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New Superman 'Not the All-American Hero Who Saves

New Superman 'Not the All-American Hero Who Saves

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***ADDED: A commenter makes a good point. Sprayberry says “…not just the all-American hero that saves everyone.”

Which can be read a couple of ways. I’ve updated the headline to reflect that and am already starting to feel better.  

Two potentially demoralizing factoids in this interview.

Probably because “Superman Returns” just wasn’t meterosexual enough, in director Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” a “Glee” cast-member was cast as young Clark Kent. The kid’s name is Dylan Sprayberry, which begs the question: If Bond hadn’t gone PC, how great of a last name for a hot chick would that have been?

I swear I’m kidding and not bullying. I swear!

Anyway, here’s the headline:

Q: What will people really love about Man of Steel?

A: When Zack [Snyder] and I were talking about it the first time, he was saying how Superman, they want to give it a more edgy feel like The Dark Knight but also make it more realistic and emotional so it’s not just the all-American superhero that saves everyone. He has dilemmas and love and struggles throughout the whole movie, especially when he’s a kid.

After “truth, justice, and all that stuff…” this is not what I want to hear. I get the idea that Supes has to have some kind of emotional life, and he did in the first two Christopher Reeve epics (especially the second), but they were able to do that without undercutting the all-American boy scout qualities that makes the character so great. In fact, that’s where the character’s emotional conflict came from.

Here you had a Midwest-raised superhero desperate to do good and be good in a world where such things can be used against you. Not by accident, Superman is a metaphor for America, a country frequently put in the same position.

I don’t want to overreact and I do have a lot of faith in director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan, but why single out the “all-American” stuff?

Here’s a part of the interview that makes no sense:

Q: So this is the first time they’re using a teenager to portray the young version of Clark Kent in a Superman movie. How does that feel?

A: It was really great. I didn’t even really notice how big it was until I finished shooting. It was so overwhelming that it was crazy, I was like “I can’t believe I just did all that.” In the moment, I was really focused on the work and the acting.

If I’m reading the question right, that’s just factually incorrect. Christopher Reeve’s first film had a younger actor portray Clark Kent as a teenager (remember the scene where Glenn Ford dies?) and while I don’t remember the dreadful “Returns” well, I do remember meeting a young actor who played the teenage Clark Kent. But maybe he was cut.

 


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