Man of Steel - Resurrecting the Superman franchise

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Ever since Hollywood ran out of courage and ideas, we have seen the same subject matter get endlessly remade. Books are adapted, sequels are trotted out with a glitzy makeover, and any film that may look remotely original on its surface is usually stuffed to the brim with either ground breaking special effects or visually rampant but creatively void action sequences. Two of the staple formulas Hollywood is most keen on are resurrecting old film franchises and desperately trying to breathe new life into comic book heroes. Enter Superman 2013 – Man of Steel.

It is 35 years since the spandex clad superhero first burst into celluloid consciousness. It was the start of the big screen adaptations of comic book stories and one of the most amusing soap operas behind the camera in Hollywood history. Richard Donner who was brought in to simultaneously make Superman 1 and 2 ditched the original Mario Puzo (of Godfather fame) script thus opening the door for bitter lawsuits before Marlon Brando brought his own brand of diva to the production. Reading his lines off the foreheads of co-stars and suggesting Jor-El ought to be presented as either a bagel or "a green suitcase" with his voice coming out of it, Brando took the whole process deep into farce. By the time Donner had thrown all his toys out of the pram and Richard Lester was brought in, there were radically differing versions of Superman 2 which can still be found today.

Several TV serieses featuring Clark Kent later, and producer Christopher Nolan was looking for a new vehicle to repeat the success of his Dark Knight franchise. Bringing in Zack Snyder to direct and Henry Cavill to star in a darker ‘more psychologically complex’ interpretation, the result was Man of Steel.

"I didn't want him to exist in a stylised universe. The Superman mythology is way more potent when it's speaking to the modern condition that we are in. I think it makes him more interesting," said Snyder.

"It's fun to know that for a generation of kids, this is going to be their Superman mythology, it's going to come from this movie," he added.

You can make up your own minds. Superman – Man of Steel is in cinemas now.

Written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Google+ Profile - More articles by Cyrus Bozorgmehr

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