By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 14, 2012 at 7:21PM
While Comic-Con has had many treats for the genre geek, perhaps the one that made fans most nervous was "Man of Steel." The centerpiece of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' panel, the film sees a character who's already had one unsuccessful modern-era reboot, and while fans were comforted by the presence of Christopher Nolan as executive producer, the choice of "300" and "Sucker Punch" helmer Zack Snyder to direct has been more controversial. And bar one image (nearly a year old at this point) and a logo, the film's been kept firmly under wraps, which is understandable, as it's nearly a year from release.
But a teaser trailer was just unveiled by Snyder and his star, Henry Cavill, and it seems to have made the minds of those in Hall H rest easier, if only a little. Some were underwhelmed by the quieter and more somber tone than the preceding "Pacific Rim" and "Godzilla" clips -- our man on the floor says the crowd was far more muted, barring one fan who burst into tears while trying to ask a question -- it seems to be a film in very much in the Nolan/"Batman Begins" mold (see the trailer quote "You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Good or bad, that character will change the world."). And it also looks like Snyder is dampening down his trademark style that's had a few, rather breathless, we'd advance, commentators compare the footage to that of Terrence Malick (perhaps because it appropriated the music from Hans Zimmer's "Journey to the Line" from "The Thin Red Line" which you can hear below). Tonally, the film also seems to suggest a more realistic Superman, with larger questions abounding about what would be the political response by America if it were faced with such an ultimate weapon like the Man of Steel. Pa Kent says, "People are afraid of what they don't understand."
On the plus side, those of us who were worried that Snyder in the chair might mean an all-action fest are a little comforted -- the director, fielding a question about whether John Williams' iconic theme from past films would be used, said it wouldn't, and that "When we started working on the movie, the thing we decided was the comic character existed. The movies are their own thing. We had to act as if no movies had been made. Hans [Zimmer] is going to do something different and it's going to be awesome."
Snyder also said that the film "is a mashing of stories and ideas," rather than being based on pre-existing material, and that his ultimate aim was "to bring the modern Superman into the world. It's for you guys who've been through thick and thin and for everyone else out there. I hope to bring a version that everyone can identify with... The big challenge was if you can make people feel, what would you do if you were Superman. How would you feel?"
The biggest news, although it's been obvious to anyone with a brain, is that Snyder confirmed that you'll be able to see footage from the film in front of "The Dark Knight Rises," with the director telling the crowd, "There's a little movie that comes out next weekend and we have a teaser in front of that," although it'll be slightly different from the footage that Hall H saw tonight. A poster was unveiled too and you can set its darker tone below. The first teaser for "Man of Steel" will land sometime between now and "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20th, and the film itself hits theaters on June 14th, 2013. - Reporting by Jeff Otto