One of the baddies for the Man of Steel sequel — though apparently not the Big Bad — has been officially named and cast: Lex Luthor will be played by Jesse Eisenberg, who is probably best-known for playing boy genius Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network.
Eisenberg received an Oscar nomination for best actor for that 2010 Facebook-based film, and has been a standout in films like Zombieland and Adventureland and several movies without “land” in their names, such as The Squid and the Whale and last year’s heist movie Now You See Me.
In a statement released today by Warner Bros., director Zack Snyder said:
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical ‘nefarious villain.’ He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”
I’m sure we will all need to sit down and catch our collective breath after reading this item: DC Comics and Warner Bros. are actually doing something right in connection with Batman vs. Superman: The movie’s release is being pushed back to May 6, 2016. Yes, fans will have an additional 12 months to obsess over Ben Affleck taking up the bat cowl opposite Henry Cavill’s Kal-El, but the filmmakers will get a chance to take their time.
Not only does this give director Zack Snyder some breathing room to polish his Man of Steel sequel rather than merely crank it out, it also sends DC biggest guns into direct battle with Marvel Studios, which previously announced it was releasing a yet-to-be revealed movie in May 2016 (Doctor Strange, perhaps?). Marvel has owned May forever, with the Spider-Man flicks, The Avengers, Iron Man… you name it, so this could backfire on DC — but at least they’re trying.
Most fans know that Bryan Singer was working on a sequel — known as Superman: Man of Steel — to his relaunch film, Superman Returns (2006), before Warner Bros. decided to… go in another direction. What few people know is just how far Singer got: He had the plot worked out, Brainiac was going to be his Big Bad — and there was actually a visual for ol’ Brainy.
ComicBookMovie.com uncovered some preproduction art by Michael Anthony Jackson that shows us what Brainiac would have looked like:
Yeah, not too overly original — a bit of Mars Attacks! alien, a pinch of the comic book’s look and a splash of Darth Vader.
Since I published my scathing review, folks have been asking for details about what I dislike so intensely about the abomination that is Man of Steel, so I will hit the highlights here, in an extraordinarily spoilerific post. Though I do not think this movie can be “ruined,” I will show MoS more courtesy than it shows Superman (or his fans) by not spitting on it without fair warning.
So, if you want to read what I have to
say bitch about, make the jump…
It turns out there was a very good reason that this movie is called Man of Steel instead of using some variation of Superman in the title: There’s barely any Superman in it. Sure, the main character comes from the planet Krypton and wears blue longjohns and a cape — but he only very rarely behaves like Superman.
The movie opens on Krypton — which has been reimagined as a hybrid society of Game of Thrones and The Matrix, where liquid-metal robots exist side-by-side with dragons a man can ride to his high-tech cave — a doomed planet where scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) wants to save the planet’s genetic information from destruction, and General Zod (Michael Shannon) decides to stage a military coup even though the planet is falling apart around him. Defeated, Zod and his forces are exiled to the Phantom Zone just minutes before Krypton is destroyed. But not before Jor-El sends his newborn son to Earth (along with the Codex, the genetic that could one day rebuild Kryptonian society).
Wow. Just… wow.
Man of Steel opens next week.
It’s Superman — the way he should be. In addition to be dramatic and action-packed, this trailer for Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, gives us some clue about the movie’s plot.
Oh, just watch it.
Now try waiting until June 14!
The latest poster for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel — set for release just one month from now — is a crashing bore, and indefensible as a promotional item for the first — and arguably greatest — superhero.
There he is, the Last Son of Krypton, staring balefully over his shoulder — exactly like 50 million other movie posters featuring bajillions of far lesser characters. Zzzzzzzz
Kal-El deserves something better. Lots better. I mean, why not just give up totally and toss in some floating blue heads and a few spurts of orange highlights. Ugh.
I was getting monumentally psyched for this production, but now… How many films have been destroyed by poor marketing in the past few years? (I’m thinking specifically of last year’s John Carter, a good movie done wrong.) I’d hate to see the marketing folks smother MoS in its crib when it’s looking this good.
Especially when there’s a vastly superior photograph available. Take a look at this inspiring image of Superman at the edge of space. Now that’s an exciting vision of an iconic character! Toss in your info block (in an exotic typeface) in the lower right and voilà! Legendary.
The sad thing is, Warner Bros. seems to know what they’re doing with the property up to this point, at least judging by the story synopsis:
“In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) is a young 20-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond his imagination. Transported years ago to Earth from Krypton, a highly advanced, distant planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question, ‘Why am I here?’ Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark discovers having extraordinary abilities means making difficult decisions. When the world is in dire need of stability, an even greater threat emerges. Clark must become a Man of Steel, to protect the people he loves and shine as the world’s beacon of hope – Superman.”
Man of Steel will be released on June 14th.
Another truly epic trailer for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel makes this look like the movie Superman — the first superhero — truly deserves.
Man of Steel opens June 14 here in the USA
Will Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel finally be the Superman movie we’ve all been dreaming of — the film that Superman fans deserve? The latest trailer certainly makes it look that way…
Krypton, Russell Crowe, Lois Lane, Zod, mournful piano music that grows into a stunning heroic theme — and an explanation for the S shield? (Plus, the best acting of Kevin Costner‘s entire career in the one line, “You are my son.”) What more could we want?