This past weekend, Warners released two teasers for next summer’s Superman film Man Of Steel. Visually, they are identical. The difference is that one contains a voiceover by Russell Crowe as Superman’s Kryptonian father Jor-El while the other is Kevin Costner as his adoptive Earth father Jonathan Kent. As a good teaser trailer does, these two hinted a bit about what we might expect from the film when it hits theaters next summer and it got people talking. Of course, some of that talk has been negative and probably stems from the trailers delivering something different than what they might have been expecting. We take a look at three of the big questions being asked about the teasers and offer some answers.
1 – “What’s with all the shots of fishing boats and laundry? Isn’t this supposed to be a trailer for a Superman film?” Settle down internet, it’s a teaser trailer. You’re not going to get the big money shots of Superman (Henry Cavill) duking it out with General Zod (Michael Shannon) for a while. Instead, it hints that this origin story will perhaps deal with Clark Kent trying to perhaps better understand the frailties of the people he has found himself amongst. And that leads us to –
2 – “What’s with the visual style? I thought this was supposed to be Zack Snyder?” Actually, I find that the visuals presented here are the most revealing about the possible direction that Snyder could be taking this movie. Yes, it does recall more the dream-like quality of a director like Terrence Mallick than it does the kinetic visualist who gave us Watchmen, 300 and Sucker Punch. And I am reasonably sure that we will see some of that once the action in the film picks up. However, with these images Snyder seems to be invoking a feeling of nostalgic Americana. That certainly feels proper for the character and perhaps will please those who were upset that the last film lost “the American Way” from the famous line about truth and justice.
3 – “That stuff Jor-El is saying sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before?” Well, it should if you’ve read writer Grant Morrison’s critically acclaimed twelve issue mini-series All-Star Superman. That bit of dialogue is lifted from there almost verbatim.