After several years of production, "Man of Steel," the long-awaited big screen reboot of Superman, is finally hitting theaters, ready to stake its claim in summer movie history, beginning with tonight's world premiere. So how does everyone, you know, feel about it?
"It's awesome ... but nerve-wrecking," said director Zack Snyder on the "black carpet" of the New York City premiere. "I'm so excited ... it's been almost three years, and it's fun with a premiere because you can roll it out and finally let it have a life of its own."
Snyder and producers Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder (also Zack's wife), and Christopher Nolan gathered quite an ensemble for "Man of Steel," and for most of the cast members, it was a no-brainer when it came to saying "Yes" and signing on for this trip to Krypton and beyond. Here's how Snyder describes how the conversation usually went: "'Wanna be in a Superman movie?' 'Yeah, that sounds awesome!'"
"Superman was the first superhero, the red, white and blue guy," said Kevin Costner, who plays Superman's father on Earth, Jonathan Kent. "I'm happy to be a part of this. Zack has made a classic."
"What's great is it's an action-adventure fantasy, but also really small and intimate," said Laurence Fishburne, who cites former "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley as his main inspiration for his role as Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White. "It's built on relationships – to his two sets of parents, to Lois Lane, to his community, to the world."
"This film shows the soul of Superman – you finally get to see it in live-action," said the Last Son of Krypton himself, Henry Cavill. "Who the character is and why he is."
Creating a film that shows "the soul of Superman" was certainly no easy task, at least according to screenwriter and comic book movie veteran David S. Goyer, who had a hand in writing all three films in Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy.
"Batman was a big deal, but this one is harder – Batman's a human being, you could be him if you had the money and trained long enough, but it's hard to make Superman human," said Goyer. "We tried to give him emotional vulnerabilities – he's a man of two fathers, whose son will he choose to be?"
Superman has a much deadlier weakness than "emotional vulnerability," though, even though you won't see it in "Man of Steel": Kryptonite. Speaking metaphorically, of course, what is everyone's "Kryptonite"?
"Laziness," said Zach Snyder, which was followed quickly by his wife Deborah chiming in with "French fries." Two items that sometimes go hand-in-hand, no?
"My wife would know better ... but when I say that, maybe I'm really thinking that my Kryptonite is actually my wife," laughed Michael Kelly, who plays Daily Planet sports editor Steve Lombard. Kelly, who recently won over plenty of fans in Netflix's "House of Cards," first worked with Snyder way back in 2004 in the extremely well-received "Dawn of the Dead" remake.
Laurence Fishburne takes his Kryptonite all in stride, though. "The beach, man, the beach," said the veteran actor with a zen calm that recalled Morpheus, his character in another big Warner Bros. film, "The Matrix."
David Goyer's Kryptonite is actually Kryptonite itself ... that is, if he reveals anything about the heavily guarded DC superhero mashup, "Justice League," which is currently in development at Warner Bros.
"They've got a Kryptonite pellet in my heart," revealed Goyer with a smile. "It will explode if I say anything about 'Justice League.'"
He may have his weaknesses, but Superman also, of course, has the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. So which of Superman's powers would the new Man of Steel himself want to have?
"Flight!" said Cavill, without hesitation. "X-Ray vision isn't as great as it sounds – you have to control it, it's not as sexy as you might think. Flight is great – you don't have to deal with security issues at airports."
To look at Cavill, who so perfectly embodies Superman (or at least Clark Kent thanks to to the snappy suit the British actor wore to the premiere), you'd believe the man could actually fly, too.
"Man of Steel" opens on Friday.