Superman is my absolute favorite superhero. The original Richard Donner film made me completely fall in love with the character as a child and I've essentially been waiting my entire life to see another truly great film about Krypton's last son. Each of the four follow-up films to Donner's classic contain certain elements that work, (well okay, maybe not Superman IV) but we arguably haven't seen the total package in over 30 years.
There are so many things I love about this trailer. First of all, I'm seriously digging the slow burn here, giving us only mere glimpses of all the film's action and instead focusing on Clark Kent's inner psyche. I also really appreciate the dramatic shift in visual style from most of Zack Snyder's previous work. The guy is pretty much the personification of "slick," which is to say that all of his films seem to have a polished sheen spackled over them. (With good reason: aside from his liberal use of CG-enhanced sets, he also like to digitally paint over every frame to get the look he wants. Nowadays we'd call it Instagram filmmaking.) With Man Of Steel, Snyder appears to have gone "full Malick," truly reveling in the grain and texture of what he's shooting. Watchmen and 300 both feel plastic; this feels organic.
Snyder's also got one hell of a cast assembled and everyone looks great so far, even though most are only seen in mere glimpses. I'm largely unfamiliar with Henry Cavill's work, so he feels like a breath of fresh air here, a commanding presence with equal parts gravitas and simple human decency. He feels like a real person, not a movie star in a suit. Michael Shannon's Zod is sporting some appropriately menacing facial hair that would make Abed Nadir proud. Kevin Costner looks perfectly cast as Kal-El's adoptive father who deeply loves his son but is simultaneously terrified of what he can do. Plus, Toby Ziegler!
And that moment where he takes off in flight from the frozen tundra...that is undeniably cool.
There was plenty of fear that, with Christopher Nolan producing, this Superman would lean too heavily on the "grim and gritty" tone of the Dark Knight trilogy, but it actually looks like Snyder's been able to strike a remarkable balance here. Man Of Steel certainly doesn't look dark, but it does sort of feel like it could exist in the same universe as the Batman we've all come to love. With rumors of a Joseph Gordon-Levitt cameo that would set this as the cornerstone of Warner Brother's upcoming Justice League, I honestly can't say that I'm surprised.
I can say that I'm impressed.