After giant spinning Superman insignias filled the two side screens of Hall H, Zach Snyder emerged to discuss his hitherto unseen take on one of the oldest and most recognizable superheroes of all time. The crowd was in a frenzy, the kind of geek anticipation that you get at the midnight screening of a Nolan Batman movie.
Snyder informed us that the marketing department had originally only wanted to show us the “Announcement Teaser” for the film which will be running in front of The Dark Knight Rises this weekend. Snyder, meanwhile, had other plans, and told us that we’d be seeing an exclusive extended cut of the trailer.
The footage began with a few handheld shots of the Kent barn where much of Superman’s origin takes place. We see a bearded Henry Cavill wandering in the mountains, eerily reminiscent of the opening of Batman Begins (this script was written by David Goyer, one of the Batman writers) and has a lost and dejected Man of Steel seeking his place in the world.
We see flashes from his childhood, underscored by a great narration from Russell Crowe, playing Jor-El. A schoolbus goes off a road into a ravine with a raging waterfall. We don’t see the aftermath, only a soaked Clark Kent standing holding the back of the bus, apparently back on dry land with a woman’s voice saying that her son saw what Clark did that day.
Then there’s shots of the spaceship that Superman supposedly arrived in, a small baby wrapped in blankets floating into the craft as Jor-El watches on, and finally Cavill, still in civilian attire, asking his father what he must do. One would assume he’s watching some sort of holographic projection of Jor-El, but I’m not willing to speculate further.
Then we see the doors of the fortress of solitude open and Cavill stride out in slow motion, cape billowing in the wind. This is the Superman we’ve been waiting for. He places a closed fist in the snow, and with a thunderous crack, launches himself skyward, racing past camera. The mood is much darker and ominous than any prior Superman film, an almost autumnal feeling of dark browns and greens.
We see a building collapse, we see a quick shot of Amy Adams as Lois Lane rushing towards the camera. We see Superman thrown through a bank wall and up against the door of a safe which crushes inward. There’s a desert with military vehicles stretched out in every direction. Superman and Lois kiss. Clark gets into an elevator, raising his classic glasses up to his face as the doors close.
Then we have the two most contentious shots in the whole trailer. A close-up of Michael Shannon, long speculated to be playing Zod, the character made famous by Terrence Stamp in Superman II and also, interestingly enough, a character created for that film. Shannon has the mustache and goatee combo that Zod had, but appears to be wearing some sort of mechanized suit. Think Mickey Rourke from the end of Iron Man 2.
The follow up shot rushes along the buildings of Metropolis, towards a silhouetted Superman and another figure, again appearing to be Shannon, in a full body suit. Call me crazy, as both shots lasted for mere fractions of a second, but I’m thinking there’s a high probability that Shannon is playing Braniac, not Zod, as Zod, being Kryptonian, would have no need for a suit like that and could fight Superman hand to hand without it. I look forward to seeing if those shots are included in the announcement trailer.
Other things of note from the panel include the fact that this will be, as with Batman, an amalgamation of different Superman storylines. Snyder refused to confirm the villain of the film, despite much nudging by fans and the moderator alike, nor would he deny that it was Zod outright. Personally, I hope it isn’t Zod and that they’ve actually taken this film to ground previously unexplored. I guess we’ll have to wait until next summer to find out for certain.
Up next, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
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