute to this as he has a good record with comic book to film adaptations having written all three of Nolan’s Batman films, as well as of course the Blade trilogy – quite possibly the greatest trilogy of all time.

Man of Steel is due to release 27th May 2012, and in my opinion has the potential to be the best film of the year. Whether you like the character or not, I implore you give this film a chance. I have a feeling it will change your opinion on Superman if you have failed to connect with the character in the past. Below are some comic books, television series and films that I recommend you check out before seeing the film.

Comic Books:

All-Star Superman
Superman Red Son
Superman Birthright (may include spoilers for the film)
Kingdom Come
The Dark Knight Returns
New 52 Justice League

Television:

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (of course)
Smallville
Justice League
Justice League Unlimited
Superman: The Animated Series

Movies:

Superman: The Movie (1978)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Parts 1 & 2 (2012-2013)
All-Star Superman (2011)
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

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