The new Man of Steel trailer landed late Tuesday afternoon with a sonic boom that caused a seismic shift in fan anticipation. Though eagerly awaited, many have remained skeptical, and somewhat uneasy, about this so-called 'reboot' from director Zack Snyder. He did, after all, make what some call the most disappointing comic book adaptation of all time with 2009's Watchmen. And Warner Bros., the studio behind Man of Steel, royally whiffed it with their more recent DC Comics adaptation Green Lantern. Not to mention, there's still the mild stench of Superman Returns wafting through the air like a patchouli fart, causing fear that we could be in store for another snooze fest that fails at showing exactly what Kal-El is capable of on planet earth.
This latest look at Man of Steel puts all fears to rest, and even turned this mild mannered superhero movie into the must-see event of the summer. The great thing about the trailer is that it doesn't completely show its hand. It hints at awesomeness in a powerful way, and does what any good piece of marketing should do. It has made us salivate and clamor for that coveted IMAX midnight ticket.
Though the trailer sets up a great deal of the story behind this re-invisioning of our most popular and ionic superhero, it also leaves a great deal of mystery and only teases some of the bigger action set pieces. There's still a lot we don't know about Man of Steel. And while some of the movie's biggest secrets should be saved for opening night, there are a couple of interesting things you should know going in that might not be on your radar.
Today, we're going to look at 5 things you don't know about Man of Steel (and if you do know them, you probably pointed them out to us!)
1Man of Steel's Connection to Smallville
In creating Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder wanted to make a movie that was not connected to any previous film or TV show about Superman. He wanted a clean break from the past incarnations of Clark Kent and the world of Metropolis, and even dispatched Brandon Routh, who was attached for a sequel (and/or reboot) because he wanted this new adventure to completely stand-alone. But in terms of its story, Man of Steel has retained one character from Smallville that was created solely for that popular WB/CW series, and never appeared in the original DC comic books. Whitney Fordman is a high school classmate of Clark's who we will see during the first act of Man of Steel. Eric Johnson originated the character on the small screen, and will now be played by Robert Gerdisch. Whitney is the star quarterback of the Smallville Crows football team, and boyfriend to Lana Lang, Clark's first love and Lex Luthor's future wife. Whitney and Lana are the King and Queen of Clark's prom, and serve in retaining some of the mythology that was previously set up only on the WB/CW series. Man of Steel also has a couple of interesting behind the scenes connections to Smallville as well. Lois Lane herself, Amy Adams played the fat teenager Jodi Melville in the Season 1 episode "Craving", which was one of her earliest roles. And Alessandro Juliani, who plays Sergeant Sedowsky in Man of Steel, had a recurring role as Dr. Emil Hamilton. There may be a couple of hidden Easter eggs to find when the film hits the big screen, so stay tuned for those as well.
2Man of Steel Features the First Big Screen Appearance of Faora
Man of Steel shares something else with Smallville: Faora. This character has never before been seen on the big screen, but she did play an important arc on the WB/CW series. Some people confuse her for Ursa, as seen in Superman II. Both are fierce Kryptonian warriors, and both have connections to the main villain Zod. They've both spent time in the phantom zone. And they both hate men. But Ursa is only loosely based on Faora, and was created by Richard Donner solely for use in 1978's Superman and 1981's Superman II. She was later used in the DC comic book series. Faora is distinguished by her deadly mastery of the Kryptonian martial arts form Horu-Kanu, and in Man of Steel, we will finally see her as originally envisioned in the comic books. Mostly. Played by German actress Antje Traue, Faora is a genetically engineered psychopath driven by the need to kill. One of the elements being introduced into Superman folklore through Man of Steel is that the populace on Krypton is made up from eugenics. This aspect also sets Faora aside from Ursa to create two distinct individuals in the Superman mythos.
3 The 4 Comics That Influenced Henry Cavill
Maybe you don't know this, but star Henry Cavill was originally cast to play Kal-El in the J.J. Abrams written Superman adventure Flyby, which was halted so that Superman Returns could go into production instead. Though Henry was under contract with Warner Bros. at the time, the role of Clark Kent went to Brandon Routh under director Bryan Singer's supervision. Henry Cavill must have been destined for the part, though, as he soon shot to the top of Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder's most wanted list when it was decided to reboot the franchise with a fresh actor inside those iconic red and blue tights. The time between Superman Returns and Man of Steel wasn't wasted, as devoted DC Comics fan Cavill devoured every issue of Superman he could get his hands on. Though he claims to have pulled his inspiration for Kal-El from a vast array of sources, the actor sites four comic books as a direct link to the Superman he is bringing to the screen this summer. First is The Death of Superman from 1992, which sees Superman dying at the hands of Doomsday in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice. The second is The Return of Superman from 1993, which found four bizarre characters emerging to claim they were Kal-El reincarnated, each possessing one of Superman's core strengths. Third is Superman: Red Son from 2003, which reimagines Superman if he landed in Russia instead of the United States to fight for the Communists in the Cold War. And forth, Superman/Batman: The Search for Kryptonite, which finds the two heroes racing to clean up the planet in the aftermath of a Kryptonite meteor. Each of these issues brought a key component to figuring out Superman's psyche in this fully reformed reboot.
4 Kryptonite Is Being Traded for Loneliness
Kryptonite has always been Superman's biggest weakness. And it has long served as a crutch for the many writers of Superman lore over the years as well. Kal-El is a perfect specimen, and that should be his downfall. Zack Snyder wanted to re-imagine a world where the hero wasn't plagued by this glowing green "disease". What could serve to hurt the strongest man on the planet? How about loneliness? Zack saw Kryptonite as the predictable and easy way out, and decided instead to tug at Clark Kent's emotional sleeve. This may be the first emo Superman every commited to screen, but don't worry. Kal-El isn't going to be seen sitting on a rock, crying. Instead, we'll see Superman take his emotional frailties and use them to knock airplanes out of the sky and beat back giant spaceships with his pulsing laser sight. Who needs kryptonite when you have introspection and doubt plaguing your every move? Also, Superman will be more of an outcast in this reboot than he ever has been before. That will requires some extra soul searching that stunts his growth as a superhero. Taking away the Kryptonite is a risky move, but it ensures that this movie will stand out from the previous big screen incarnations, hopefully for the best. Superman now stands for truth, justice, and the American way of crying about everything. Could a frivolous "you hurt my feelings" lawsuit against Zod be far behind?
5Man of Steel is the first Superman adventure to Exile Jimmy Olsen
Most people know that there is no Jimmy Olson in Man of Steel, but did you know this is the first time the character has ever been exiled from a Superman movie or TV show? All previous incarnations of the franchise have given Jimmy a prominent role in the plot, from the earliest shorts starting in 1948, to the popular 1952 TV series, to the Richard Donner movies, and even the most recent Smallville and Superman Returns. The young Daily Planet photojournalist is rumored to be sitting this one out because he 's a little too similar to a wall crawling newspaper photographer named Peter Parker, who's enjoying his own reboot at the moment. Peter Parker is essentially Jimmy Olsen with super powers. There have been rumors that Jimmy was given a sex change in Man of Steel, and will be played by an actress with a different character name. Like Ursa and Faora, if this proves to be true, it still means they are two separate characters. If we don't see photojournalist Jenny Olsen, reportedly played by Rebecca Buller in the finished movie, we can still expect at least one good joke at Jimmy's expense. Maybe he'll show up for the sequel.