Henry Cavill Promises Return Of Traditional Superman

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Superman Warner Bros.

The mischaracterization of Superman is emblematic of what’s wrong with the larger picture over at DC films. More of a concept than a character, the last son of Krypton works best as a juvenile power fantasy, or a symbol for the supposed American ideal. Superman has an unshakable devotion and affinity for the human race. He doesn’t kill and he’s helplessly in love with a contrarian city slicker named Louis Laine. This should have been the heart of the DC cinematic universe. Like John WIlliams’ famous cosmic fanfare reminds you, no matter how dark things get, this is Star Wars. You like the Star Wars world and its characters.

Batman can be the stand-in to pin allegories on and theatrical political statements and gothic symbolism, but Clark Kent needs be the gleaming anchor, keeping this thing grounded in a sense of fun. It looks like the filmmakers over at Warner Bros. finally agree. Though the film hardly earned a recommendation, Justice League offers hints that Cavill and company have finally got Superman right.

Henry Cavill longed to portray the more traditional Sups from the comics since he was first cast back in 2013’s Man Of Steel as opposed to Snyder's more deconstructionist approach. Cavill recently sat down with the LA Times to discuss the considerable shift in tone featured in Justice League. Batman kills less and quips more, Aquaman is a dude bro, Barry Allen is Peter Parker, and Superman actually smiles this time around, or attempts to. Here’s what Cavill had to say:

“I’ve always enjoyed the traditional, very classic view on Superman in the comic books. I think there’s an enormous complexity to that character. I know when I was working with Joss he and I saw eye-to-eye on some of the aspects of Superman. That paragon of hope. That ideal. That wonderful feeling of, ‘Oh, good, Superman’s here!’ I have also developed a very personal and protective relationship over this character, and it was just lovely to have the opportunity to smile and feel good.”

Cavill’s new take on the character didn’t have enough screentime to repudiate the many failings of the film that featured it, but what little I saw was certainly promising. Everything from the decidedly more vibrant suit, to the cheesy rallying quips assures fans this interpretation will be featured more prominently in future DC films to come. Hopefully it isn’t too late.

 

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