This New ‘Man of Steel’ Trailer Needs to Cool It

Good lord, people. Remember when superhero movies weren’t so satisfied with themselves? I get that Zach Snyder, auteur behind overblown green-screen epics like Watchmen, 300, and Sucker Punch (he’s really the thinking man’s Michael Bay, huh?), doesn’t want to be known solely for making the least subtle genre films ever, but in his attempt to make what appears to be a very serious drama featuring a man in tights and a cape is looking more and more like the least fun thing in the world. And also, prettttty gay. I mean, tights and a cape and that dude’s jaw. Come on. This is basically a Terrence Malick film but with explosions and a familiar plot mixed in with all the soft-focus shots of wheat. 

Am I Really Going To Have To See ‘Skyfall’ Now?

I like James Bond. I really do. I don’t, however, cotton to this trend in modern cinema in which Very Serious Directors reboot classic movie franchises, strip away everything that makes then fun and endearing (read: the silliness and the camp and the sex), and then make them long, boring epics with Very Important Actors and scores usually provided by Hans Zimmer and a slew of vuvuzelas. Christopher Nolan made me excited for the prospect that there might never be another Batman movie, and that new Superman movie for which the trailer was too long and only featured Clark Kent, like, driving around a field? (Yeah, that seems FUN.) So I don’t really care that the guy who directed American Beauty (which, in retrospect, everyone should know is a piece of shit) is in charge of this new one. 

But apparently people are enjoying it! All of my friends are tweeting stuff like, "I don’t even like James Bond but I liked Skyfall." Which, you know, is a pretty good indication that I will not like it. Why make a genre film for people who are not fans of the genre? Because doesn’t that make it not a genre film, and just an action movie with a character whose name recognition can carry a lot of advertisers and convince people that making more bloggy lists called "The Best Bond Theme Songs" and "The Ugliest James Bond Girls" is a really good idea? Can’t we, like, either do something NEW or just make it the same as it was before? Is that too hard to ask?

Because, look. Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig’s James Bond is a dour figured compared the groovy (and, let’s face it, funny and personable) guy that Roger Moore and Sean Connery portrayed. Even Pierce Brosnan’s Bond was someone you’d want to hang out with! But nooo, we’ve got to go with the dark and gritty and, honestly? The boring. I can nap at home for free with Adele’s theme song playing on a loop on iTunes. That’s, I must admit, seems a lot more exciting to me.

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Superman Gets a Brooding New Logo for ‘Man of Steel’

Zak Snyder doesn’t really care about tradition, no, not as much as he just wants to make love to your eyes with some sick-ass CGI and dope explosions, set to a nu-metal Bob Dylan cover. This is maybe a tad uncharitable. But have you seen 300 or Watchmen or Sucker Punch or anything he’s had his name on in the last decade? So it’s not that surprising that he’s given Superman’s iconic "S" logo a little bit of a revamp for the upcoming Man of Steel, the relaunch which should bring the big guy firmly into the 21st century. That’s the logo above, in all its darker, grittier glory — no bright colors of logos past, and more of a twisting cutaway for a sleeker, stylish look. Some fans will howl in indignation, but it’s reeeeeeeeally easy to ignore them: You just have to shut your computer off and go outside.

In other Superman news, the check given by DC Comics to creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in exchange for all of the rights to the character is being auctioned away, with a price tag currently sitting in the tens of thousands of dollars. It’s kind of amazing that they got just $412 for what would become a multi-billion dollar brand, which has no doubt led to the current legal debate involving Siegel and Shuster’s estates over who should really own the characters. If corporations really are people, then the estates should be able to settle this by telling DC to stop being such a dick about it.

‘Superman’ Director Bryan Singer To Helm TV ‘Munsters’ Reboot

The news was just announced that Bryan Singer, noted director of superhero movies, is going to revive the populat ’60s sitcome The Munsters for NBC. The twist? Singer’s version will be a "a visually spectacular one-hour drama," according to Deadline. Because nothing says "drama" quite like the eyebrows of Grandpa Munster Al Lewis

If The Munsters looks anything like Singer’s previous forray into television, the criminally underrated Pushing Daisies, it’s bound to pick up a following because, let’s face it: shows about a family of misfits always seems to find a niche on television

Michael Shannon Tells the Trippy Story of His ‘Superman’ Casting

I’ve interviewed a lot of actors in my day, and one of my go-to questions is always, “Who did you screw to get this part?” I don’t exactly word it like that, of course, but it invariably leads to answers involving agents, phone calls, directors, video cameras, uncertainty, and eventually, elation. (For the most part, no actual screwing.) Following his inspired casting as the villain General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, Michael Shannon jumped to the top of the list of actors I want to pose this question to, but it turns out I didn’t even have to ask — and the answer is so awesome.

Shannon was at the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, NC the other day, and during a live Q&A he offered up this retelling of the events that led to his casting. They involve the Rose Bowl, hummingbirds, acid, a rogue AC, and a face-to-face with Superman himself, Henry Cavill. Bonus: It’s all told in Shannon’s rather surprising Looney-Tunes-meets-Chicago-paperboy voice. Video below.

What Do the Awful ‘Sucker Punch’ Reviews Mean for Zack Snyder’s ‘Superman’?

A recent AP profile on Zack Snyder claims that the director has “a lot riding on Sucker Punch,” a statement that’s not entirely true. Yes, the film is Snyder’s first that isn’t derived from source material, and yes, it came with a $100 million price tag, but in Hollywood, when a filmmaker has “a lot riding” on a movie, it usually means it’s a referendum on the rest of their career. Snyder’s already got his next gig booked, and it’s a big one.

Snyder is prepping the upcoming Superman reboot starring Henry Cavill. The director was handpicked by producer Christopher Nolan — someone who can seemingly do no wrong — to deliver a broody, moody Superman, riddled with 21st century angst. Add to that a budget that’s likely to eclipse $200 million, and the project’s status as Warner Brothers’ second Superman restart in five years, and it’s probably the highest-pressure job in Hollywood. Fan expectations are soaring, and all eyes are on Snyder to kickstart a massively successful franchise for the studio.

So the fact that almost everyone thinks Sucker Punch is a complete mess has got to be at least somewhat worrisome.

The movie, which hits theaters today, is currently scoring a putrid 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety called it a “cacophonous, half-digested mass of pop-culture influences,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer labeled it “hands-down the most nightmarishly awful film of the year.” And those are the nice reviews. In fairness, there are critics who see the beauty in Snyder’s fever dream, but they’re in the minority.

This very same scenario played out not so long ago. Last year, the highly anticipated The Wolfman was released to tepid reviews and a weakling box office. Its director, Joe Johnston, also already had his next project lined up, Marvel’s hot-property Captain America film. Fans (and most likely the studio) were concerned that the man best known for The Rocketeer and Jurassic Park III, and who had just botched a surefire hit, would fail to deliver a movie on par with the studio’s acclaimed Iron Man and Spider-Man films, save for a couple sequels. While the jury is still out — Captain America comes out this summer — the just-released trailer is being well-received, and undoubtedly a few studio execs are untying their nooses.

So are Warner Bros. and DC Comics worried that an idiosyncratic auteur like Snyder — with his stylized, CGI-heavy visual palette — might digitize their favorite son beyond recognition? Probably not. As Snyder himself has said, Superman “probably will be the most ‘real’ movie I’ve made.”

But visuals shouldn’t be much of a concern. With films like 300 and Watchmen, Snyder has proved he knows his way around a green screen. What’s going to sell Superman to audiences is the story, and according to critics, a lack of one is Sucker Punch‘s major flaw. But whereas Snyder co-wrote Sucker Punch as an excuse to cram in every geek wet-dream he’s ever had, Superman is being shepherded by Nolan, and was written by David Goyer, who also holds writing credits on both of Nolan’s Batman films. And we all know how those turned out.

This is one of those cases where the creative powers that be know something that we don’t. In choosing the Superman director, Nolan most likely had the entire DGA at his fingertips. And yet, he chose Zack Snyder. We’ll know whether the decision will pay off soon enough.

Edgar Ramirez Might Be the Guy Who Gets Defeated by Superman

Since speculating about the new Superman villain is the new speculating about the new Batman villain (now that it’s been decided), we here at BlackBook got more than a little riled up when we heard rumors that the coveted role might go to none other than office crush Edgar Ramirez.

You might recall that we featured the Latin looker (and charmer, according to our lucky editor who profiled him) for our November 2010 issue, just before his lead role in the 5-part miniseries Carlos and its subsequent Golden Globe win made him a force to be reckoned with. Ramirez is currently filming a role as Ares, the God of War, in the Clash of the Titans sequel, Wrath of the Titans, and he memorably clashed with Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum as a dead-eyed assassin.

The other big name being tossed around as the Man of Steel’s nemesis (rumored to be General Zod) for Zack Snyder’s franchise reboot is Viggo Mortensen, although Snyder recently debunked those claims. Now, we’re aware that internet hearsay is just a guessing game based on one website’s obscure source, but in this case, we sincerely hope it’s true, because the thought of Edgar Ramirez and Henry Cavill wrestling each other in midair is the most beautiful thought we’ve had since that time we thought about Ricky Martin giving Simon Cowell a foot rub.

Links: Britney Spears Is Almost Free, 50 Cent Takes Out Chelsea Handler

● The troubled Britney Spears is almost an adult again, ending her court-ordered conservatorship. Someday she’ll have her money back, too. [Radar] ● Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen, will helm the Christopher Nolan-produced Superman remake. Those familiar with his work know there’s now a chance for semi-cartoon, full-frontal male nudity. [Deadline] ● Lil Wayne was moved to solitary confinement on Rikers Island as punishment for being caught with music equipment in his jail cell. Call it dedication. [NYDN]

● 50 Cent going on a date with Chelsea Handler should be more shocking than it is, but everyone knows their real attraction is to fame. Not to doubt their feelings or anything. [TMZ] ● Katherine Heigl smokes electronic cigarettes, making her officially less cool than any given suburban 16-year-old. [HuffPo] ● Mad Men‘s John Slattery, better known as Silver Fox, best known as Roger Sterling, will make a guest appearance on 30 Rock, following in Jon Hamm’s man-sized footsteps. [EW]

Links: David Simon Is Officially a Genius, Darren Aronofsky to Reboot ‘Superman’

The Wire and Treme creator David Simon was one of 23 people awarded the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” so now everyone can tell everyone else, “I told you so!” [NYT] ● Amid rumors that he’s cheating, Demi Moore tweeted a picture of her in bed and under the covers with Ashton Kutcher, just like a mature, well-adjusted adult. [HuffPo] ● Conan O’Brien’s right-hand man, Max Weinberg, will not follow the host to his new show on CBS, making Paul Shaffer the late night #2 champion. Kevin Eubanks never stood a chance. [USA Today]

● Darren Aronofsky, director of Requiem for a Dream and the upcoming Black Swan, is reportedly in talks with Christopher Nolan to help make a new Superman film. Nerds everywhere are breathing heavily. [LAT] ● George Lopez and his wife of seventeen years are getting a divorce. ‘I finally have the strength and courage to admit he’s just not that funny,’ she should have said in a statement. [TMZ] ● Sarah Palin might have been booed on Dancing With the Stars, but The Situation was nearby so who really knows. [WaPo]