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No briefs reprieve: Superman to return to silver screen without his iconic red underpants

'Man of Steel' is scheduled for next summer

Superman returns to the multiplexes next year leaping tall buildings in a single bound in the latest big budget comic hero reboot, but he will be doing it without a rather iconic item of clothing.

Man of Steel is scheduled to be one of next summer’s big blockbusters, as film studios’ appetite for comic book adaptations grows in the wake of the success of Avengers Assemble and The Dark Knight Rises.

The filmmakers have decided to resurrect the character with added “realism” according to Henry Cavill, the British actor who stars in the film. He will also return to the screen without the signature red underpants over his costume.

Director Zack Snyder, whose films include 300 and Watchmen, said the design team played around with the costume “for a long time” adding: “It was a big deal for me”. The costume still has the red boots, cape and insignia but the rest will be all blue.

Snyder told the New York Post: “I tried like crazy to keep the red briefs on him. Everyone else said: ‘You can’t have the briefs on him.’ I looked at probably 1,500 versions of the costumes with the briefs on.

The first ever comic book hero has proved a trickier proposition after the early success of the films starring Christopher Reeve.  The most recent incarnation, Superman Returns in 2006 proving box office kryptonite although Cavill has already signed up for three films.

Snyder said: “I heard one time that the Superman glyph is the second or third most recognisable symbol on earth after the Christian cross. It’s this crazy responsibility.”