If the pair of teaser-trailers for Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” are any indication, Henry Cavill’s Superman will have a lonely wanderer component to his hero’s journey and an outsider angst that cuts against the classic “big, blue Boy Scout” version of the hero.
The “Man of Steel” screenplay is written by David S. Goyer (who also shares a story credit with Christopher Nolan), who has shown a serious understanding of dark hues with the just-completed Gotham City trilogy. While the Batman films explored urban corruption in a bleak and shadowy city of millions, the opening “Man of Steel” trailers present a rural landscape (and the footage screened at Comic-Con highlights small-town suspicion of Clark Kent).
The Comic-Con footage hinted at Kent’s struggle to find his place in a world that seems unwilling to accept him, and the outsider issues don’t end when he puts on a cape. At one point in the preview clip, Superman is shown in handcuffs, surrounded by military.
The teaser trailers used much of the same footage, showing the hero-to-be hitchhiking on a snowy mountain road, petting an adorable dog in a fishing town and working aboard a boat à la “Deadliest Catch.” Both end with Superman taking flight, tearing through clouds and breaking the sound barrier. Snyder has a deeply grounded reality throughout the footage. There’s none of the hyper-stylized approach from “300” or “Sucker Punch”; this is far closer to the beginning of Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead.”
The two trailers are visually identical, but each has different voice-over narration. The first trailer features the voice of Kevin Costner, who plays Jonathan Kent, Clark’s adopted father on Earth.
“You’re not just anyone,” he says. “One day, you’re going to have to make a choice; you have to decide what kind of man you wanna grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s going to change the world.”
In the second teaser, Russell Crowe, who plays Clark’s biological father Jor-El, provides the voice-over.
“You will give the people an ideal to strive towards,” he says. “They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”
— Noelene Clark
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