In 1978 the poster for "Superman" boldly proclaimed, "You will believe a man can fly." The message of the final poster for this summer's "Man of Steel" -- premiering exclusively here on Yahoo! Movies -- seems to be, "You will believe a man can fly FAST."
The poster shows Henry Cavill in flight streaking above Metropolis, seemingly moving so fast he's barely in focus. Cavill has a real look of determination on his face, quite different from the more placid expressions of previous on-screen Supermans like Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh. That's by design. According to director Zack Snyder ("300," "Watchmen"), flying for this Superman is hard work.
"It's a more violent experience," Snyder told SFX Magazine. "It's raw. It takes effort to do it, and that's what we were really going for. It's almost like there's this kind of 'Right Stuff' quality to it." This was reflected in the very first teaser for "Man of Steel," where Superman's flight actually affected the atmosphere, causing a sonic boom and leaving jet trails behind him.
And, of course, speed is of the essence. Snyder said, "He's constantly booming around, accelerating. You think he's going as fast as he can and then it's like 'Yeeaahh!' He's always got an extra gear he can use."
It was also a conscious decision on Snyder's part to separate his take on Superman with all of the previous filmed incarnations, including director Richard Donner's 1978 original. Snyder said, "In the same way that Superman is the grandaddy of all superhero characters, the Donner movie is the granddaddy of all superhero movies." So Snyder felt like they had to pretend like they were making the first ever movie adaptation of the comic book icon. "I know it's crazy to say, but you have to do that," Snyder explained, "otherwise you'd just be making that movie over and over."
However, there was one item from the old movies that actually helped Snyder decide that 29-year-old British actor Henry Cavill was the right (super) man for the job. Snyder said that for Cavill's audition, "We put him in the Christopher Reeve costume, because we didn't have a suit yet, we just had the old spandex suit." The real test was to see if Cavill could get into the stretchy, dated costume and still possess the gravitas of the Last Son of Krypton. Snyder said, "He stepped out of the trailer and no one laughed. It's the difference between being Superman and dressing up like Superman."
You'll get to see Cavill take to the skies when "Man of Steel" soars into theaters on June 14.