Wait — so that “S” doesn’t stand for “Superman”?
Actually, that symbol on Superman’s chest — the one that millions of fans have come to assume means “Superman” since, you know, the beginning of time, stands for something perhaps even greater. And, according to the new trailer for this summer’s “Man of Steel,” it’s not even an “S” at all.
“It’s not an S,” says the last son of Krypton during what looks like a much less romantic interview with Lois Lane than the one in the original 1978 film. “On my world it means hope.”
“Well, here it’s an ‘S’,” replies Lois. “How about … ‘Supe …”
A bit of interrogation-room feedback interrupts the tireless Daily Planet reporter, leaving the Man of Steel without the name we’ve all come to know him by.
This is the most striking moment of the third and supposedly final trailer for “Man of Steel,” presenting director Zack Snyder’s new film as without a doubt a bold revisionist vision of a beloved character. This Superman isn’t even called Superman — at least not in that scene, anyway.
Watch the latest trailer for ‘Man of Steel’:
The new trailer succeeds in presenting “Man of Steel” as the film we hope it truly is: a moody, insightful character study involving a solitary alien seeking some sort of identity and purpose on our planet — indeed, someone who has spent his whole life “covering his tracks” and hiding his abilities from a society that will outcast him if he appears too “different” — and a kick-ass mega-action film in which a guy in a blue suit and red cape flies around and shoots heat lasers from his eyes and punches Michael Shannon. If Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan have maintained this tightrope act throughout the entire film as well as the marketing team has in this new trailer, then we’ve definitely got ourselves a winner.
The preview also gives us our first look at what looks like a war-torn Krypton and how Jor-El (Russell Crowe) sends baby Kal-El on his “mission of hope,” as it were. We see that Kal-El, aka Clark Kent, is definitely a child of two fathers, fathers who help shape him into the superhero he grows up to be (“You are my son,” says Kevin Costner’s Jonathan Kent to his frightened adopted son in the trailer’s most touching moment).
And we also get lots of fire and explosions and a few instances of Michael Shannon’s decidedly non-Terrence Stamp-like portrayal of notorious Kryptonian villain General Zod, whose exclamation of “I WILL FIND HIM!” already puts him into the camp of gleefully over-the-top comic book villains. Zod is not the suave British gentleman that Stamp portrayed — Shannon’s bad guy is a much more General Patton kind of military (super)man.