Comic-Con: Superman still ‘jewel in the DC crown’

July 15, 2012 | 9:05 a.m.
man of steel Comic Con: Superman still jewel in the DC crown

A striking image from Warner Bros. featured on a “Man of Steel” poster at Comic-Con International (Warner Bros.)

Is “Man of Steel” laying the groundwork for a Justice League movie? Director Zack Snyder may have been hinting at that during the Warner Bros. panel at Comic-Con International on Saturday.

“Superman is the jewel in the DC crown,” Snyder told the Hall H audience of about 6,500. “And really what we’re trying to do is get his house in order, and then who knows what’s possible.”

red son1 Comic Con: Superman still jewel in the DC crown

Red Son (DC Comics)

Snyder and actor Henry Cavill answered audience questions after screening footage from the film, slated for a June 2013 release.

The footage began with glimpses of Clark Kent’s hometown and his childhood while a voice narrated, “What if a child dreamed of being something other than what society intended? What if a child aspired to something greater?”

The clip continued to explore the theme of Kent trying to find his place in a world unready to accept him; early on, his apparent rescue of children in a submerged school bus is seemingly met with suspicion. Later, Superman was shown in handcuffs, flanked by military.

The Clark Kent in the footage seems a far cry from Christopher Reeve‘s earnest, guileless and goofy character in Richard Donner’s 1978 film. Snyder said he wanted to make Superman more accessible.

“Superman’s always this kind of big, blue Boy Scout up on a throne, that nobody can really touch him,” Snyder said.

Cavill said he aimed to change that.

“You guys who know everything about him,” Cavill told the audience. “You’re there through thick and thin. It’s for everyone else out there as well who hasn’t quite experienced what Superman can be, hasn’t gone through comics books, hasn’t felt that world and seen how it changed. And with this, hopefully it can bring a modern version which everyone can associate with.”

deathofsuperman Comic Con: Superman still jewel in the DC crown

“The Death of Superman.” (DC Comics)

Cavill said he woke up an hour early and went to bed an hour late to exercise and prepare physically for the role. He also pored over comics — basically anything I could get my hands on,” he said, citing “The Death of Superman” and “The Return of Superman” as his favorites.

“I felt like they really clarified sort of what Superman is and what lengths he was willing to go to,” he said.

Snyder said “Man of Steel” isn’t based on a particular comic.

“When we started to work on the movie, I think the thing that we decided was we knew that the comic books existed, but the movies are their own thing,” he said. “We have great respect for the canon and great respect for the mythology of ‘Superman.’… I would say it is a mashing of stories and ideas.”

Snyder said it was a fitting project to follow “Watchmen,” his 2009 adaptation of Alan Mooore and Dave Gibbons‘ iconic comics epic.

“I just felt like that having done that, and having taken the masks so far off superheroes of what they’re all about … then to do something like this for me, and it’s all about being awesome and making him work and making him cool,” Snyder said.

An audience member asked Snyder who would win in a fight between his Superman and Christopher Nolan’s Batman. For Snyder, the answer was clear.

“I love Batman, right? He’s awesome,” Snyder said. “Literally awesome. But, like … really?”

portrait Comic Con: Superman still jewel in the DC crown

Henry Cavill., star of “Man of Steel” (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Cavill said he felt the pressure of taking on the Last Son of Krypton’s mantle.

“It is pretty intense. I’m not going to lie. I’ve just been looking at that throughout this thing while you’ve been asking questions,” Cavill said, gesturing to a projection of the Superman logo on one of the Hall H screens. “I get to wear that on my chest. I just really, really hope that I’ve done everything that I need to do to please you guys.”

— Noelene Clark


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30 Responses to Comic-Con: Superman still ‘jewel in the DC crown’

  1. mikyzptlk says:

    "Cavill said he woke up an hour early and went to bed an hour late to exercise and prepare physically for the role. He also pored over comics — basically anything I could get my hands on,” he said, citing “The Death of Superman” and “The Return of Superman” as his favorites."

    Cavill has officially earned my respect! I'm getting more and more excited about this as the news comes out.

  2. david says:

    no no no the are missing the whole point. superman is a boyscout, truth justice and yes the american way, hi is the light of the dc universe as Batman is the dark. thats what makes these 2 heros unique in all of comics lore to change either one is not to be true to there base charachter

    • Khalil says:

      Finally someone gets it this is why im scared this movie is gonna fail. They are so focused on modernizing him that they take away parts of who he really is. I just hope im wrong and this is the superman we all know and love.

      • Tom F. says:

        This movie will do anything except fail. Of course Superman can be modernized. How do you think he stood the test of time? In fact, Superman wasn't always the boyscout. Action Comics #1 sees a ruthless Superman who has little regard for human life. Yes, he will still be a righteous in the "Man of Steel" but that does not mean he has to be a cheesy boy scout. The modernization has to do with delving into a loner side, not a darker side. If Superman were real, what would he experience? That's what this movie is about. If you want to be objective, then you should admit that the Christopher Reeve movies were an epic fail because it's a lot of him running along trains, without telling us ANYTHING about how he feels inside or how he even came up with his disguise.

    • Cor-El says:

      I agree with Tom F… Boy scout is such an overrated name to call Superman. If you were a fan of the comics, you'd understand that he's not always a boy scout.. He'll do anything to save what he loves, even if that means bashing an enemy to a crisp. You can make a great Superman without having a perfect god-like child that does EVERYTHING right like he's Jesus Christ or something. Lets separate the two, ok???? This movie will reveal Superman's humanity feelings on how he became the hero we love. This will be a great emotional and inspiring movie to young kids and everyone else. I know that I'm going to relate to my favorite Hero more than I ever have once this movie comes out.

  3. flashtrum says:

    Well if they are going to do a Justice League movie then they need to do something about the Flash. Always my favorite character and never a movie treatment (I do remember the short-lived TV show). One thing is for sure, Marvell knows how to get their characters in movies – and DC is really behind in that department. Maybe a dark Green Arrow movie as well. If Marvel can bring "Daredevil" and "Thing" to life, surely DC can do the same with more well-known characters as Flash and GA.

    • Emelie says:

      There was Rumour that Ryan Renolds was to play Flash in 2007 but the movie fell through and then he made mention that he was to play Flash in the JLA. Then again that was in 2007 there could still be a chance from here on out for Flash movie to come out. But he plays the green lantern which was a not so great movie. I am sure DC has something up there sleeve!

  4. Chris says:

    Everything about this interview suggests to me that Man of Steel is going to suck

    • Joe Leland says:

      You also probably thought that Heath Ledger would never cut it as the Joker in The Dark Knight

    • shaun says:

      How does the interview say that iyd going to duck get over your self mate cavill is born to play the role look at at the mordern comics and cavills superman there perfect plus zach knows how to tell a story he normally gets everything spot on i think this movie is everything that superman has needed for a few years i like brandons superman but the film was a followon from a very out of date superm man the new reboot seems to show superman as he is today in a new world modern. this film is going to be awesome despite what people who are still stuck in the 70s and chris reeves dint get me wrong reeves will always be superman but the times come to give sombody else a chance, dont put a film down befor you see it

  5. The Vision says:

    Under the DC canon of Superman/Batman stories, Supes has never once won a fight with Batman. Supes is tough, but Bats is crafty, and when it comes to crafty vs. tough, crafty wins every time. The standard recipe (it's been done a hundred times) is that Bats sees the fight coming long before it happens, packs his Kryptonite, and Supes doesn't stand a chance. My favorite variation on that theme was by Frank Miller, in one of his newer Dark Knight graphic novels, where Bats assembled stone gauntlets from Kryptoinite, and beat Superman to a bloody pulp. His face was *all* swelled up.

    If Snyder doesn't know these things, he hasn't sufficiently studied the DC canon, and he needs to do some more coursework. Besides, the two shouldn't be fighting in the first place, because they're on the same team. It was all just a big misunderstanding, manufactured by Luthor for his own nefarious ends, and when Supes and Bats work out their differences, Luthor now has two elite superheroes pursuing him, rather than just one. Once again, Luthor is defeated by his own machinations, and balance is restored to the DC universe. Comic books are formula writing.

    • The Nasty One says:

      Well Vision it is really irresponsible to have a superpowered hero (superman) defeated by a vendetta grudge holding vigilante (batman). Make no mistake, I like the Bats, but for writers to create stories where batman defeats superman everytime seems very irresponsible. What is the purpose of the fantasy if one cant believe (in the case of superman and his powers). This is the very reason why superman has lost his luster and place as a identifiable hero one can look up to and dream. Duh!

    • Timmy says:

      They aren't talking about the comics.
      They asked "his Superman and CHRISTOPHER NOLAN'S Batman".
      And in all honesty, Nolan's Batman isn't one-tenth as ''crafty'' as the one in the comics. Nolan made Batman dumber than the comics to make him more relatable. For example in TDK, Batman was always three steps behind Joker and only won because Gotham's people are good.

    • Apple Juice says:

      Actually, The Dark Knight Returns is not canon, and it features a much a weaker Superman than what you find in the Superman comics themselves. Not to mention that Batman had help from Green Arrow, and was fighting an almost depleted Superman.

      More often than not, Batman has been on the losing end against Superman, whenever the two have come to blows.

      In Hush, Batman was about to beaten by Superman that was still holding back, until he came back to his senses.

      In Sacrifice, Batman was beaten to a bloody pulp, and only manged to survive because of Wonder Woman's intervention.

      The Enemies Among Us, a Blackrock possessed Batman manages to get the better of Superman, but by the end of arc, they acknowledge that Superman was more than capable of killing a powered-up Batman if he wanted to, and the only reason Batman did so well against him was because Superman didn't want to hurt his friend.

      In Torment, Batman once again had to be rescued before Superman pushed his face in.

      No other canon story comes to mind where the two fought each other, but from I remember, Superman usually comes off looking much better.

      "It was all just a big misunderstanding, manufactured by Luthor for his own nefarious ends, and when Supes and Bats work out their differences, Luthor now has two elite superheroes pursuing him, rather than just one. Once again, Luthor is defeated by his own machinations, and balance is restored to the DC universe. Comic books are formula writing. "

      I've read comics from the past 30 years, and I didn't see even once instance of Luthor tricking Batman and Superman fighting each other, or everything becoming hunky-dory because of one victory.

    • captain40 says:

      "Under the DC canon of Superman/Batman stories, Supes has never won a fight with Batman.". That's very incorrect. Superman has beaten up the Batman plenty of times and vice versa. The whole kryptonite excuse is a cop out. Superman would keep his distance and blast Batman with his heat vision or freeze breath.

    • Adversary says:

      Actually yes he has defeated Batman. In fact he did it from miles away with his breath. Superior alien intellect. And it was in Lex Luthor Man of Steel.

    • Bronson says:

      Neither Nolan nor Snyder care about the canon, because it's not viable in a film setting to millions. They respect it but it's just not good cinema. So your argument doesn't hold water, I believe he asked who would win, Nolans batman (dumbed down, incredibly fragile in last film) or Snyders superman (alone, alienated, invincible). So as far as comics go and the canon, u my friend are right, batman always does win, he'd have to or there wouldn't be another fight in the first place, but in film this would be different (bc of the above mentioned differences in film vs canon). To close, I agree neither should fight another nor exist in combined universe bc there would be no need for a batman who patrols a single city as opposed to superman who polices the world. This would just make for a stupid conflict between the two that neither sides fans would like.

    • ekle says:

      he was talking about Christopher Nolan’s Batman who's never even herd about batman.

  6. Trippydoo says:

    Let's be real if superman really fought batman it would be over immediately the superman never uses his powers to the fullest.. but were talking a man who can move faster than u can see… he'd just whip into batman at mach 5 and make batman splatter art

  7. Mark says:

    This movie is going to "kick azz" in a way that no other movie about superman has been done before!! :)

  8. Eddie Lee says:

    What Superman desperately needs is a villain other than Luthor. Spiderman and Batman have rolled out a variety of bad guys and I believe that has really helped at the box office. Like so many long time greats Supes has a gallery of foes. I say drop Lex and bring on basically anyone else.

  9. kushan says:

    its never gonna work as long as he wears his costume…… i mean…. how do u trust a guy who wears a red underwear on top of his tight trouser

  10. pondersunlimited says:

    Hmmmmm having multiple doubts on the costume concept, I'm just not down with it.

  11. I've had my doubts about casting and storyline prior to almost every superhero movie coming out. It's been since the horrible George Pal "Doc Savage" travesty since I've ended up really wanting my money back. That said, 1) The Superman costume thing: Why does an invulnerable alien need chain mail? 2) Nolan's Batman being dumbed down : Certainly no one would call him a "detective." 3) A GA movie? too late. The Avengers Hawkeye is already out there. 4) A Flash movie? Long overdue, but let's face it, they blew it on Green Lantern by aiming to sell Hot Wheels to the kiddies. If that's the level they're aiming for I'd rather they leave the Flash alone. 5) Superman vs Batman: This is the classic setup of plucky crafty humans overcoming seemingly invincible aliens and it's getting pretty boring. I wasn't a huge fan of Skyline, but nevertheless, if you accept the notion of an alien/aliens able to cross the galaxy to Earth, you have to concede that they would totally kick our asses, as Supes would totally kick Batman's sans Kryptonite.

  12. Rob says:

    Superman is the jewel in DC's crown? I think Batman might disagree.

    • Alchemist says:

      I believe Batman would agree. He knows that Superman can do that he can't and i am not talking about superpowers. He knows he works from the shadows and Superman must be out there in the light to bring the best out of people.

    • Bronson says:

      Superman is the first hero in DC's storied history, the most recognized and till Nolans amazing work with the batman trilogy still WB's most marketable character in animated series, comics and what not. Nolan has definitely brought batman to where he should be but a 5 yr stretch of success can't outweight 74 years of legend. Superman in his embodiement of truth, justice and the American way overshadows the the bat in the shadows when it comes down to marketability and that's what it's about, who or what can u market more. Superman overall fiscally is the most marketable character they have, making him the jewel in the dc crown.

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