With Man of Steel's release just a few weeks away, producer Deborah Snyder (the wife of director Zack Snyder) spoke about how this Superman story is different than previous cinematic versions. First, she talked about how Amy Adams' Lois Lane is a stronger and more realistic character.
Man of Steel producer Deborah Snyder talks the costume, Lois Lane, and much more
"I think that our Lois is a little feistier and stronger. I think both characters are more realistic to us, to society now. Clark to me was always too good to really relate to. He was a little too much this perfect boy scout, and although Lois was feisty and strong she was still always the one being rescued. Not to say that she doesn't get rescued in our movie, but she rescues him right back, in so many other ways, emotionally. And in our film, in our last set piece, she has a very strong position. There's something that she needs to accomplish in this plan in order for it to work. I like seeing that she's a really strong female character, and very proactive. And her apartment is a little more realistic to her job, I think. With the Richard Donner films I was always like 'Wow, that apartment - how could she afford that? It's amazing!'"
The producer also spoke about the training that Henry Cavill and Michael Shannon went through to play Superman and General Zod.
"He's a giant, but we really put him through the motions. The training for the role was so much a part of the process of making the film. The guys carried themselves differently as they went through their process of transforming their bodies. It was a really important part of the preparation. You saw Michael's posture change. As we went along in prep he kept becoming more and more Zod-like, and I'd say the same thing about Henry too. It's like they would carry themselves differently. It wasn't that they were wearing a padded suit, they actually filled the suit, but it did something to their performance at the same time, and I think helped them get in the head of their character."
She also spoke about the process of putting together the costume, and how director Zack Snyder tried to make having the "underpants" on the outside of the costume work in modern day.
"It's a daunting process, because you want to be true, and we're very respectful of the canon. But you also have to look at what's happening on the screen right now with superhero costumes. It has to be relatable to a modern audience. But at the same time you don't want to say 'Who is that? That kinda looks like Superman...'; It has to read, at first blush, as Superman. We went through so many iterations of the costume and yes, Zack did try very hard to make the underpants on the outside of the costume work - there are nods to it, with the belt and with some of the side detail on the costume, and that just felt more appropriate to the movie we were making. The other thing that was important for Zack was that the costume not come out of nowhere. It had to have a reason. We were building a world. We go to Krypton and we see this world, and we see that everything has its place. If they're in space he wanted it to feel like a space suit, and he wanted it to feel like the underlayer that they would maybe put armour over. It's also a caped society, so when you go to Krypton he wanted to see variations of this costume. And knowing that it was a caped society he wanted that to be evident when we were on Krypton, so when Clark finally finds the costume and puts it on you've established where it's come from."
When asked about fan expectations, Deborah Snyder did admit it is 'daunting' to take on such a beloved franchise, but that they have to move past that quickly.
"Listen, yes, it is daunting. And given our prior work with 300 and Watchmen we've kind of taken on these daunting projects! But I don't think you can look at it that way, because if you do you get paralyzed. You have to do your best to respect the canon but also you have to service the story that you're doing. And you just have to keep focus, because if you start thinking about all these things you lose sight of what's really important, which is the story, and telling it as best you can, as creatively as you can. So that's what we focused on."
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.