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Man of Steel (2013) Poster

(2013)

Trivia

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Henry Cavill refused to take steroids to muscle up for the role. He also refused any digital touch-ups or enhancement to his body in his shirtless scenes. He said it would have been dishonest of him to use trickery while playing Superman, and he wanted to push his body to the limits, to develop his physique into one that was worthy of the character.
Henry Cavill said that the most difficult part of making the movie was definitely his two shirtless scenes. He had been training for months prior to filming, but for his shirtless scenes, he went on an extremely difficult diet and training regimen in which his calorie intake was cut from five thousand to nearly fifteen hundred for six weeks. After six weeks, he reached a body fat level of just seven percent, the level achieved by professional body-builders during competitions. Henry said he did this because he wanted to make his abs as pronounced and his muscles as defined as humanly possible, to create the best possible Superman physique. Cavill returned to a more manageable routine after the scenes were shot, but felt his effort was rewarded when audiences and critics alike praised his physique for the true embodiment of what Superman would look like. After he had shot his shirtless scenes, director Zack Snyder gave him a tub of ice cream and pizza to reward him for his Herculean effort for the shirtless scenes.
The idea that Superman's S-Shield means "hope" is taken from Mark Waid's "Superman: Birthright" comic: the S-Shield is the Kryptonian symbol for "hope", and Superman (1978) created the concept of the Shield being a Kryptonian herald for the house of El.
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In a flashback scene, in which Clark Kent is being bullied, he is seen reading "The Republic" by Plato. In "The Republic," Plato describes his "Perfect Society," which mirrors the make-up of Kryptonian society as given here. Most obviously, both societies have preordained births, in which people are born into roles, such as leaders, warriors, or farmers.
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The film released in June 2013, the 75th anniversary of Superman.
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Henry Cavill naturally has a hairy chest, and left it untouched for the shoot of this movie. He insisted that Superman has chest hair in this film; he rejected the notion that just because you are muscular, you should not have chest hair, and cited the Superman comic book "The Death Of Superman" as being an iconic representation in which Superman had a hairy chest.
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Henry Cavill and Russell Crowe had met years prior to playing father and son when Henry was an extra in Proof of Life (2000), and received words of encouragement to pursue acting, and an autographed picture from Crowe, who was his favorite actor.
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Clark's line "Can't I keep pretending I'm your son?", and Jonathan's response, "You are my son", are taken from "Superman: Secret Origin" by Geoff Johns.
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In an early Smallville scene near the Kent house, a double tanker truck passing by in the background bears the "LexCorp" brand name. Also, a building in Metropolis and a tanker truck later bear the name as well. This is the company run by Superman's arch rival, Lex Luthor.
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Ben Affleck turned down directing the film, because he wasn't experienced in visual effects shots: "A lesson I've learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they'll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what's important." He appeared as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), which was directed by Zack Snyder.
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Henry Cavill embarked on a special four-month training regimen by his trainer Mark Twight to get the appropriate physique for his roles as Kal-El. He gained weight by drinking five one thousand-calorie protein shakes a day, then he did cardiovascular workouts to burn away the fat, and build muscle, and finally, he underwent a grueling two-hour workout to build up his muscles and abdomen. According to Cavill, the real problem he faced was the workout's intensity: "Mark based his technique on going beyond yourself. Instead of slowing down towards the end of the workout, he asked me to actually work harder and harder for the body to reach its limits. His point was that if his client is able to walk out of the gym, he had not worked hard enough."
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Zack Snyder said that he really wanted to include a shirtless scene of Henry Cavill in the film, because throughout the film, you see him in a form-fitting body suit where he appears extremely muscular. He said the audience would think it was all rubber muscles, but it was important to show them it was indeed Cavill's body in that suit, and that it was all real.
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Gal Gadot was originally cast as Faora, but had to drop out due to her pregnancy, and Antje Traue was cast in her place. Gadot would later be chosen to play Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and in the subsequent Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League films.
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According to Zack Snyder, the filmmakers outfitted Henry Cavill in the Superman (1978) costume to see how well he fit the role. Despite the outfit bearing a lighter blue color and red trunks, no one laughed at Cavill. Snyder knew then that Cavill was right for the role.
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The filmmakers hired Professor Christine Schreyer, an expert in anthropology and linguistics at the University of British Columbia, to create the Kryptonian language. She developed an object-subject-verb sentence structure, contrasting the subject-verb-object structure of English (for example, "I see him" in English would be "Him I see" in Kryptonian), to reflect that people on Krypton had become selfish and materialistic.
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Rumors say that Zod's broadcast to Earth is made in several languages including the "Star Trek" Universe's Klingon, but there is no proof for this.
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When Clark is first learning to fly, he is only able to make a few gigantic bounds. In the first few Superman comics in 1938-9, he was not able to fly, but could only leap 1/8 of a mile like a high-powered kangaroo. The first cartoons and movies decided that this looked undignified, and made him fly, which looks more majestic, even though physics give no logical reason for him to have this ability.
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During Jor-El and Kal-El's first conversation and 3-D history of Krypton, Jor tells Kal about how he was sent away. In the background, a pod with the "S" and spikes can be seen flying away. This is not the way it looks in this movie, but in fact how it appears in Superman (1978).
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This is Amy Adams' third time auditioning for Lois Lane. She first read for Lois Lane in Brett Ratner's abandoned film, then for Superman Returns (2006). Adams has stated that it became ridiculous, and this time she had to play Lois and put her stamp on it.
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According to David S. Goyer, Superman's costume is defined in this film to be an undergarment: "All the battle armor goes on top of the suits. But since Superman's a refugee, his outfit doesn't have that gear, and would make him defenseless on his own Kryptonian turf." This is also a nod to pop culture's running joke that Superman's costume appears to be underwear.
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According to David S. Goyer, the story's major theme is first contact: "We approached Superman as if it weren't a comic book movie, as if it were real. He's an alien. If the world found out he existed, it would be the biggest thing that ever happened in human history. Just his existence would change the face of the Earth forever."
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Amy Adams (Lois Lane) is only nine years younger than Diane Lane (Martha Kent).
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Costume designer Michael Wilkinson said that while the Superman suit emphasized and highlighted Henry Cavill's muscular physique, for the scenes where he is playing Clark Kent, they tried to hide his physique by giving him layers of clothing and baggy clothes so that he could blend in more. Only in one scene does Clark wear a form-fitting t-shirt, which reveals that he is powerfully built, but that is when he is with Martha, who knows his identity.
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Matthew Goode, Armie Hammer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Zac Efron, and Colin O'Donoghue were on the final shortlist for the lead role. Henry Cavill was finally cast. He was the front runner to play Superman in another Superman movie (working title: Flyby) but the movie failed to be greenlit, and Brandon Routh was cast in Superman Returns (2006) instead. Cavill was also a runner-up to Daniel Craig for the James Bond role in Casino Royale (2006), Christian Bale for Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman in Batman Begins (2005).
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Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh expressed interest in reprising their positions from Superman Returns (2006) on this film. Singer had originally outlined several sequels to follow his story, and Routh was contracted as well. When Warner Brothers announced this film as a "clean reboot" from Singer's film, Routh still expressed interest in returning, before Zack Snyder declared that this movie would have no ties to any previous cinematic incarnation of the character.
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The visual effects team described the Kryptonian computer displays as liquid geometry: "It's a bunch of silver beads suspended through a magnetic field; the machine is able to control that magnetic field, so that the collection of beads behave like 3-D pixels, and create a surface that floats in the air and describes whatever the thing is you're supposed to be seeing."
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When Clark talks to Father Leone, there is a stained-glass window behind him, which contains a painting of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. This was where Christ prayed for strength to undergo the ordeal he will face, and parallels Clark's own need for support before his surrender.
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To completely distinguish this film as a new film separate from previous ones, the iconic "Superman Theme" by John Williams wasn't heard. This is the first Warner Brothers Superman film to not incorporate Williams' score.
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Superman's Kryptonian family name "El" is one of the Hebrew names for God. This comes from the original comic writers Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, who, being Jewish, would have been familiar with this trivia as part of their cultural heritage.
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This is the first live action Superman movie not to feature the character Jimmy Olsen. Not only was the Jimmy Olsen character in every live action Superman movie prior to Man of Steel (2013), but he was also in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993), Smallville (2001), and Supergirl (1984). Jimmy Olsen also appears in Supergirl (2015).
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When Superman learns to fly, he has a short flyover towards the camera. This is an homage to previous movies, in which Superman would fly over the Earth, and then smile at the camera.
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Zack Snyder originally planned for the infamous red trunks that Superman has worn throughout his 75 year existence, to be part of the suit in the movie. However, when looking over 1,500 different designs, he said that it just didn't work, so he decided to take them out.
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Distributed to theaters under the title "Skyrim".
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Composer Hans Zimmer and Zack Snyder used what they considered the best drummers in the world to perform on the film's musical score. Zimmer created a single drum track for all of the drummers to play at the same time, but encouraged them to maintain their own unique styles. The drummers included Danny Carey, Pharrell Williams, Josh Freese, Sheila E., Jason Bonham, Toss Panos, Satnam Ramgotra, Matt Chamberlain, John Robinson (a.k.a. John "J.R." Robinson), Jim Keltner, Bernie Dresel, Curt Bisquera, Ryeland Allison, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Trevor Lawrence, Jr.
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Laurence Fishburne based his performance as Perry White on CBS correspondent Ed Bradley: "Ed was a friend, a mentor, and a role model for me. Particularly because he worked in journalism, and he was the kind of guy who walked with kings, but he had the common touch." In homage to Bradley, White has an ear piercing.
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The music featured in the teaser trailer is called "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm" composed by Howard Shore from the soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
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Most of the U.S. military personnel that appear in the film are actual soldiers, Coast Guardsmen, and airmen, including the Army Rangers that appear during the Smallville battle. Most of the equipment and vehicles on-screen are also the real article, including M1A1 Abrams tanks and Little Bird helicopters. The services that provided support are the Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
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The majority of the action scenes use a CGI cape for Superman, and CGI armor for the other Kryptonians.
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According to the comics, General Zod's first name is Dru.
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Henry Cavill is the first non-American actor to play the role of Clark Kent. The now deceased, London-born Lee Quigley played Superman as a baby, in Superman (1978). Lee Quigley died from inhaling solvents at the age of fourteen.
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The Fortress of Solitude in this film is a Kryptonian spacecraft secreted in the Arctic. This combines various comic versions of the Fortress of Solitude: an Arctic location with a key (the Silver Age comics (1958)), an artifact from previous Kryptonians ("Adventures of Superman" (1989)), and an abandoned ship (the New 52 comics (2011)).
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While coming up with the aesthetic of how the Superman physique should look, trainer Mark Twight said the he wanted the classic V shape - broad shoulders and narrow waist, which Henry Cavill naturally had, he just had to pack on more muscle to his frame. Additionally, he said he looked to Steve Reeves' physique in Hercules (1958) as a model for Superman, as to attain a Greek God ideal. Zack Snyder instructed Henry Cavill, that his physique should look so great that in his shirtless scenes, he had to look like a "freak", and be in "absolutely crazy shape". Zack Snyder was subsequently very impressed with the results of Henry Cavill's eleven month hard training, and called his physique "a great accomplishment". Henry Cavill said that even he was surprised by how big he looked in the film.
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Clark Kent is only referred to as "Superman" once in the entire film. In the comics, government agents (known classically as "G-Men") would refer to him in code over transmissions as "the S-Man."
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The tornado scene stirred some controversy with the National Weather Service as overpasses are not considered to be safe shelters in the event of a tornado due to the wind funneling effect increasing the likelihood of being struck by debris. In 1991, many thought overpasses were safe, after a highly publicized video of a television film crew and some civilians survived a tornado near El Dorado, Kansas, by taking shelter under an overpass, although the overpass did not take a direct hit. However, in 1999, the deadly Moore/Bridge Creek F5 tornado killed several people who were hiding in overpasses, prompting the National Weather Service and other weather agencies to proclaim them as unsafe. Ironically, two more deadly tornadoes hit the Oklahoma City area about a month before this film's theatrical release, prompting Zach Snyder to consider removing the tornado scene from the movie, although he ultimately kept it, as Superman would have had to deal with all kinds of disasters and tragedies.
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The Superman costume in this film is based on the costume seen in DC's New 52 comics.
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When Jor-El escapes the Council, there is a shattered moon can be seen in the sky. This is Wegthor, a moon of Krypton, which, according to the comics, was destroyed when a warhead was accidentally launched, leading to Kryptonian space flight and colonization being abandoned (brought up by Jor-El's hologram to his son).
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Man of Steel was the title of the cancelled sequel to Superman Returns (2006).
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The flying animal Jor-El rides is named Haraka, which means "fast" in Swahili. And in Arabic Haraka means burning hot, or spicy.
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Many scenes were taken from the Superman graphic novel "Superman: Birthright" written by comic book writer Mark Waid.
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The robots in the House of El are named Kelex and Kelor. These were the names of robots that aided Superman at his Fortress of Solitude. In the 1979 mini-series "World of Krypton" Kelex and Kelor were assistants in the House of El, at the service for Seyg-El and later for his son, Jor-El.
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Along with multiple images and lines alluding to the savior-like nature of Superman, he tells Dr. Hamilton that he's been on Earth for 33 years, which is generally accepted as the age of Jesus, when he was crucified.
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According to Christine Schreyer, the inscriptions in Krypton's Ruling Council Chamber read: "The Light of Rao warms us / The four Moons of Yuda protect us /The Wisdom of Telle guides us / The Beauty of Lorra inspires us." It was the first four Kryptonian phrases Schreyer formulated, and are her favorite phrases.
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Whereas Superman wears the S symbolizing the Kryptonian hieroglyph for "hope", Zod, as seen when removes his armor to fight towards the later part of the film, has a hieroglyph with a strong resemblance to the hammer-and-sickle of the old U.S.S.R. In the comic "Superman: Red Son," an alternate history, where Kal-El's rocket lands in the Ukraine, rather than Kansas, so that Superman is introduced as the Soviet Union's protector, with their national symbol on his chest.
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Russell Crowe admitted that he was envious of co-star Henry Cavill's hyper-shredded physique saying he was in awe of "Henry's frame and his body fat ratio". He said, "He's a bit too perfect for words" and joked, "Apart from being his dad, I hate the son of the bitch" due to how great his body looked.
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Whenever Kal-El takes flight, there is a sound effect of rushing wind. According to the visual effects experts, this was an homage to Adventures of Superman (1952), which used a similar effect whenever Superman flew away, and they used it deliberately to pay homage to that show.
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The scene after Superman learns to fly, in which he soars over a herd of zebra, is based on an image in Mark Waid's novel "Superman: Birthright".
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Viggo Mortensen and Daniel Day-Lewis were considered to play General Zod.
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Both posters for the film are homages to images of Superman from Mark Waid's critically acclaimed 1996 comic "Kingdom Come", which examined Superman's detachment from humanity and his place in the modern world.
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The World Engine ship bears tentacles, and holds three dots in a triangular pattern. This is an homage to the Kryptonian A.I. Brainiac, who carries these characteristics.
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Michael Kelly gives the first live-action portrayal of Superman comics character Steve Lombard, a Sports journalist at the Daily Planet, who often bullies and insults Clark Kent.
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Russell Crowe becomes the second Oscar winner to portray Jor-El after Marlon Brando. Crowe once had a song with his band "Rus Le Roq" entitled "I want to be like Marlon Brando".
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Filming in Plano, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois in August and September of 2011, was done under the code name of "Autumn Frost." It was such a badly kept secret that on September 6, 2011, the Chicago Tribune published a full article about it. ("Code Name: Go Figure").
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When Zod and his crew are sent to the Phantom Zone, a screaming sound can be heard as the portal opens. This sound is the same as in Superman (1978), where the Phantom Zone literally screams, since it is sentient. This time though, the sound is more mechanical, suggesting that in this film, the Phantom Zone is an artificial construction.
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When Clark speaks to Jor-El's consciousness, Jor-El's dialogue: "You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun." Very closely resembles dialogue of Jor-El to Kal-El in the comic All-Star Superman.
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In the comics, Lana Lang is a redhead, while Lois Lane is often depicted as a brunette. Because Amy Adams kept her trademark red hair in the role, their hair tones are switched in this film: Lois is the redheaded one, while the young Lana has dark hair.
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Production designer Alex McDowell described the Kryptonian technology in the film as "geo-tech, scientifically advanced, but also less glossy, and more organic than the styles on Earth. There's no rock or stone or metal; Kryptonians had perfected the ability to manipulate DNA, for thousands of years, they built almost anything by biological means."
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WILHELM SCREAM: When Faora throws a soldier out the back of the C-17.
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Henry Cavill's casting was very controversial, as many questioned the appropriateness of a British actor playing an American icon like Superman. However, defenders of the casting pointed out that Christian Bale, who was portraying Batman at the time, is Welsh.
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David S. Goyer mentioned there were supposed to be two scenes added in the movie: One where Jonathan and Martha Kent took baby Kal-El to a pediatrician, and have a hearing test on him, where the baby screams, and it blows out all the windows. In the second, after Zod announces how powerful the Kryptonians are, Faora and Namek dropped into two foreign cities as a demonstration. The second one wasn't actually filmed.
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Due to his success with the Batman franchise, Christopher Nolan was brought on to help develop this movie, along with screenwriter David S. Goyer. This was merely as a creative consultant, it was never intended for Nolan to direct. When Zack Snyder was later brought on as director, Nolan chose to hand all creative control over to Snyder and focus on The Dark Knight Rises (2012). According to Nolan's wife, producer Emma Thomas, "They (Nolan and Goyer) brought it to an appropriate screenplay, and it's now Snyder's picture."
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Zack Snyder is reportedly a huge fan of True Blood (2008) and eyed Joe Manganiello from that series as Superman, even before signing for the film. When Manganiello was about to make a screentest with the suit, however, HBO stepped in, because of contractual obligations.
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Costume designer Michael Wilkinson's main influences for the suit were "the Richard Donner movie (Superman (1978)), the Frank Miller graphic novels, and the beautiful illustrations of Alex Ross."
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The monologue spoken by Jonathan Kent in the teaser trailer is taken directly from Geoff Johns's "Superman: Secret Origin", considered the definitive origin story in comics for Superman after the Infinite Crisis reboot.
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Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and David Paetkau (Northcom Threat Analyst) appeared in one episode of Smallville (2001) each.
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Ayelet Zurer is the first actress to have roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe, as she also portrays Vanessa Marianna (Vanessa Fisk) in Daredevil (2015).
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Woodburn (Chad Krowchuk), the blogger who leaks Lois Lane's story about Superman, is an oblique reference to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters who received classified information from a government source revealing the Watergate scandal, famously dramatized in All the President's Men (1976).
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According to production designer Peter Mitchell Rubin, Krypton's look was primarily influenced by the 19-20th century Art Nouveau style ("Art Nouveau designers assumed that nothing could ever be as beautiful as what nature creates, so we tried to be as true to that ideal as we could.") and electron scope/macro/micro-photographs of biological systems (primarily bones, bark, fungi, insect shells and dried plants).
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Zack Snyder enlisted the services of Gym Jones to get Henry Cavill in shape for this role. Snyder had first worked with Gym Jones on 300 (2006), and then subsequently collaborated with them for all his live-action films, to get his cast into the right physical shape.
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According to Kevin Smith's account (found in An Evening with Kevin Smith (2002)), when he was attached to write a Superman movie, he met with producer Jon Peters. Peters insisted on Superman fighting a giant mechanical spider, supervillain Braniac fighting a polar bear, and so on (much to the frustration of Smith, Warner Brothers executives, and DC executives. They even asked Smith to work around it, by calling the mechanical spider something different, according to Smith). Eventually Smith left, and Peters went on to make Wild Wild West (1999), featuring a giant mechanical spider. Superman Returns (2006) was eventually made with Bryan Singer, and its sequel was abandoned. With the success of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005) franchise, he and David S. Goyer were brought in to helm Man of Steel (2013), along with Zack Snyder. Jon Peters is one of the film's producers, along with Christopher Nolan's usual team of producers. The "World Engines" that Superman has to destroy, resemble giant spiders. There is also a scene in which a polar bear is running through the Arctic as the team explores the Kryptonian vessel that had been discovered in the ice.
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When Jonathan tries to teach Clark to keep his powers a secret, he mentions how "people will always fear what they don't understand". This exact line is also echoed in Batman Begins (directed by producer Nolan) by Falcone while intimidating Bruce Wayne in a bar.
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Eleven actors and actresses appearing in this film were featured in Smallville (2001): Amy Adams, Mackenzie Grey, Alessandro Juliani, Mike Dopud, Chad Krowchuk, Tahmoh Penikett, Ian Tracey, David Paetkau, David Lewis, and Carmen Lavigne.
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Superman's conversations with General Swanwick were based on scenes from the graphic novel "Superman: Secret Identity" written by Kurt Busiek. This novel presents an alternate origin for the character, which both pays tribute to, and spoofs the traditional Superman story.
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A boyhood photo of young Clark and Jonathan standing at a science fair project (a volcano) has small sign behind them that reads "Weisinger Public School" - a nod to longtime "Silver Age" Superman comics editor Mort Weisinger, who introduced many science fiction elements to the Superman canon.
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According to Zack Snyder, the Superman shield is designed after post-World War II versions, specifically the 1950-60s shields: "I feel he was born again in that era, he came to represent the American fighting machine, and the way America exported its morality to the world. I was drawn to that, and I wanted to get back to a more elegant and sophisticated shield."
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(At around one hour and 45 minutes) The name "Superman" is spoken for the only time throughout the entire movie. It is said three times in this instance, though Lois Lane almost says it at one point, before getting interrupted.
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Emmy Rossum, Charlotte Riley, Saoirse Ronan, Dianna Agron, Margot Robbie, Alexis Knapp, Kaya Scodelario, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kristen Bell, Lake Bell, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, and Jessica Biel were considered to play Lois Lane. Robbie and Winstead both later landed roles in the DC Extended Universe, as Harley Quinn and Huntress, respectively.
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This is the third film where Diane Lane is mother to a "special" child. The first was Jack (1996) (starring Robin Williams, the best friend of Christopher Reeve) and the second was Jumper (2008).
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(At around two hours and five minutes) When Zod is swinging Superman around by his cape, there is a momentary extreme close-up of Zod's eye, in which his "S" shield can just be made out, spanning the iris in a mirror reversal.
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According to costume designer Michael Wilkinson, the Kryptonian outfits are based on the wardrobes of the Versailles aristocracy, prior to the French Revolution. The designers etched into velvets and embroidered and screen-printed on fabrics to create over-elaborate indulgent costumes.
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Has three different actors portray Clark Kent at different ages, the most of the modern era, in a single superhero film. Superman (1978) used five actors, because of child labor laws, so the normal practice is to cast two similar looking babies for one role. An animated CGI baby was used in this film.
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General Zod wears a black astronaut suit. This is based on the Modern Age comics (where he wore a special red suit that filtered sunlight) and the "Man of Steel" and "Action Comics" issues of the early 2000s (where he wore a warlord uniform in red and black).
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When, in a flashback, school bullies are seen beating up a young Clark Kent, one of the bullies is wearing a patch on his shoulder with the number "52". This number has been appearing in all DC related projects ever since the launch of "The New 52" in DC Comics.
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Zod's ship is named the Black Zero, after a Kryptonian antagonist of Superman. In the comic "World of Krypton" Black Zero was a terrorist organization that destroyed Kandor, Krypton's capital, during a revolution about the rights for the clones that kryptonians used as mindless sleepers in order to repair their physical damage.
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According to visual effects supervisor John 'D.J.' Des Jardin, the visual effects are inspired by Gary Hutzel's work on Battlestar Galactica (2004): "The film had to appear very natural and documentary-like, because there's some very fantastical things in there, and we wanted people to suspend their disbelief, so we had to make it as easy as possible for them to do so."
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First Kevin Costner film since The Bodyguard (1992) to gross over $100 million in the U.S.
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When Hardy flies in a helicopter above Smallville, he uses the call sign "Guardian". In DC Comics, Guardian was a superhero, and Head of Security of a secret organization called Project Cadmus.
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Russell Crowe (Jor-El) and Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent), who play both of Superman's fathers, have shared the role of Robin Hood: Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and Crowe in Robin Hood (2010). Both have also played legendary U.S. law officers bringing down infamous mobsters: Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987), and Crowe as Richie Roberts in American Gangster (2007).
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One of Zod's soldiers is named Nam-Ek. Nam-Ek was a minor Kryptonian who appeared in the December 1974 Superman comic "The Loneliest Man in the Universe" (Superman Vol. 1, Number 282). Nam-Ek was also one of the Kryptonians to arrive on Earth, in the season five premiere episode of Smallville (2001). Additionally, Nam-Ek is also the name of the home planet of the character Piccolo from the vast manga animé series "Dragon Ball-Z" - a story which centers around a child being sent to Earth as the last of his kind, who possesses special powers, and protecting Earth from a surviving member of his race, bent on global domination.
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The character of Faora-Ul previously had her name changed to Ursa for Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980), but has her original name restored here. Ironically, due to the popularity of those films, Ursa was incorporated into the comics as a separate character from Faora-Ul.
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Henry Cavill bought an American Akita dog in January 2014, from Big Bear Akitas breeders in Arkansas, and named him Kal.
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The first film in the DC Extended Universe.
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Originally intended to take place in the same universe as the Dark Knight Trilogy, but instead it kickstarted a new universe of DC Comics movies, with Ben Affleck becoming the new Batman.
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This is the third live-action theatrical Superman films to not feature Superman's archnemesis Lex Luthor. The other films were Superman III (1983) and Superman and the Mole-Men (1951). However, the name of Luthor's company "LexCorp" is seen on tanker trucks in various scenes.
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When Jor-El tells Clark the meaning of the "S" symbol, he does a chest reveal similar to the way Superman has done over the years when changing outfits.
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When one of the airplanes goes down right after the pilot says he lost his wingman, the sound of a Transformer transforming can be heard.
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Academy Award winner Guillermo Del Toro lists this film as one of his favorite superhero movies.
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Autumn Snyder, daughter of the film's director Zack Snyder and the film's producer Deborah Snyder, has an uncredited cameo in the film as a frightened Metropolis citizen during the terraforming incident. This was her only comic-book feature.
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Alessandro Juliani, (Sergeant Sedowsky) played Dr. Emil Hamilton on Smallville (2001). David Lewis (Major Laramore) portrayed Dr. Marcus and Macy in the series.
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When Clark is introduced to Lois, she says "Welcome to the Planet", meaning the Daily Planet newspaper. But this also carries a second meaning, welcome to Earth, which is what Kal-El was afraid would not be the reaction, if people were to discover he is an alien.
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Diane Kruger, Rosamund Pike, Kate Mara, and Gal Gadot were considered for the role of Faora. Gal Gadot later played Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe.
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The run time is 2 hours and 23 minutes , the same as Superman (1978)
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Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood, Michael Biehn, and Kurt Russell were considered for the role of Jonathan Kent.
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Krypton (2018) is a prequel to the movie and takes place 200 years before Superman's birth and the destruction of Krypton.
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Laurence Fishburne is the first African-American to play Perry White in a theatrical "Superman" film.
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Both this film and Superman II feature actors named Michael Shannon. There is no relation between the 2 actors.
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Julianne Moore, Lisa Rinna, Jodie Foster, Sela Ward, and Elisabeth Shue were considered for the role of Martha Kent.
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Sean Penn and Clive Owen were considered for the role of Jor-El.
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Christopher Meloni (Colonel Nathan Hardy) voiced Superman's colleague Hal Jordan a.k.a. Green Lantern in the animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight (2009).
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Diane Lane previously appeared in the Superman-themed Hollywoodland (2006). In that, she played Toni Lanier-Mannix, an ex-girlfriend of George Reeves.
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Jon Peters reportedly earned over $50 million due to his profit participation with Warner Brothers, on the original Batman movies, and apparently was never on the set once. By comparison, Henry Cavill earned $14 million for playing the title role.
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In the soundtrack "Oil Rig", there is a sound of a child saying "uh-oh". There has been no clear reason as to why the sound was present within the soundtrack.
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Henry Cavill was born the same year as the release of Superman III (1983).
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John Schneider reportedly disliked Kevin Costner's portrayal of Jonathan Kent in this film.
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According to editor David Brenner, the film's original run time was three and half hours.
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Clark saving a bus full of school children after it crashes off the bridge is similar to Superman (1978) where Superman saves a bus full of school children from *almost* falling off the golden gate bridge.
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Darren Aronofsky, Duncan Jones, Ben Affleck, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves, and Jonathan Liebesman were considered to direct the movie before Zack Snyder was later chosen.
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Kristen Stewart was considered for the role of Lois Lane, but they dropped her..
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Richard Schiff (Professor Emil Hamilton) shares a few scenes with Alessandro Juliani (an Air Force Staff Sergeant), who had previously played Emil Hamilton in Smallville (2001).
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This is the second time Amy Adams was in a Superman related project, the first was Smallville (2001) season one, episode seven "Craving".
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Guillermo del Toro (who previously worked with writer David S. Goyer on Blade II (2002)) was, at one point, considered to direct the film. Robert Zemeckis was also considered.
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The twin-engine aircraft in the Smallville ground attack scene are Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthogs", and the single-engine aircraft in the Metropolis air battle, are Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs. The A-10 was produced from 1972-1984, and the F-35 was still in development, and was not combat-ready until December 2015.
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Connie Nielsen was considered for the role of Lara Lor-Van. Julia Ormond was cast, but she dropped out, so Ayelet Zurer was cast in her place. Nielsen later took the role of Hippolyta in Wonder Woman (2017).
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Dylan Sprayberry (the young Clark Kent) is a cast member on Teen Wolf (2011), starring Tyler Posey and Tyler Hoechlin. Posey appeared in one episode of Smallville (2001), while Hoechlin portrays Superman in Supergirl (2015).
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Mackenzie Gray, who portrays Jax-Ur, previously played an adult clone of Lex Luthor in Smallville (2001).
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Amanda Seyfried auditioned for a role, but was turned down.
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WILHELM SCREAM: When a missile from an F-35 deflects off the Black Zero (Zod's ship) and explodes on bystanders on the street.
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One of the actors who tested for the title role was David Giuntoli, whose real-life wife Elizabeth Tulloch stars as Lois Lane in Superman and Lois (2021) and other DCTV series.
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Henry Cavill does not appear until 20 minutes into the film. He is not heard to speak until about the 32-minute mark.
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When Clark is walking down the driveway to his house, a van with the logo "LexCorp" on the side drives by. LexCorp is the company owned by Lex Luthor.
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Christina Wren plays Captain Carrie Ferris, who has almost the same name as Carol Ferris, love interest of Superman's colleague Hal Jordan, a.k.a. The Green Lantern.
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The helicopters used in the battle of Smallville, that transported Colonel Hardy and the detachment of Army Rangers, were MH-6 and AH-6 "little bird" aircraft. The MH-6 is an unarmed transport aircraft, while the AH-6 is a gunship armed with Pylon-mounted General Dynamics GAU-17/A miniguns alongside 2.75 rockets.
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David Giuntoli auditioned for the role of Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman.
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The conspiracy theorist's name, Woodburn, is a phonetic composite of the names Woodward and Bernstein.
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Mark Gibbon (Roughneck) later played General Zod in Supergirl: Nevertheless, She Persisted (2017).
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a construction site sign hit by Superman drops from 106 to 0 days without accident.
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This film shares a few connections to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (2004): Many visual effects shots were modeled after the documentary look, used in Battlestar Galactica, to give it a greater feel of realism. Additionally, two of the staff at the Arctic military base are played by Tahmoh Penikett and Alessandro Juliani, leading stars of that series.
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Henry Cavill has a dog named Kal in real life. (For Kal-el?)
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Kevin Costner's role as Jonathan Kent was previously played by Glenn Ford. Both of them have been involved in competing projects about Wyatt Earp: Glenn was cast in Tombstone (1993), but had to drop out, while Costner played Wyatt Earp in Wyatt Earp (1994) opposite Gene Hackman (the original Lex Luthor) as his father. Ironically, Russell Crowe, who plays Jor-El, Superman's other father, has also done a Glenn Ford role. Crowe played outlaw Ben Wade in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma (2007), the same role played by Ford in the original 1957 film.
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Kevin Costner later starred in Draft Day (2014) with Tom Welling and Frank Langella, who played, respectively, Clark on Smallville (2001) and Perry White in Superman Returns (2006).
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In one scene, we see Lois Lane talking to Perry White over her phone, a Nokia Lumia. The color theme is titled "Steel".
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Zack Snyder wanted Sir Daniel Day-Lewis to play General Zod.
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At the beginning of the scene at the Desert Base, where Clark and Lois are waiting for the Kryptonians to arrive, Clark and Lois stand in the center of the screen facing each other in a wide shot. This is similar to a shot from Watchmen, both the movie and the original comic, where Dan and Laurie stand on a wasteland facing each other, about to kiss. At the end of both shots, there is a shock wave-like effect. In Man of Steel, it's the Kryptonian space shuttle flying off, kicking up sand clouds into the faces of the US Army at the base. In Watchmen, a Nuclear explosion happens in the background and it incinerates Dan and Laurie.
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At 143 minutes, this film is tied with Aquaman (2018) for the second longest film in the DCEU.
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Russell Crowe previously appeared in 3:10 to Yuma (2007). His role in that film was played in the original by Glenn Ford, who played Pa Kent in Superman (1978).
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Amy Adams is nine years older then Henry Cavill, and their characters are romantically linked in the film.
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The wife of Kevin Costner's character is played by Diane Lane, who also appeared in Lonesome Dove. In the sequel; Streets of Laredo; her role was played by Sissy Spacek. Spacek played Costner's wife in JFK. Also appearing in those films were two other DC veterans: Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman.
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Cameo 

Aaron Smolinski: one actor playing a communications officer, previously played one of the ages of baby Clark Kent in Superman (1978).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the final battle, when General Zod and Superman fly into outer space, they both hit a satellite with the "Wayne Enterprises" logo.
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The Kryptonian ship had one pod left open before Clark entered. It was revealed, in a promotional comic book, that the ship was once occupied by Clark's cousin Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Supergirl, possibly indicating her appearance in a forthcoming installment.
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Zack Snyder proposed that Superman kill General Zod, in order to set up Superman's classic "never kills" motto. He wanted it to be brutal and jarring, so that it would forever keep in Superman's mind.
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Before the film's release, DC Comics published a prequel comic book about the crew of the derelict Krypton scout ship that Clark finds frozen in Canada. In the comic book, the ship was piloted by Kara Zor-El, who, in the comic books, is better known as Supergirl.
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When Superman is fighting the world engine, an homage is paid to Christopher Reeve. When he is standing in the light beam, the camera zooms in on Superman, briefly transforming his face into Reeve's face.
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The first "Superman" film in which Lois Lane discovers the true identity of Clark Kent before he goes to work for the Daily Planet.
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The first draft had Superman throwing Zod into the Phantom Zone, but Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer decided to have Superman killing Zod instead.
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During the final battle between Zod and Superman at the construction site, there is a sign saying "Accident free for 106 days". Zod throws Superman into the sign, knocking off the 1 and the 6, and making it say "0 days".
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The World Engine, like many other aspects of Kryptonian tech and architecture, is modeled after a biological system, specifically a bacteriophage. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and hijack their internal resources so that the bacteria start producing viral proteins instead of their own. Consequently, the depiction of the World Engine as a bacteriophage is most appropriate, as the device was intended to hijack Earth resources, for the benefit of Kryptonians.
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There are a variety of signs in the film that pay homage to Superman and DC Comics' history (in chronological order):
  • A school photo of Jonathan and Clark Kent shows that Clark went to Weisinger Primary School. This refers to DC Comics Writer and Editor Mort Weisinger, who created the Kryptonian solar empathy (yellow sun strength, and red sun weakness).
  • When Clark is being bullied, it's in the vicinity of "Sullivan Truck and Tractor Repair," which is a nod to Chloe Sullivan, who was Clark's best friend, and most trusted sidekick on Smallville (2001), and an original character created for the show. Also, in the same scene, Clark is bullied by a gang led by Whitney Fordham, a character who was inspired by Whitney Fordman, another character created for the show as Lana Lang's boyfriend in season one.
  • The Smallville barbershop is named "Otto's Barber Styling". Otto refers to DC Comics Writer Otto Binder, who created Supergirl, Krypto, Brainiac, the Phantom Zone, and Jimmy Olsen's signal watch.
  • During the Smallville fight, the residents take shelter in the post office, known as Ezra's Mail Depot. According to Smallville (2001), the hometown was founded by Ezra Small.
  • When Zod uses his heat vision for the first time, there is a small sign that says "Keep Calm and Call Batman" on the wall behind Superman.
  • When Zod hurls the tanker truck, there is a smiley face behind Superman. A smiley face was the motif for the "Watchmen" comic, which Zack Snyder had previously adapted.
  • When Superman and Zod charge each other at the skyscraper, a sign for "Blaze Comics" can be spotted. This was a fictional publishing company that the DC Comics hero Booster Gold hired to tell his tales.
  • As Superman flies after Zod, a sign for "S.T.A.R. Labs" is spotted. Scientific and Technoligical Advanced Research Laboratories is a research facility that debuted in a 1971 Superman comic.
  • Continuing the flight, there is a sign for "Utopia Casinos" and "WGBS News". These are properties owned by unscrupulous businessmen (Tony Gallo and Morgan Edge, respectively), against whom Superman faced off.
  • when Zod and Superman fly into outer space, they both hit a satellite with the "Wayne Enterprises" logo.
  • Earlier in the film, during one of the scenes at the Kent house, a double tanker truck passing by in the background bears the "LexCorp" brand name. Also, a building in Metropolis and a tanker truck later bear the name as well. This is the company run by Superman's archrival, Lex Luthor.
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The final confrontation between Superman and General Zod was filmed in Chicago's Union Station. At the end of the fight, Lois Lane runs down the station's long staircase. This same staircase was the scene of the final gunfight in The Untouchables (1987), starring Kevin Costner, who plays Jonathan Kent.
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This is the first Superman movie to not include the iconic ending when Superman flies off into space and smiles at the camera, but there is a clear homage shot similar when he first takes flight.
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Jonathan Kent's birth year (according to his headstone) is 1951, the same year that George Reeves filmed Superman and the Mole-Men (1951), his first outing as Clark Kent before Adventures of Superman (1952).
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During the scene on the Black Zero where Zod explains where he and his group have been since Krypton's destruction, there is a bizarre dream-scene where Clark stands on New Krypton in a field of skulls. If one looks closely, they could see that his Superman costume is almost jet-black with gray highlights on the shield, resembling the black and silver suit from 'The Death of Superman' and the upcoming Snyder Cut of Justice League.

Also, the scene shows a ruined wreckage of a city, similar to the one shown in the Knightmare from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
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Russell Crowe is stabbed by a knife to the side prior to death. Crowe had the same experience in Gladiator (2000), when Commodus stabbed him to weaken him, before the two fight to the death. And he fell to the ground the exact same way as in Gladiator: stiff like a log without any try to prevent hitting the ground or to absorb the impact.
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The opening sequences on Krypton involving Jor-El's theft of the Codex and Zod's temporary insurrection, while completely visually different than that of Richard Donner's Superman, contains more than a few references to the original Superman movie. Most notable are the scenes where Zod and his insurgents are condemned to the Phantom Zone and Krypton's actual destruction.
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When Zod's insurrection is put down and the Pod containing baby Kal warps out, Zod glares in controlled rage at where the pod was and the soundtrack plays a blaring noise similar to the score from Inception. In Aquaman, after Jesse Kane kills himself by detonating a high-powered grenade in order to complete their mission, David Kane has a similar look of controlled rage on his face and a similar blaring noise is heard on the soundtrack.
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During the Smallville battle with Superman fighting against Farora-Ul and Nam-Ek (and actually before when Zod and Faora are threatening Martha), Faora and Nam-Ek are wearing full body armor and 'breather units' that should prevent the radiation of Sol from enhancing their physiology like Clark had. However, throughout these scenes, Faora and Nam-Ek display incredible strength and agility. Presumably, this is because Earth's gravity is weaker and it has less pull on Kryptonian bodies than humans, as Jor-El explains earlier in the film's narrative.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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