- Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Jadin Gould, Christopher Meloni, Laurence Fishburne, Ayelet Zurer, Antje Traue, Tahmoh Penikett, David Paetkau, Richard Schiff, Dylan Sprayberry, Michael Kelly , Harry Lennix, Alessandro Juliani , Cooper Timberline, Joe Minoso, Jack Foley, Carmen Lavigne, Robert Gerdisch, Rebecca Spence, Christina Ghubril, Brad Kelly, Rowen Kahn, Alexa Gengelbach, Rondel Reynoldson, Bridgett Newton, Cynthia Rose Hall
- Director: Zack Snyder
- Writers: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
- Producers: Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Emma Thomas
- Co Producer: Wesley Coller
- Executive Producers: Jon Peters, Lloyd Phillips, Thomas Tull
- Art Direction: Helen Jarvis
- Castings: Kristy Carlson, Lora Kennedy, Claire Simon
- Costume Designs: James Acheson, Michael Wilkinson
- D.O.P.: Amir Mokri
- Editor: David Brenner
- Makeups: Anji Bemben, Suzi Ostos
- Music: Hans Zimmer
- Production Design: Alex McDowell
- Set Decoration: Anne Kuljian
In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Cavill) is a young twentysomething journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as “Superman,” not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Chicago, USA; Lone Pine, USA; Vancouver, Canada
- MPAA Warning: Intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language
- Production Budget: $225 million
- Production Companies: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Entertainment, Syncopy, Third Act Productions
- Production Schedule: 21 September 2011 - 20 January 2012
2013 Guide Analysis: "The fate of not just one, but several franchises rests in the hands of this second recent attempt by Warner Brothers to reboot its Superman film franchise. "Batman Begins" scribe David S. Goyer and director Christopher Nolan came up with the story which Goyer wrote and Nolan is producing. Even before it began production though, Nolan has distanced himself from the project and claims the movie is very much director Zack Snyder's baby. It's hard to know how genuine that is considering trailers for "Man of Steel" showcase the definite influence of the more grounded and real world approach seen in Nolan's three Batman films on this version of Kal-El's origin story.
The story of Superman is familiar to all by now, and the film makes no bones about being an origin story. What makes 'Steel' different is both the tone and the details. Bryan Singer's problematic "Superman Returns" made the mistake of being too slavish to the Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve films that had come before. Serving as a kind of pseudo-sequel meets restarter, it could never escape the shadow of the earlier films. With 'Steel', Snyder and the studio have made a clean break - the key characters are there, but the details are much more along the lines of the recent comic line. Krypton isn't a society of old men living in a world of ice crystals, but a militarised society with a HR Giger-esque design aesthetic.
Goyer and Nolan claim to have found an approach that can humanise this most unapproachable, and difficult to narratively crack, of all the superheroes. The film certainly explores familiar thematic threads such as Clark being raised by very moral parents, having to decide what kind of man he wants to become, hiding his true identity from the world, and having questions regarding his origins. This incarnation also seems to touch upon an idea those familiar with David Tennant-era "Doctor Who" will know well - the isolation, responsibilities and struggle to find a moral center that comes with being the last of a race of immortals - a 'Lonely God' as such.
There's a veritable who's who of excellent actors in the supporting cast from Michael Shannon as General Zod and Russell Crowe as Jor-El, to Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as the Kents. Physically Henry Cavill is perfect to play Superman, but acting wise his cinematic endeavours have yet to showcase his ability well - only viewers of Showtime's "The Tudors" have really seen how good this guy can be. Adams is a definitely a big improvement over the woefully miscast Kate Bosworth, but still doesn't seem to fit quite right as Lois Lane.
Despite the brand name recognition, the might of the Warners marketing machine, and superb trailers to push it - there's enough question marks still lingering that this is not the slam dunk it might appear. Snyder certainly has the talent to pull off the big scale visuals, but from "300" to "Watchmen" to "Sucker Punch" - his films have often lacked genuine emotion, restraint and a necessary objectiveness.
Even with a serious Nolan-esque approach, one wonders if the tone will be more akin to the occasionally clunky yet highly engaging pulp of "Batman Begins," or the self-aggrandizing and disaffectingly dour "The Dark Knight Rises". With Christian Bale's Batman gone and the "Green Lantern" franchise having fallen flat on its face at launch, the cinematic future of not just Superman, but the DC Universe as a whole could well be determined by how well "Man of Steel" goes with audiences. It's the blockbuster I'm personally looking forward to the most in 2013, I hope it lives up to expectations."