Ever since Man of Steel was announced, following the success of Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ Dark Knight trilogy, the comparisons have been drawn, and expectations established. But not without cause. Director Zack Snyder has called the film “edgy,” and the words ‘realistic’ and ‘grounded’ have been thrown around like so many speeding bullets. But now, Superman (Henry Cavill) himself is putting fears to rest.
Even though Man of Steel will no doubt be serious (or as serious as any modern superhero film), Cavill is explaining that as realistic as the movie may try to be, it’s a far cry from ‘dark.’
Christopher Nolan has maintained that he may be executive producing Man of Steel, but that the film is Zack Snyder’s above anyone else’s. Even David S. Goyer has explained that making Superman as dark a figure as Batman would have been much easier than trying to ground his character in something audiences could relate to.
Who better to ask about the mood, or so-called “serious” approach being taken by Snyder in this version of the ‘Man of Steel’s origin story than the man in the tights – er, Kryptonian armor – himself? Speaking with Empire Magazine (courtesy of CBM) Henry Cavill addressed the rumors that Man of Steel would be anywhere near as ‘dark’ as Nolan’s Batman films, in about as direct a manner as one could imagine:
“It’s not a dark movie by any means. Past representations of the character have been quite light… This is a more realistic view of the character, while still maintaining the very unrealistic, or potentially unrealistic features of an alien with superpowers.”
“There is more action in Man of Steel than any of the Dark Knight Films”
Given Superman’s extraterrestrial origins and superpowers we’d certainly hope that there would be more high-flying action, but Cavill is wise to confirm that Man of Steel is an adventure movie, after all. And more importantly, that previous Superman movies were always a bit “light” – that is, removed from reality by a healthy amount.
That’s the problem that Goyer is trying to solve with his script, approaching Man of Steel not as fantasy, but “as if it were real.” But as Cavill points out, the film will always center around a superhuman. In that sense, it’s likely in the film’s best interest to let the superpowers generate their own spectacle, and focus on humanizing ‘Clark’ when he’s not, you know, exchanging punches with Kryptonian soldiers.