Photo by Clay Enos – © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC
Man of Steel (2013)
What it's about: Origin story, first adventures, Kryptonian villains. Once more, with feeling.
Best bits, anticipated: There's a lot in the trailers to make hardcore fans hopeful: the flying effects look great, as does the shot of the kid with the towel around his neck putting his hands on hips, aka The Superman Shot. Also good: the quotes lifted straight from such high-water comics stories as Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman ("You will give the people an ideal to strive towards.") and Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright ("On my world, it means ‘hope.'")
Worst bits, anticipated: Those first, fishing-boat-centered trailers looked a lot more like Superman VI: The Quest for the Deadliest Catch than anyone was expecting. Plus, the choice of Snyder—a filmmaker who makes great-looking trailers and emotionally empty movies—remains worrisome.
Contribution to the zeitgeist, anticipated: Snyder's Superman is already everywhere; merchandise featuring Henry Cavill's lantern jaw has been pumped into stores for months. This version of the Man of Steel will be the one that a generation of kids will embrace, that the popcorn-chomping multitudes will unthinkingly accept, and that the small subset of hardcore fans will passionately debate for years to come.
Super-power the filmmakers pull out of their asses, anticipated: Too soon to say, but given Snyder's penchant for displays of hypermachismo, look for Superman to stop a crime by flexing his glutes in its general direction.