I think it’s fair to say that most of us, over this past weekend, were of two minds. There was the one mind, that just wanted to curl up in the fetal position on the couch, hug our kids/pets/beloved household objects, and watch the news as we fight despair and the notion that there are some unimaginably monstrous things in this world. Then there was the other mind that knew how important it was to take a deep breath, muster all of our strength, and go back out into the world, refusing to be held hostage by fear. At least that’s what I tried to do this weekend when my wife and I pulled ourselves away from the news and went out to see The Dark Knight Rises.
However, before the movie started, another familiar character appeared on the screen and I found myself smiling more than I was prepared to this past weekend. That’s right, I saw one of two teaser trailers for next year’s Man of Steel. Superman returns…again…hopefully for good this time. Here are both trailers:
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
“Uh, how would a young Clark Kent have a red cape when he would be the first superhero ever to wear a red cape in such a fashion?”
NOT NOW NERD VOICE! I have no need for you! What I meant to say was, no, you’re not crazy and I didn’t mess up the video embedding, both of those trailers were visually identical. The difference was in the voice overs. The first one features Kevin Costner, who plays Superman’s adoptive father, Jonathan Kent, and the second one features Russell Crowe who plays Superman’s biological father, Jor-El (which is also Jerry Seinfeld’s ATM pin code).
Now, I know this is just a movie that’s still over a year away. Trailers are designed to make us irrationally excited for movies. There’s still a whole year for this movie to get over-hyped, possibly spoiled, and scrutinized to the point that the magic will be sucked out before the first reel starts playing. But seeing Superman and hearing his fathers express their hopes and belief in him gave me a boost I didn’t realize I was going to get this weekend.
Clearly, Man of Steel is going to try to give us a very human approach to the world’s greatest hero. But more than that, it looks like it’s trying to hit all of the right notes on why Superman is such a prominent part of our modern mythology. Truth, justice, doing what’s right no matter what the cost. The notion that we get to decide how we can best affect the world and that it’s on us to make sure that we do what’s best for our fellow man. It’s nurture, not nature, that can make all of the difference. Yes, Superman can be corny. Yes, he can be a difficult character to relate to, seeing as how he’s an all-powerful Space-Jesus. And, yes, I wish I lived in a world that had Superman. To have a presence that could always catch us, no matter how far we fall, would be pretty damned nice, if you ask me. But there is no Superman. It’s on us to be heroes to each other. When one of us falls, it’s on the rest of us, ALL of us, to help pick them back up. To quote Marlon Brando’s Jor-El from 1978′s Superman, “They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.”
So, seeing even just the briefest glimpse of Superman gave me a much needed and surprising burst of catharsis after a tough weekend. What about you? Does the Man of Steel strike a chord with you? Or has Superman never been your cup of tea? Ever see a trailer that completely made your day? Or do you just wish they’d start the movie already?