Lois Lane’s ‘Man of Steel’ Makeover: How Is Superman’s Squeeze Different?

Movie Talk
Henry Cavill and Amy Adams in 'Man of Steel'
Henry Cavill and Amy Adams in 'Man of Steel'

A new Superman naturally means a new Lois Lane to pair him with. And when the "Man of Steel" producer Christopher Nolan and director Zack Snyder cast four-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams in the role, it was clear that their take on the intrepid reporter would be doing a lot more than hang around waiting to be rescued.

What is a surprise, though, is how the new movie changes the Superman/Lois relationship in a major way — essentially rewriting a fundamental piece of the mythology that's endured for 75 years in comic books, movies, and on TV.

And that's actually a good thing.

SPOILER WARNING: We are about to reveal significant plot elements of "Man of Steel," so if you haven't seen it and want to go in fresh, read no further.

How does "Man of Steel" change things? In the movie, Lois knows Clark Kent is Superman.

Yes, Lois knows Superman's real identity. And it's not just a gimmick. It's a change that both comes organically from the story and strengthens the characters.  Plus, it answers the age-old question, "If Lois Lane is such a brilliant reporter, why can't she recognize a guy just because he's wearing glasses?"

In "Man of Steel," Pulitzer Prize-winning Lois is investigating the story of a giant craft found buried in the Arctic ice.  While snapping photos (another change: Lois doesn't need Jimmy Olsen to take pictures for her), she spots a seriously underdressed figure traipsing through the freezing climes. She follows him into an abandoned Kryptonian spaceship, where she gets attacked by the automated security system. Then Lois and Clark have the Zack Snyder version of a "meet cute"; Supes uses his heat vision to cauterize her internal bleeding.

Naturally, Lois is intrigued, and she begins to do something the character has rarely done in "Superman" movies: act like a reporter. She tracks down people who have have been saved by this mysterious stranger. She follows the clues that lead her to Smallville, Kansas, and eventually the front door of Martha Kent, Clark's adopted mother. And there you have it. Superman's secret identity is not so secret anymore.

In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, both Amy Adams and her costar Henry Cavill agreed that they had no hesitation about turning this piece of the Superman mythos on its head. Cavill said, "It's an honest and real story, and that change to the relationship is pivotal in the way we want to tell this … The script was so good, it just felt right."

For her part, Adams said the change made Lois Lane both more believable and relatable. She said, "It took away that [question] of 'How does she not know?' So I got to be on the inside track, which I think made her feel more modern. And she wasn't denying anything."

It's not just knowing Superman's true self that's different for Lois in "Man of Steel" either. She's very much a part of the action. She gets to blast some bad guys with a Kryptonian rifle (and a little help from the projection of Superman's departed dad Jor-el, played by Russell Crowe). She also suits up to fly on a military plane to help deliver the device that would rid the planet of the villains once and for all. Of course, on more than one occasion she does end up falling out of the sky and needs Superman to catch her. But she also gets to save him, too.

And there's one other noticeable change between Amy Adams' portrayal of Lois and how she's generally been depicted on film and in the comics: her hair. That, too, was a decision based on grounding the movie in reality. In Interview magazine, Adams said that Zack Snyder insisted that she not color her hair because he didn't think Lois would. Adams said, "[Snyder] wanted it to be natural because Lois is a reporter and she's going all over the place and probably wouldn't spend much time dying her hair."

"Man of Steel" is in theaters now.