Can Man of Steel reboot Superman?

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Zack Snyder has teamed up with Christopher Nolan to reinvigorate the comic book hero after 2006's Superman Returns failed to take flight as a franchise

Man of Steel, the latest iteration of the Superman series, lands on the big screen today with the hopes that the dark, action-heavy film can revive the classic comic book superhero as a Hollywood franchise.

But director Zack Snyder, who is best known for 2007 action film 300 and 2009 superhero flick Watchmen, said that it was a delicate balance staying faithful to Superman's story without retreading earlier film and television versions.

"I think a mistake would be to consciously ask, 'What mistakes have they done in the past?' That type of reactive approach - that's going to end in disaster," Snyder, 47, said.

"The way we looked at it was like, 'Let's say we just found these comic books under our bed and this character, Superman, seems pretty cool to make a movie about,'" he added.

The Superman comic, which artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel debuted in 1938, has been brought to the big and small screen about a dozen times, most notably in the four-film series starring Christopher Reeve from 1978 to 1987.

Man of Steel tells the origin story of the DC Comics superhero, played by British actor Henry Cavill, setting up the film as a springboard to reboot a franchise that failed to take off in 2006 with director Bryan Singer's Superman Returns.

Studio Warner Bros. enlisted director Christopher Nolan - whose three Batman films grossed more than $2 billion worldwide between 2005 and 2012, according to box-office tracker Boxofficemojo.com - as a producer and story writer to help shepherd the film along.

"He treated me probably how he would want to be treated," Snyder said of Nolan. "If I had a problem he was there to say, 'What's going on? What about this?' offering advice and counsel whenever I needed it."

Man of Steel begins with Superman's birth as Kal-El on the planet Krypton. As the last hope for his society's survival amid an insurrection, his parents send him to Earth where he is raised as Clark Kent in Smallville, Kansas.

By framing Man of Steel as a coming-of-age story, Snyder is also able to tap the science-fiction unique to Superman that other superhero stories, like Batman, do not have.

"He's able to look at humanity objectively because he's not human, and that element combined with the sci-fi school made me really go after that aspect of it as hard as I could," he said.

The film documents the young life of Clark Kent from bullied and sensitive schoolboy to itinerant loner endowed with otherworldly strength, laying the groundwork for a consistent, relatable Superman that Snyder said he wanted in the character.

"We didn't have to have this crazy transformation go on when he became Clark Kent," he said. "He's not even aware of it ... I feel like in a weird way, he's also easier to hook onto because he's coming from the same point of view all the time."

Snyder also said he leaned on Clark Kent's all-American values and farm-boy upbringing by Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) when it came time for Superman to emerge to save the planet from Kryptonian warlord General Zod.

"He's like a first-responder. ... He's a volunteer in a lot of ways, and I think that because he's that ultimate, selfless character, you end up (with) a personality type that goes along with that," Snyder said.

"I think as soon as you start to work on him it's going to be muddy and weird," Snyder said about his reluctance to modify Superman from his comic book origins. "There's a pure thing inside of the Superman character."

Man of Steel also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Michael Shannon as General Zod.

Reuters

Arts and Entertainment
Jude Law in Black Sea

film

In Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before

Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops

film

Arts and Entertainment
Full circle: Wu-Tang’s Method Man Getty

Music review

Arts and Entertainment
When he was king: Muhammad Ali training in 'I Am Ali'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
TV
News
Harry Hill plays the Professor in the show and hopes it will help boost interest in science among young people
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A Van Gogh sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month
art
Arts and Entertainment

MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word

Arts and Entertainment
It would 'mean a great deal' to Angelina Jolie if she won the best director Oscar for Unbroken

Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says

Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
books
Arts and Entertainment
Lee Evans is quitting comedy to spend more time with his wife and daughter

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

music
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game