How would Superman fare as a member of the crew on "Deadliest Catch"?
We'll probably never know, but the new "Behind the Scenes" preview for "Man of Steel," director Zack Snyder's upcoming reboot of the "Superman" saga, promises a newly introspective look at Clark Kent and his alter ego while working a variety of odd jobs as he tries to make sense of life on Earth before accepting his destiny as a hero.
"He's an incredibly conflicted, lonely, and lost person," says Henry Cavill, the man who plays the Man of Steel, and while this "Behind The Scenes" preview offers plenty of the expected heroics from Superman, we also see him trying to fit into traditional human society, a hero struggling to be ordinary.
Wearing work clothes and a slightly scruffy beard, Superman – excuse me, Clark Kent – handles steel on a construction site, tries to hitch a ride from a logging truck, and works aboard a fishing boat, tossing cages into the water and keeping things lashed together on deck while covering rough waters. (One would imagine with his superior vision, Clark could easily spot what fish lurk under the surface, but maybe in the grand tradition of "The Incredibles," he's pledged not to use his powers in the interest of fairness to the rest of us.)
Christopher Nolan, who directed the recent "Dark Knight" trilogy, produced "Man of Steel," and his influence can be readily seen here, not just in the look of the film and the staging of the action clips, but in the story's efforts to conjure up a darker and deeper backstory for Superman, a character whose heroics have been pretty upbeat and straightforward in the past.
In the preview, many of the members of the cast and production team weigh in with their thoughts on the title character. "Superman is the most powerful but also the most vulnerable superhero you can imagine," says director Snyder.
"He's on a quest to find out who he is, where he came from," says producer Deborah Snyder.
"One of the unique things that I don’t think has been really delved in in the past is that he's an alien," says producer Charles Roven.
"Superman is from another planet," Snyder adds. "He calls into question so much of what we take for granted. Whether it be philosophy or physics, he's come to Earth to remind us of ourselves."
While the tone of these comments suggest Superman is both a reluctant hero and a stranger in a strange land in "Man of Steel," there's enough footage of him rising to the occasion and saving the day in spectacular fashion to confirm we will get the exciting stuff we came to see. (And Snyder, who directed "300" and "Watchmen," clearly knows how to do epic-scale action scenes.)
The cast also reminds us of the importance of heroes, with Lawrence Fishburne saying to the camera, "We need champions, and we need someone to believe in," while Russell Crowe insists "It's about the potential for every person to be a force for good," and Kevin Costner adds, "We have to believe somebody can make things right." (Interestingly enough, Crowe is cast as Jor-El, Superman's father on his home planet of Krypton, while Costner plays Jonathan Kent, his adopted dad on earth, meaning Superman's two fathers were both Robin Hood.)
So like "The Dark Knight" and "Watchmen," "Man of Steel" is a superhero movie that aims to appeal to the thoughtful audience as well as the popcorn crowd. And if all else fails, it's nice to know that in these uncertain times, Superman isn't afraid to get a real job and work for a living.
"Man of Steel" opens in theaters on June 14.
Watch the "Man of Steel" Behind The Scenes preview...