For those of us who weren’t able to attend Warner’s San Diego Comic-Con presentation over the summer (raising my own hand), today’s lengthy Man of Steel trailer gave us our first extended look at Zack Snyder’s planned reboot/continuation of the Superman mythology on screen. The clip built off of the two Malick-esque teasers that were released earlier this year, establishing an ethereal tone while also finally delivering on some of the action the director has promised fans.
Here it is again, if you haven’t seen it yet:
And here are the five immediate thoughts to come to mind now that we’ve watched the trailer a few dozen times:
1. Get ready for Superman’s origin story. And a sad Clark.
The trailer doesn’t necessarily look like Donner’s Superman Redux. But the bulk of this 2-minute, 33-second trailer is dedicated to formulative scenes from Clark Kent’s youth. We see a spaceship arriving on the Kent farm. We see an emotionally disturbed adolescent Clark hiding in a closet as his adopted mother (Diane Lane) attempts to talk him down. We see teenage Clark saving a schoolbus filled with kids, and Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) telling him that protecting his secret might be more important than actually saving folks. (Because “With great power comes great responsibility” is Spider-Man’s mantra!) Here’s what’s troubling: We also see what appear to be scenes of Krypton being destroyed, with Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara (Ayelet Zurer) holding baby Clark and then witnessing the planet’s destruction. When Superman is searching for answers, he returns to his snowy Fortress of Solitude. Does all of this sound familiar? It will, if you’ve ever seen Donner’s Superman … and by now, who the hell hasn’t?
2. It’s possible this is heavy with flashbacks.
The one thing that leads me to believe Snyder and his team wouldn’t dare simply retell the origin story, as laid out by Donner nearly 35 years ago, occurs at the 59-second mark of the trailer. Older Clark, played by Henry Cavill, watches a school bus drive past him as he hides out in a seaside town. I’m holding on to hope that we start with Superman in a state of identity crisis, trying to figure out where he fits in on a planet filled with mortals. But things he routinely witnesses call to mind brief flashbacks to his upbringing – things like the schoolbus, or a quick dip into the water (which we also see of Cavill). It’s possible what Snyder is showing us for the first two thirds of this clip are really just brief segments of his overall film. Because The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb will tell you how receptive superhero fans are when they’re asked to sit through a character’s origin story again (Hint: They’re not receptive at all).
3. Cinematographer Amir Mokri is doing amazing work.
A seasoned action-movie cinematographer, with credits including Fast & Furious and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Mokri has taken a cue from the reverential tone set through Snyder’s imagery to date. This Man of Steel clip boasts some of the most majestic Superman photography we’ve seen to date, with the billowing cape (at the 1:16 mark) and the boots set against the snowy-white landscapes. There is a washed-out hue in some of the scenes, and lens flares (!!), but in general, Man of Steel looks gorgeous for a superhero blockbuster.
4. There will be action!
Superman gets a ton of flak for being relatively boring over the course of his cinematic career. Even when he did fight foes in the earlier Christopher Reeve films, it was the cheesy Nuclear Man who went toe-to-toe with the son of Jor-El. Superman will fight Zod (Michael Shannon) in this movie, and while we only get a quick snapshot of the nemesis, we do see Metropolis citizens running from tumbling skyscrapers, Superman flying to fight something in mid-air, a shirtless Cavill on fire, the military locking Supes down, and the origin of this…
5. There should be an epic fist fight.
Remember this image, one of the first Warner released regarding Man of Steel?
At the time, it was our first look at Cavill in the new Superman suit. In time, we began to speculate about where Superman was standing, how did the vault behind him get destroyed, and what is he actually doing in this pose? The new trailer answers that … to a certain extent. Superman is definitely thrown into this safe. By whom? Or by what? I have to guess Zod. Superman II still has the best fight on screen, with the man of steel taking on three superpowered villains. Can Snyder top that? This imagery seems to suggest he’s going to try when Man of Steel opens in theaters on June 14.