Let me first say, I was a huge fan of the original 1978 Superman movie, but not so much of the 2006 reboot Superman Returns. Back in the seventies, the original Superman was groundbreaking and made the world believe that a man could fly. Even when viewing the film today taking into account advancements in special effects, the film still holds up because it’s fun, enjoyable, and inspirational on many levels.
On the other hand, while Superman Returns had its moments, it came across as long, tedious, and boring. I’ve probably seen the original Superman movie dozens of times, but I’ve had no desire to view Superman Returns again. This all brings me to the Man of Steel trailer, which recently debuted at Comic-Con and in front of The Dark Knight Rises.
The new Man of Steel trailer gives me the impression it will be a far cry from either the original 1978 Superman movie or the 2006 Superman Returns reboot. As director Zack Snyer mentioned at Comic-Con, Man of Steel will have a darker tone than previous Superman movies. The darker tone is very evident from the Man of Steel trailer, as we are given clear indications of a world that might not be ready for an all-powerful alien super-being. We hear Jonathan Kent warn his adopted son Clark, “People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” We see Superman being led away in handcuffs by a military team.
So given that the Man of Steel trailer looks nothing like the original Superman movie which I loved, do I hate the concept of Man of Steel? No, quite the opposite, I absolutely love it. The original 1978 Superman movie is special, and any attempt to recapture that particular magic and retell the story in the same way would inevitable end in failure. I’m glad that the Man of Steel doesn’t seem to be going that route. It’s a different world we live in today, and the Man of Steel seems to be recognizing that fact. Instead of attempting to recreate the magic of the old, the Man of Steel appears to be creating its own magic. It’s telling an interesting new take on Superman.
Now, there might be some that are put off by the thought of Superman taking a darker turn, as Superman has never been a dark character like Batman. However, I don’t think Man of Steel is necessarily going that route. There are obviously darker elements to the film, and we’re seeing a tougher Superman, but there also appears to be an underlying message of hope. As Clark Kent says near the end of the trailer, “My father believed if the world found out who I really was, they would reject me. I fear he was convinced that the world wasn’t ready. What do you think?”
After watching the Man of Steel trailer, I was left with a feeling of anticipation and wonder of how everything will unfold. I cared about the character and if he would find acceptance in this new world for him. To answer Clark’s question, I think the world is ready for this brand new take on the Man of Steel. The trailer gives me hope that after the first franchise ended with the abysmal Superman IV: The Quest For Peace and the second franchise never got off the ground with Superman Returns that Zack Sndyer’s Man of Steel will be a return to greatness for Superman movies.