Sunday, November 25, 2012
SUPERMAN MAN OF STEEL 2013 : HENRY CAVILL SIGNED ON FOR THREE FILMS; ZACK SNYDER HINTS JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE
From the NY Post
Consider the utterly messed-up cinematic world we live in. Superhero movies have become so popular that someone is actually considering remaking “Condorman.” Meanwhile, nobody has yet figured out how to launch a viable franchise featuring the granddaddy of the entire spandex scene: Superman.
This could all change this summer when “Man of Steel” lands on screens and attempts to KO pretenders with a big Kryptonian right hook.
Little is known about the plot. It will mostly follow the familiar origin story: A baby travels to Earth from a distant planet, lands in Middle America and grows up to become a costumed hero who fights baddies — in this case, General Zod, played by Michael Shannon, a character that appeared in “Superman II.”
The one thing that can be gleaned from the single teaser trailer that’s been released is that this could be a darker, more humanistic take on the character than movies past.
“We tried to approach this as though there’s never been a Superman movie before, but at the same time respecting the canon and mythology,” director Zack Snyder tells The Post in an exclusive interview. “There are the pillars that you have to respect, and I’m not about to break them. But it is fun for me to bend them and mess with them.”
Christopher Nolan, the director of the recent Batman movies, was brought in by Warner Bros. as producer and godfather of the project.
“There’s a logic and concreteness that has to exist with Chris,” Snyder says. “You can’t just do stuff because it’s cool. He demands that there be story and character behind all of it, which I’m a big fan of.”
Henry Cavill, who becomes the first Brit to play the character, says he’s also a fan of the more down-to-earth approach.
“I liked the idea of the realism immediately,” Cavill tells The Post in an exclusive on-set interview. “Traditional Superman fans know what it’s all about, and they will hopefully love and associate with the character anyway. But the people who aren’t die-hard Superman fans still need to associate with the character, and that needs to have some realism in today’s world, certainly, in sense of a science as opposed to mythology attached to it as well.”
One of the obvious changes is with Superman’s costume. Gone is the flimsy spandex in favor of a slightly metallic, more armored look.
“The costume was a big deal for me, and we played around for a long time,” Snyder says. “I tried like crazy to keep the red briefs on him. Everyone else said, ‘You can’t have the briefs on him.’ I looked at probably 1,500 versions of the costumes with the briefs on.”
The final version is a brief-free, all-blue unitard with red boots and a red cape.
“If you look at the costume, it’s very modern, but the relationship to the original costume is strong,” Snyder says.
“You come onto a project like this, and you hear about modernization and you hear about bringing things forward to today, and all you can do is hope that it’s going to look cool and different from
anything you’ve seen before,”
Cavill says of the suit, which takes him 15 to 25 minutes to put on. “And I’m pretty sure it does.”
To fill out the costume, Cavill worked out intensely for two hours each morning, and consumed as many as 5,000 calories a day.
“I have been put through the ringer big time,” Cavill says. “An example of the workouts we’ve been doing, it was 100 front squats of body weight. There are kettle-bell workouts. It’s very hard work.”
“I heard one time that the Superman glyph is the second or third most recognizable symbol on Earth after the Christian cross,” Snyder says. “It’s this crazy responsibility.”
The film will also be expected to launch a new franchise, which 2006’s lukewarmly received “Superman Returns” failed to do. Cavill confirms he is signed up for three films. Snyder is mum about directing more.
“We approach the film as a single endeavor,” he says. “There are a lot of gears that have to turn in the world of commerce and the world of the mythology we create to facilitate more adventures for this character. We’ll see what happens.”
What’s perhaps most interesting about “Man of Steel” is that it might serve as the launching point for a DC Comics universe of films in the same way 2008’s “Iron Man” inaugurated Marvel’s interconnected movie world.
Warner Bros. is reportedly plowing ahead with “Justice League,” a superteam movie featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and others, rumored to hit in 2015. Nolan’s Batman trilogy has concluded and bomb “Green Lantern” is likely to be disregarded, making “Man of Steel” the first film set in this new universe.
“I don’t know how ‘Justice League’ is going to be handled. Honestly, I don’t,” Snyder says. “But ‘The Man of Steel’ exists, and Superman is in it. I don’t know how you’d move forward without acknowledging that.”
When asked whether he had conversations with the studio about integrating “Man of Steel” into a larger superhero universe, Snyder treads carefully.
“Um, how can I answer that?” he wonders. “I can’t really say anything to that, because that’s a big spoiler. I will say, yeah, they trust me to keep them on course.”
Wildly speculating, it sounds entirely possible that “Man of Steel” will mention another costumed crime-fighter — maybe in a post-credits sequence — that leads into another superhero film. Universe launched.
For now, Cavill is focused on this one movie and trying to handle the expectations.
“There have been a couple of times where people have been explaining all of these Superman cookies and ice creams . . . and there was a second where I went, ‘Wow, this is massive!’ ” Cavill says. “You’ve got to ignore that and not let it get it to you, otherwise you’ll be focusing so much on the pressure as opposed to dealing with the important thing of doing justice to the character.”
Justice will be served June 14.