An Icon Rises: The Man of Steel

Next week sees the release of the eagerly anticipated new Superman film Man of Steel, which is on course to becoming one of the biggest films of the year. What makes this release so exciting is that it doesn’t presume that there have been any other films, and much like the hugely successful Batman reboot, Man of Steel starts from the very beginning.

It goes without saying that Superman’s costume is one of the most iconic and recognisable costumes in cinematic history. His red flowing cape, rich blue suit and the mysterious giant ‘S’ have been an inspirational symbol for close to 90 years. This June 14th sees the release of the eagerly awaited new instalment of the series Man of Steel – and the newly reimagined costume is undoubtedly going to continue to instil wonder and pride among the legions of Superman fans.

The entire cast seemed to praise the ‘physical force’ of the suit with actress Antje Traue (Faora-Ul) adding that many of the rehearsals for the shoot were done in full costume.

The new director was also impressed with the new costume:

“I thought it was pretty epic,” said Zack Snyder. “‘When I saw the costume for the first time I thought, “That is going to be our legacy, putting this new costume into the ether for all time.'”

Getting the costume ‘just right’ was no easy task for costume designers James Acheson (a three-time Academy Award winner) and Michael Wilkinson. In order for them to start their design process they had to reimagine Kryptonian mythology.

The tradition has always been that Superman’s suit was made from cloth his parents wrapped him in when they sent him to earth. Wilkinson explained further:

“…We establish it as a foundation, the under garment all Kryptonians wear as a protective layer. On Krypton, therefore, when we see Jor-El or the council members or the soldiers, they all have the same type of suit under various layers of robes and armour, and each bearing the glyph of his or her own family line.”

But we think the final words on the power of the Superman costume should be had by the new Superman himself, actor Henry Cavill:

“It was a like a physical force – you put it on and you’re wearing this thing and it’s got an energy to it. And people behave differently around it as well.”

Man of Steel is released in the UK June 14th

Selected Timeline

1930 – The Super-Man comic strip created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

1940 – Lex Luther first introduced (and he had red hair)

1948 – Actor Kirk Alyn portrays Super-Man in 15 short films for Columbia

1951Super-Man and the Mole Men starring George Reeves is commissioned

1959 – Supergirl is introduced as Superman’s cousin

1966 – “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman” Musical becomes a huge flop

1978 – Superman vs Muhammad Ali (yes they join forces to fight Aliens)

1978 – First colour film Superman starring Christopher Reeves & Marlon Brando

1980Superman II featuring Terrance Stamp released

1983 – A more campy/comical installment-featuring comedian Richard Pryor

1984Supergirl released starring Helen Slater & Oscar Winner Faye Dunaway

1987Superman IV does not impress at the box office

1993-1997New Adventures of Superman starring Dean Cain & Teri Hatcher

2001-2011Smallville TV series proves to be a ratings smash.

2006Superman Returns follows on from Superman II


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