The term “visionary” is thrown around quite a bit when discussing filmmakers, but it’s never been more fitting than when referring to director Zack Snyder.
Snyder began his career directing music videos for the likes of Morrissey, and Paul Westerberg, but his big break came when he helmed the remake of George A. Romero’s horror classic Dawn of the Dead. However, it was Snyder’s adaption of acclaimed comic book writer Frank Miller’s 300 that made him one of Hollywood’s most sought-after directors. He followed up that success by adapting what many consider to be the greatest graphic novel of all-time, legendary comic book scribe Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The film went on to gross over $185 million worldwide and is considered by many to be an unappreciated masterpiece of filmmaking.
Snyder’s next two films would prove to be departures for him, the computer-animated family film Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, which was adapted from Kathryn Lasky’s children’s book, and Sucker Punch. The latter of the two is the director’s only completely original film to date, based on his own story idea, but also his least critically and financially successful film as well. Snyder has also written and produced the upcoming sequel to 300, 300: Rise of an Empire, and has had his name attached to such highly anticipated projects as a remake of The illustrated Man, the long in progress Justice League movie, and a Star Wars spin-off film inspired by Seven Samurai. But first, Snyder takes on arguably the most popular super hero of all-time with his latest film, Man of Steel, which is a reboot/reimagining of the Superman franchise that flies into theaters on June 14th.
The new film retells the classic Superman mythos about a Smallville boy name Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), who comes to learn that he is actually Kal-El, a humanoid alien that was transported to Earth by his father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) from the dying planet of Krypton. Adopted as a child by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), he is raised with the values of his adoptive parents but feels alienated because of his unique super powers and struggles to find his own place in the world. When a traitor from Krypton named General Zod (Michael Shannon) attacks Earth, Clark becomes the hero Superman to protect the planet, its people, his mother, and the women he loves - Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams). The film’s excellent cast also includes Laurence Fishburne (Contagion), Antje Traue (5 Days of War), Ayelet Zurer (Darling Companion), Henry Lennix (The Matrix Revolutions), Christopher Meloni (42), and Richard Schiff (TV’s West Wing). Man of Steel was written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), and based on a story by Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight).
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with director Zack Snyder, along with several other members of the press, at the Man of Steel press conference on Soundstage #23 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. The “visionary” filmmaker discussed his new movie, adapting the iconic character, choosing General Zod for the film’s antagonist, the absence of Lex Luthor, the way in which the movie unfolds, and composer Hans Zimmer’s beautiful score.
Opening in theaters on June 14th is the highly anticipated reboot of the Superman franchise entitled Man of Steel, which was helmed by Visionary director Zack Snyder (Watchmen). The new film was produced by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), and based on a story he developed with screenwriter David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), who wrote the script. The new movie features an all-star cast that includes Henry Cavill (Immortals) as Clark Kent/Superman, Academy Award-nominees Amy Adams (The Fighter) as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne (What’s Love Got to Do With It) as Perry White, Diane Lane (Unfaithful) as Martha Kent, and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) as General Zod, as well as Emmy Award-winner Richard Schiff (TV’s The West Wing) as Dr. Emil Hamilton, and Academy Award-winners Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves) as Jonathan Kent, and Russell Crowe (Gladiator) as Jor-El.
Over the past two years, IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick has had the opportunity to speak with actors Henry Cavill and Michael Shannon, as well as screenwriter David S. Goyer, about their work on Man of Steel while they were promoting other projects. Goyer discussed the highly anticipated new film, his challenges in rebooting the popular comic book franchise, how he made the character more accessible to modern audiences, what source material he used for inspiration, the first time he saw Cavill in the Superman costume and whether or not Lex Luthor is included in the movie. Shannon talked about his approach to playing General Zod, why he didn't portray him as a villain, and comparisons between his character and General Patton. Finally, Cavill discussed which Superman comics he read while preparing for the role, and if he feels that he is ready to play the iconic character.
Up, up, and also away!
After years of crying on Batman's shoulder while Marvel successfully built its cinematic superhero empire, Warner Bros. finally appears to have the start to a solid DC Comics franchise with Man of Steel.
As the anticipation for the reboot's June 14th release reaches a fever pitch, the studio is naturally setting up a sequel to be in theaters as quickly as possible.
This Friday, June 14th, Superman soars onscreen once again in Man of Steel.
Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the pulpy pages of early comics a full seventy-five years ago, Superman marked the introduction of the superhero as we know it. The Last Son of Krypton has proven malleable, changing appropriately along with the culture of which he's been a huge part for almost a century now. But this neon god has also retained his core qualities, the essential elements that continue to strike a mythological chord.
With Man of Steel, the filmmakers are tasked with not only delivering an epic summer movie featuring all the necessary spectacle, but also with reinvigorating Superman cinematically. In this modern age of abundant superheroics, many people mistakenly believe Clark Kent and his alter ego irretrievably passe and old fashioned. In order to correct that notion, director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer – along with producers such as Deborah Snyder, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, and Emma Thomas – tell Superman's origin story without extensive reinvention.
Instead, Snyder and company infuse Kal-El and the supporting characters with often-unexplored emotional perspectives. Also, the 300 and Watchmen director brings his facility with eye-catching action to the biggest possible canvas, a story that runs the gamut from war on an alien world to truly superpowered battles that alter the landscape here on Earth.
Executing the filmmakers' vision of a revitalized Man of Tomorrow is a supremely talented cast of actors, many of whom were on hand at the Los Angeles press day for Man of Steel. Henry Cavill (Immortals) is the actor carrying Man of Steel as Superman, joined by Amy Adams (The Master) as Lois Lane. They were joined at the press conference by Michael Shannon (Take Shelter), Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Diane Lane (Secretariat), and Antje Traue (Pandorum). The group was uniformly enthusiastic in discussing their individual characters and Man of Steel as a whole.
With anticipation for Man of Steel already at boiling point a week out from the June 14th theatrical release, one last trailer for the Superman reboot goes for broke with approach that can best be described as shock and awe.
It shocks and awes.
Not much more than a week before Man of Steel laser blasts all over theaters nationwide on June 14th and the very first clips from the crazy-anticipated Superman reboot have landed online.
Here's the cool thing: Neither of these first two clips involve Superman doing anything super. Instead, both clips have Amy Adams holding it down as intrepid Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane.
At this point, two weeks out from Man of Steel's nationwide release, you probably know pretty well whether you'll be seeing the Superman reboot or not.
But if your anticipation has reached a fever pitch and you're still gobbling up any and every nugget of information pertaining to Man of Steel, then we have a whole smorgasbord of superheroic treats for you today. The latest promotion for the event movie, collected here for your enjoyment, run from a behind the scenes featurette through to new TV spots and 90-second samples of every track on the score by Hans Zimmer.
Superman, Superman, does whatever a super can.
The three latest TV spots for Man of Steel demonstrate that Superman can do an awful lot, from flying superfast to chatting with his deceased father to shooting superlasers from his eyes to romancing a cynical reporter to brawling with a maniacal Kryptonian. All three commercials are crammed with expensive action and demonstrations of our hero's powers, even implicitly addressing one of the big concerns with Superman Returns.
Synopsis: A retelling of Superman's origin story, following orphaned Kal-El from his doomed planet of Krypton, through his adopted upbringing in the Midwest, his existential wanderings, and, finally, to his status as Earth's greatest protector.
Christopher Nolan has gotten a whole lot of attention as a producer on next month's Man of Steel, and his creative contribution is surely substantial. But Nolan was busy making his final Batman movie when the Superman reboot was actually shooting, and now we're getting some insight on Man of Steel from Deborah Snyder, whose work here is more hands-on.
The producer is talking about the hugely anticipated Superman origin story, revealing new info-nuggets and ideas about the thematic core of the film, as well as the new takes on Lois Lane, General Zod, and Superman's costume.