5 Things You Did Not Know About 'Man of Steel'

Despite being a complete reboot, this Superman adventure has unique ties to 'Smallville' and ditches Kryptonite for loneliness.

The new Man of Steel trailer landed late Tuesday afternoon with a sonic boom that caused a seismic shift in fan anticipation. Though eagerly awaited, many have remained skeptical, and somewhat uneasy, about this so-called 'reboot' from director Zack Snyder. He did, after all, make what some call the most disappointing comic book adaptation of all time with 2009's Watchmen. And Warner Bros., the studio behind Man of Steel, royally whiffed it with their more recent DC Comics adaptation Green Lantern. Not to mention, there's still the mild stench of Superman Returns wafting through the air like a patchouli fart, causing fear that we could be in store for another snooze fest that fails at showing exactly what Kal-El is capable of on planet earth.

This latest look at Man of Steel puts all fears to rest, and even turned this mild mannered superhero movie into the must-see event of the summer. The great thing about the trailer is that it doesn't completely show its hand. It hints at awesomeness in a powerful way, and does what any good piece of marketing should do. It has made us salivate and clamor for that coveted IMAX midnight ticket.

Though the trailer sets up a great deal of the story behind this re-invisioning of our most popular and ionic superhero, it also leaves a great deal of mystery and only teases some of the bigger action set pieces. There's still a lot we don't know about Man of Steel. And while some of the movie's biggest secrets should be saved for opening night, there are a couple of interesting things you should know going in that might not be on your radar.

Today, we're going to look at 5 things you don't know about Man of Steel (and if you do know them, you probably pointed them out to us!)

1Man of Steel's Connection to Smallville

Man of Steel Smallville connection

In creating Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder wanted to make a movie that was not connected to any previous film or TV show about Superman. He wanted a clean break from the past incarnations of Clark Kent and the world of Metropolis, and even dispatched Brandon Routh, who was attached for a sequel (and/or reboot) because he wanted this new adventure to completely stand-alone. But in terms of its story, Man of Steel has retained one character from Smallville that was created solely for that popular WB/CW series, and never appeared in the original DC comic books. Whitney Fordman is a high school classmate of Clark's who we will see during the first act of Man of Steel. Eric Johnson originated the character on the small screen, and will now be played by Robert Gerdisch. Whitney is the star quarterback of the Smallville Crows football team, and boyfriend to Lana Lang, Clark's first love and Lex Luthor's future wife. Whitney and Lana are the King and Queen of Clark's prom, and serve in retaining some of the mythology that was previously set up only on the WB/CW series. Man of Steel also has a couple of interesting behind the scenes connections to Smallville as well. Lois Lane herself, Amy Adams played the fat teenager Jodi Melville in the Season 1 episode "Craving", which was one of her earliest roles. And Alessandro Juliani, who plays Sergeant Sedowsky in Man of Steel, had a recurring role as Dr. Emil Hamilton. There may be a couple of hidden Easter eggs to find when the film hits the big screen, so stay tuned for those as well.

2Man of Steel Features the First Big Screen Appearance of Faora

Faora in Man of Steel

Man of Steel shares something else with Smallville: Faora. This character has never before been seen on the big screen, but she did play an important arc on the WB/CW series. Some people confuse her for Ursa, as seen in Superman II. Both are fierce Kryptonian warriors, and both have connections to the main villain Zod. They've both spent time in the phantom zone. And they both hate men. But Ursa is only loosely based on Faora, and was created by Richard Donner solely for use in 1978's Superman and 1981's Superman II. She was later used in the DC comic book series. Faora is distinguished by her deadly mastery of the Kryptonian martial arts form Horu-Kanu, and in Man of Steel, we will finally see her as originally envisioned in the comic books. Mostly. Played by German actress Antje Traue, Faora is a genetically engineered psychopath driven by the need to kill. One of the elements being introduced into Superman folklore through Man of Steel is that the populace on Krypton is made up from eugenics. This aspect also sets Faora aside from Ursa to create two distinct individuals in the Superman mythos.

3 The 4 Comics That Influenced Henry Cavill

4 comics that influenced Henry Cavill in Man of Steel

Maybe you don't know this, but star Henry Cavill was originally cast to play Kal-El in the J.J. Abrams written Superman adventure Flyby, which was halted so that Superman Returns could go into production instead. Though Henry was under contract with Warner Bros. at the time, the role of Clark Kent went to Brandon Routh under director Bryan Singer's supervision. Henry Cavill must have been destined for the part, though, as he soon shot to the top of Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder's most wanted list when it was decided to reboot the franchise with a fresh actor inside those iconic red and blue tights. The time between Superman Returns and Man of Steel wasn't wasted, as devoted DC Comics fan Cavill devoured every issue of Superman he could get his hands on. Though he claims to have pulled his inspiration for Kal-El from a vast array of sources, the actor sites four comic books as a direct link to the Superman he is bringing to the screen this summer. First is The Death of Superman from 1992, which sees Superman dying at the hands of Doomsday in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice. The second is The Return of Superman from 1993, which found four bizarre characters emerging to claim they were Kal-El reincarnated, each possessing one of Superman's core strengths. Third is Superman: Red Son from 2003, which reimagines Superman if he landed in Russia instead of the United States to fight for the Communists in the Cold War. And forth, Superman/Batman: The Search for Kryptonite, which finds the two heroes racing to clean up the planet in the aftermath of a Kryptonite meteor. Each of these issues brought a key component to figuring out Superman's psyche in this fully reformed reboot.

4 Kryptonite Is Being Traded for Loneliness

Kryptnite is Traded for Loneliness in Man of Steel

Kryptonite has always been Superman's biggest weakness. And it has long served as a crutch for the many writers of Superman lore over the years as well. Kal-El is a perfect specimen, and that should be his downfall. Zack Snyder wanted to re-imagine a world where the hero wasn't plagued by this glowing green "disease". What could serve to hurt the strongest man on the planet? How about loneliness? Zack saw Kryptonite as the predictable and easy way out, and decided instead to tug at Clark Kent's emotional sleeve. This may be the first emo Superman every commited to screen, but don't worry. Kal-El isn't going to be seen sitting on a rock, crying. Instead, we'll see Superman take his emotional frailties and use them to knock airplanes out of the sky and beat back giant spaceships with his pulsing laser sight. Who needs kryptonite when you have introspection and doubt plaguing your every move? Also, Superman will be more of an outcast in this reboot than he ever has been before. That will requires some extra soul searching that stunts his growth as a superhero. Taking away the Kryptonite is a risky move, but it ensures that this movie will stand out from the previous big screen incarnations, hopefully for the best. Superman now stands for truth, justice, and the American way of crying about everything. Could a frivolous "you hurt my feelings" lawsuit against Zod be far behind?

5Man of Steel is the first Superman adventure to Exile Jimmy Olsen

Jimmy Olsen won't be in Man of Steel

Most people know that there is no Jimmy Olson in Man of Steel, but did you know this is the first time the character has ever been exiled from a Superman movie or TV show? All previous incarnations of the franchise have given Jimmy a prominent role in the plot, from the earliest shorts starting in 1948, to the popular 1952 TV series, to the Richard Donner movies, and even the most recent Smallville and Superman Returns. The young Daily Planet photojournalist is rumored to be sitting this one out because he 's a little too similar to a wall crawling newspaper photographer named Peter Parker, who's enjoying his own reboot at the moment. Peter Parker is essentially Jimmy Olsen with super powers. There have been rumors that Jimmy was given a sex change in Man of Steel, and will be played by an actress with a different character name. Like Ursa and Faora, if this proves to be true, it still means they are two separate characters. If we don't see photojournalist Jenny Olsen, reportedly played by Rebecca Buller in the finished movie, we can still expect at least one good joke at Jimmy's expense. Maybe he'll show up for the sequel.

Man of Steel was released June 14th, 2013 and stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff. The film is directed by Zack Snyder.

Smallville episode 1.7, "Craving" stars Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Eric Johnson, Sam Jones III, Allison Mack, Annette O'Toole, John Schneider} and is directed by Philip Sgriccia}.


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Comments (72)

  1. wait jimmy is Spider-man without the powers? one it's slightly wrong.. Jimmy does get powers from time to time in the comics.. not for very long, and jimmy is just a photographer.... whereas Peter Parker only did photography because he needed the money... he's more of a scientist doing photography in the meantime. Eventually he drops it.

    1 year agoby @profile-70538335Flag

  2. Mieko_Siede

    @skywise I couldn't agree more. Green Lantern was tailor made for film and still, a lot went wrong with the final product. I was disappointed walking away from the theater and tried to like it later on DVD to no avail.

    Wow, you pay 10 dollars to get in to see a movie...I'm jealous. I have to pay between 12 and 14 per ticket.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  3. skywise

    @mieko-siede Well your right. Of course we have expectations. That "Expect nothing and you will not be disapointed" thing i mentioned is just sort of a mantra i have before going in to any movie. Particularly movies I dont know all that much about. I have often been pleasently surprised when i flush all expectations down the drain.

    But obviously that doesnt work for everyone and really, how can we NOT have expectations when we are paying 10 dollers to get in? I know its unrealistic but it works for me occasionally.

    Having said that, sometimes there is just no saving a movie. I hate to keep coming back to Green Lantern but the flaws were so many that it was nearly impossible to see past them. That is because as i mentioned before, he is my fav DC and so even if I COULd lower my expectations there was still a desire for greatness. That COULD have been achieved. In the case of GL I feel that there was an unforgivable script (at the forefront of my mind - among many other serious issues). They did not change the character all that much but still, it didnt work. To me that was unforgivable because GL was practically ready-made for the big screen.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  4. Mieko_Siede

    @skywise Yes, I too am one of those deeply invested in the characters. Some more than others obviously. I'm fine with certain variations for there are certain elements to comics that don't translate to screen very well. There are always variations when we see them done, be it with subtlety or total reworking. I can't expect a 100% exchange between screen and page. Look at Watchmen, that was a total mirror image to the comic and it fell flat with total lack of appreciation for its art. Just keep my basic elements in tact. Certain stories don't always work for a modern setting and thus they have to change. All I look for is the basic elements, the base cast serving their functions, and a relate-able (if at all possible depending on the extremes) yet recognizable plot. Don't totally change the property we know for the sake of film or new audiences.

    Man of Steel looks as though it's for a new generation of fans with all the base elements, story, and plot devices that we all knew growing up with it's variations that make it translate for an interesting film watching experience. It doesn't appear to alienate those who came to love the character as he's evolved over time. With other films like Wonder Woman, though she hasn't been to the big screen, she had a television series that some people still remember. It was as campy as Adam West's Batman series and never exploited her correctly for the character and her history. She's been in several animated platforms and has a fantastic comic book series flowing in the New 52. But putting it to screen, big screen, can still be touchy for those who truly know the essence of her character. There are certain portrayals of her people would like to see. But if she was to be made into a movie much like we see with all the talk on these message boards about Man of Steel, there will be expectations. Especially when we know these characters as well as we do certain family members, we naturally have some expectation of what we'd like to see done to them. Tarnishing the integrity of something and alienating fans is disappointing enough in itself without any overall great expectation of a final film product.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  5. Frankie Addiego

    I don't see how anyone can think it's going to be like Superman Returns. First, the villains have his powers and we know there's going to be epic battles. Second, the boring lack of fights wasn't the main problem with the film, it was the terrible decision to have him find out he had a son with Lois and didn't know for five years because he was dicking around in space (people say the darndest things to justify this) and yet, some people act like the problem was that it was too "wholesome," or whatever.

    1 year agoby @Frankie-AddiegoFlag

  6. skywise

    @mieko-siede I suppose I AM deeply invested in these characters and their worlds. But at the same time I understand that I am not going to love everything so even tho I do have strong connections to them I also am not super attached. I dont want to be one of those fan boys who gets on and hates everything I see because it doesnt folow the comic EXACTLY. The thing about art is that it is highly interpretational and when new artists take over comic books the story often shifts and the drawings can change dramaticaly. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much. I expect the same with movies. Expect nothing and you will not be disapointed.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  7. Mieko_Siede

    @bawnian-dexeus For sure, this one can be quite tricky my friend. With a majority of the characters have straight line stories. Something creates them to be what they become. A purpose drives them to seek justice. They encounter their equals in villains that are drawn out by their character alone that otherwise didn't seem to be a threat until they had a challenge. Thor is Marvel's equivalent of Wonder Woman given the fact that they both have mythological backgrounds. It was my opinion that the first Thor was not well done at all. But I agree, if they had the right team that can find the perfect or at least near perfect balance a story like this needs, I'd be thrilled to see it. It's not quite as linear or as cut and dry as a Superman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Batman etc.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  8. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @mieko-siede With the right people who have a well established understanding of the character and her mythology while not being too attached can make it happen. There would also need to be a balance between the Amazonian world too, because we wouldn't want to alienate the male audience by too much female empowerment

    1 year agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  9. Mieko_Siede

    @bawnian-dexeus That would be quite interesting. And yet, I fear with a character like this that they could handle the mythology so loosely. I'd hate to see it mishandled. And again, for her, I'd probably like to see that element you suggested as a hint of a recollection of sorts but not the bases. I'd like to see deeper twists and elements to her story that could give it that epic fantasy feel as she's drawn to our modern world. How a war of the gods could spill into our realm with her involved. There are quite a few ways it could go and yet so easily tarnished by carelessness.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  10. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @mieko-siede A suggestion I told Skywise with WW

    "I think her movie should take place on her island like the animated movie, and with Ares, but re-imagined, like her origin in the comics, where Ares, or War as they call him, teaches her how to improve as an Amazonian warrior, and kind of build a relationship around that. The father she never had, but also a hint of some love if possible. If you want a male character in a world where men are not welcome, he's it. As for her armor, I would go with her Earth 2 costume, which is like Xena's and her classic into one. That way, women won't bitch about a sexualized character. Can translate well into film without drawing logic into things..."

    1 year agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  11. Mieko_Siede

    @skywise I wish I could hug you my fellow comic book follower. You seem to be deeply invested in these mythologies.

    I believe with the successes of The Dark Knight trilogy and with Marvel cornering the market with their numerous titles, Warner/DC are going to continue to approach the next several ventures with care. I don't think that they'd just try to cash in on the success of Man of Steel and throw a piece of garbage in the guise of a Supergirl film out there again...unless it goes straight to DVD. I think they have a formula now that they are unwilling to compromise for the sake of their current competition with Marvel. It wouldn't be hard to best them, they just needed the right moving parts to make them happen. Man of Steel as it has been stated numerous times, is their new blueprint. I wouldn't mind seeing Supergirl introduced in the sequel as an added highlight and a figure that would deepen his history a bit as he continues to find out who he is.

    As for Wonder Woman, if they put the right pieces of her story together it could make an interesting film. Again, they have to make a seamless mesh between the world she comes from and the world we live in. It has to be quite unique and thought out enough that it can be as open as they claim the Man of Steel to be in terms of allowing room for this blended DC universe. They need to allow characters to be more inclusive even more so than the Marvel mash ups. They almost need to be dual films. But we will see where they eventually end up in the scheme of things with their roster.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  12. skywise

    @mieko-siede I would love to see a Supergirl movie as well but i think you were right in your assesment that she will not get a chance. But maybe your right, maybe they will dig up more of the Superman family when MoS devastates in theaters. Supergirl handled by people who are just trying to cash in on MoS could be disasterous though. Just look at the 1980's Supergirl. Ugh still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If they could bring her in at least ONE of the JL movies that would be great.

    Of course the script has to be pitch perfect for WW to work and I think that has been the problem DC/WB has had in the past and seem to still struggle with. I mean how cool would the golden lasso REALLY look on screen? There is a LOT of room for camp and utter failure (Green Lantern comes to mine - who happens to be my fav DC character of all time. But damn they just didnt get it right for the film) The modern version of WW however, with a much more heavy emphesis on Greek Mythology, could be very interesting with a great script. Plus she has been shown to show fatal and lethal force when she has to. The new 52 version is even more interesting because while she shares many of the same qualitites that she always has, her ability to show compasion is both a strength and a weakness.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  13. Mieko_Siede

    @skywise It would be nice to see an expansive story on Supergirl too. I'd like her to be done right especially with the fact that her roots are closely tied to Kal-El and if they've captured the formula correctly with Man of Steel I don't see why they couldn't create a good film for her to sort of conjoin things a bit if she would indeed be a part of the Justice League. My fear with Wonder Woman is the script and them keeping her story interesting. She'd do well if they stuck to the mythological roots of her story and not so much in trying to bring her to a modern setting in a city unless it is to bring her closer to those she'd be in arms with as team mates of the Justice League. I'd just hate for them to make a campy incarnation or one that took itself too seriously with a over shadowing dark tone. I'd like to see how her world could mesh with the modern world and somehow make it all feel apart of the same universe as the other characters. If they could do that without having her in brawls with average thugs and the usual nonsense of the common man I'd be more than interested to see it. And please keep the invisible plane out of it!

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  14. skywise

    @mieko-siede I think it is a good time to have a female superhero in the lead for a change. And WW is way to interesting to relgate to the sidelines. If DC can get a good script, production team and actress why WOUDN'T we want to see it? I know I would be one of the first in line.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  15. WhiskeyDeltaEcho

    @ejk1 oh I just saw you and someone else discussing the casting choices for Man of Steel and reasons why others were considered an ruled out... Just thought I'd throw my hat in the ring with a little factoid on one of the reasons Cavil was initially considered for the role.

    1 year agoby @WhiskeyDeltaEchoFlag

  16. ejk1

    @WhiskeyDeltaEcho Yeah, I read that as well, but may I ask what your point is bringing it up? Does it have to do with my thoughts on Bomer, or how I have never seen Cavill act before?

    1 year agoby @ejk1Flag

  17. WhiskeyDeltaEcho

    @ejk1 if im not mistaken I believe that Cavil was actually in talks to star in Superman Returns but they went with Roth due to his resemblance to Reeves and the fact it was a made as a direct sequel to Superman 2.... I could be extremely wrong on this but I wanna say I read this recently... and for this reason put Cavil's name on the "most wanted list" so-to-speak

    1 year agoby @WhiskeyDeltaEchoFlag

  18. Mieko_Siede

    Wonder Woman should NOT have a stand alone movie. It wouldn't draw enough people in. She's interesting but not enough to hold a whole hour and a half to two plus hours on her own. She needs to be a cameo character and a character that gets fair treatment and attention in an ensemble movie...not alone though. I couldn't see that working. Green Arrow, Aqua Man, Super Girl, nor Super Boy need stand alone movies either. With the exception of Aqua Man, they'd all be decent honorable mentions as future cameos until they make an appearance in a full ensemble cast.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  19. bipolarmassive

    @themoviefanatic Oh yeah, minus the 4 images :)

    1 year agoby @addictionnonfatelFlag

  20. Sean

    @addictionnonfatel That was 7 new images, not 11 new images.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  21. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    If Thor can get a movie, WW should too

    1 year agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  22. ejk1

    @undeadslayer4@addictionnonfatel They should make a Wonder Woman movie, just not with a poor actress.

    1 year agoby @ejk1Flag

  23. bipolarmassive

    11 New Stills From MAN OF STEEL Featuring Superman, Zod, Faora, Lois Lane And More

    http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/JoshWildingNewsAndReviews/news/?a=78027

    1 year agoby @addictionnonfatelFlag

  24. bipolarmassive

    @undeadslayer4 I agree, superheroes such as Wonder Woman, doesn't work in a stand alone movie of their own. More so, being apart of an ensemble cast of heroes would be ideal for her character.

    1 year agoby @addictionnonfatelFlag

  25. undeadslayer4

    @addictionnonfatel they should never even make that movie
    @titanictom thats even worse than superman

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  26. ejk1

    @addictionnonfatel No. There's your answer.

    1 year agoby @ejk1Flag

  27. bipolarmassive

    Getting off subject, but could Gina Carano play Wonder Woman? Not sure whether or not she has the acting chops (verdict is still out), but she definitely has the look! I guess the only bias against her, is that she is currently dating Man Of Steels's Henry Cavill....

    1 year agoby @addictionnonfatelFlag