2011 Movie News Archives

August 5, 2011: Reactions to First "Man of Steel" Superman Photo

Henry Cavill as Superman The Superman Homepage contacted a number of celebrities and personalities in the Superman world, from comic book writers and artists to film and television actors, to get their reaction to the first image of Henry Cavill as Superman released for "Man of Steel".

Here below are the first batch of answers we received. Look for more in the week ahead.

"It looks interesting. I'm not really crazy about the texturing, but I like the cape attachment. I need to see it in motion before I make a judgement call. It's certainly an effective first image, although I do wander if it reflects the tone of the movie." - Jamal Igle (Comic Book Artist)

"WOW! Henry Cavill looks powerful, majestic, and ready to beat the hell out of some bad guys! I'm now more psyched for "Man of Steel" than I was before, and I didn't think that was possible! I love the way the cape comes off of his shoulders, too. Great looking Superman." - Sterling Gates (Comic Book Writer)

"Looks Cool! I always liked the rugged Superman. Smart of them to show him doing something "Super" for the first pic released instead of a pose. Seems fresh and reverent. The royal colors on the suit look nice. Very Majestic!" - Scott Cranford (Previous Official Town Superman for Metropolis, Illinois)

"To be honest I'm not at all thrilled or impressed. The colors are too dark for Superman, I know that they are wanting an edgier story and version of Superman but he represents light and purity. Also there are no red trunks. I feel they are trying to make the suit edgy and hip with the raised rubber ridges, like Spider-man but there is no need to do that with such an iconic character as Superman. As Richard Donner, said Verisimilitude, stay true to the character and story. He's been around for nearly 75 years, people know what they want and like. These execs today at Warners make things more difficult than they need to be." - Josh Boultinghouse (Official Town Superman for Metropolis, Illinois)

"I think it was the right choice to present a dramatic and dynamic first pic of the costume instead of any of the classic poses that we've seen a million times before. This pic has an air of kick-ass-ery that is badly needed for our dear ol' Superman. I still think they went a little dark on the color scheme but that could be the lighting. Either way - lookin' good!" - Brandon T. Snider (Writer)

"Henry Cavill looks badass as Superman. So excited for 2013." - Jim Lee (DC Comics Co-Publisher)

"Plastic man" - Jeff East (Actor)

"I keep making a terrible pun. I'm reminded of a phrase that's frequently used by the critic John Simon: Only a churl would Cavill. Meaning, he certainly *looks* like the comics' image of the character. And we know he can act, sort of, though so far he hasn't really been called on to do much more onscreen than preen and posture in a sulky pretty-boy sort of way. It will all depend on whether he can sound credibly like he was raised in Kansas or sounds more like James Bond in Spandex. This will make or break the performance, especially if they want us to believe that the adoptive father from whom he's learned Englishis everybody's favorite Walking Bowl of Tapioca, the Bandit of Sherman Oaks. I note with some amusement that the photo seems carefully chosen to be coy about whether he's wearing red panties or not. Beyond that, there's not much to say except that Cavill is fortunate that the bar has not been set very high; after Brandon Routh and his clunky Christopher Reeve impression, there's nowhere to go but up." - Martin Pasko (Comic Book Writer)

The final word from this batch of responses goes to Jon Bogdanove (Comic Book Artist)...

"I'm genuinely optimistic about the new Superman blockbuster. I haven't seen The Tudors, but I think it's reasonable to assume that Cavill will be pretty good. Since Superman abandoned his U.S. citizenship, I don't see any reason he shouldn't be played by a British actor. It seems half the actors in Hollywood are British now, anyway. Maybe it has something to do with education.

Anyway, I think this publicity still looks pretty good. I love the Golden Age-inspired "S" shield. I rather hope the finished version won't look quite so textured or raised. A frustration to modern costumers, I think, is the plain-ness of Superman's design. As the prototype for all comic book superheroes, his costume is absolutely old-school, basic– holding more in common with 19th century circus strongmen and aerialists than with the high-tech molded armor of movie Batmen. Also, since canonically it was literally knitted by Ma Kent from the fibers of Kal-El's baby blankets, the costume should have a somewhat home-made look. The wool costumes worn by Kirk Alyn and George Reeves are probably closer to the mark than the shiny spandex of the disco era version, but at least Chris Reeve's costume didn't arbitrarily elaborate on the comic book design.

I totally understand the commercial and artistic impulse to trick up the old, rugged cape and tights. DC itself can't resist changing things up occasionally. But personally, I'm a bit of a purist. Rubberized bodysuits and plasticized "S" shields, adorable electric skating unitards or new panty-less turtle-neck armor just feel like emperor's new clothes to me. Perhaps the best effect of these variants is that they re-invigorate my appreciation for the original. Meanwhile, the basic costume remains the world's most recognizable brand identity, so why mess with the "S"?

Retroactive Superman Cover Ultimately, what will make or break Man of Steel is story. I think Christopher Nolan and David Goyer are absolutely capable of doing it very well indeed. I hope they aren't being pressured to force Superman into Batman's mold too much. The gray tone of the colors in this photo are cause for concern that somebody thinks Batman's formula for success is applicable to Superman, too. Most of us think that Superman and Batman are the Yin and Yang of each other. In many ways visually and thematically, Superman is the opposite of The Dark Knight. I hope Nolan and Goyer can take on Superman on his own terms.

A fun coincidence for me is that this movie's working title is Man of Steel, and the comic I'm most known for is Superman: The Man of Steel. Even more coincidental is the similarity between Cavill's pose in this photo and a signature Superman motif of mine, exemplified by the cover to Superman: RetroActive 1990s (on sale Aug. 24th). :)" - Jon Bogdanove (Comic Book Artist)

2011 Movie News

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