November 4, 2016

Why The Darkness of Henry Cavill’s Superman Is Befitting

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Written by: Lee Skavydis
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Superman has been putting in a fair number of appearances in the past few years all beginning with the release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and it’s critically panned follow up, Batman vs Superman. In the past couple of weeks, CBS have been showing the second season of Supergirl which allowed the debut of it’s own version of the last son of Krypton which has earned a surprising number of positive opinions.

Henry Cavill is currently working with Ben Affleck in developing the upcoming Justice League film, scheduled to be released in 2017, but that has not stopped the public and professional detractors from criticising his portrayal of Superman. Batman vs Superman contained a sombre atmosphere which didn’t go down too well, although it would have fit in rather effectively in a universally recognised Batman universe.


You can sense the gloom even in this poster, can’t you?

The Christopher Reeve movies always had a touch of the comedic about them which hit a high point in 1983 with it’s third instalment co-starring former standup comedian Richard Pryor. The fourth movie may have dialled down the supposedly funny elements but it had a sense of sustained unintentional hilarity due to its daft villain and glaring technical deficiencies. The tone of the recent Cavill starring pictures are a stark contrast! But are they as really dark as one suggests?


The poster for 1983’s Superman III. It’s a bit different over 30 years later, wouldn’t you say?

While the days of a DC movie oozing charm that was amusing for most are seemingly numbered, Cavill’s Superman has possibly not yet come full circle in his development of the character. He still has a lot to learn about life as the world’s most famous superhero, and with Christopher Nolan as the producer of Man of Steel is it really a surprise that the path of the most realistic was elected? Not really. Is it a bad thing for a well established persona as Superman to face conflict in a world that mirrors ours? It seems that earth right now could do with a superhero like Superman when thinking of all the ominous events that are taking place right now in our world, and it is inspirational to see him face the type of conflicts that even the most powerful of people in our real world are finding it laborious to come to some sort of resolution.

Man of Steel

Henry Cavill’s Superman finds the world standing guard against him in Man of Steel.

Batman vs Superman contained a Superman that was borderline suitable for children. When Bruce Wayne had that nightmare when his vision of the Metropolis Marvel using his eye lasers to kill some humans in almost graphic fashion and then ploughed his fist through Wayne’s chest to take out his heart, the sense was gotten that this was a version of the character that was more harnessed for adults. Keeping in line with making things as realistic as possible all serves to get these types of movies possibly noticed by a wider audience.

Going back to the British actor’s take, what the filmmakers have been exploring also is how the public perceive Superman after he makes the choice to do something for the good of mankind, whether people see that for how it is in the moment. And in this day and age where even the most niggling things can be considered arguable, a considerable reaction and retaliation of the way things are perceived was inevitable.


Superman enjoys a rare affectionate moment in Batman v Superman

Superman, today, is more a complex character than he has ever been on screen. And that can only be a good thing since there will be many layers to peel back and explore in the future. He is still learning and things have been thrown upon him in premature fashion which all paves the way for mistakes. At least for the time being. Comic book fans, as most any kind of die hard fans, will struggle to accept change but are we laying judgement a little too early?

It just may take a while for The Man of Tomorrow, and us, to get the satisfaction we deserve. 007 fans would tell you so.

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.


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