Man of Steel Trivia

(Total Trivia Entries: 123)

“What’s the ‘S’ stand for?”

The idea for Superman’s S-Shield on his costume meaning “hope” is taken from Mark Waid’s “Superman: Birthright” comic. To find out more trivia keep on reading.

Casting                        Screenplay & Production


The actors that were on the shortlist for the role of Superman before Henry Cavill was finally cast are as follows:

  • Matthew Goode
  • Armie Hammer
  • Matt Bomer
  • Joe Manganiello
  • Zac Efron
  • Colin O’Donoghue


Henry Cavill was also the front runner to play Superman in another Superman movie, which had the working title Superman: Flyby, but the movie failed to be greenlit. He was also considered for Superman Returns (2006) but Brandon Routh was cast instead.


Cavill was also runner-up to Daniel Craig for the James Bond role in Casino Royale (2006), but he lost out as he was considered too young to play the role. He also auditioned for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Begins (2005).


According to Zack Snyder, Henry Cavill was made to wear a Superman costume to see how well he fitted the role. Even though the outfit he wore was a lighter blue color and had red trunks, no one laughed at Cavill when they saw him in the outfit and that’s when Snyder knew that Cavill was right for the role.


British actor Henry Cavill is the first non-American actor to play the role of Clark Kent, although the now deceased London-born Lee Quigley played Superman as a baby, (Baby Kal-El) in Superman (1978).


Both director Bryan Singer and actor Brandon Routh had expressed interest in reprising their positions from Superman Returns (2006) for this film; Singer had originally outlined several sequels to follow his story, and Routh was contracted as well. When Warner Bros. announced this film as a “clean reboot” from Singer’s film, Routh still expressed interest in returning before director Zack Snyder confirmed that this movie would have no ties to any previous cinematic incarnation of the character.


Director Zack Snyder wanted Superman to have a big, muscular stature similar to comic drawings by artist Jim Lee. So in order to get into the right shape Henry Cavill had to work very hard to build a big, muscular physique to get the look envisioned by Snyder. To help Cavill get in shape Snyder enlisted the services of Gym Jones whom Snyder had worked with previously on 300 (2006) and then subsequently has collaborated with them for all his films to get his cast into the right physical shape.


To get into the right physical shape for his role Henry Cavill embarked on a special four-month training regime by his trainer Mark Twight. He gained weight by drinking five 1000-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, he stated: “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.”



Zack Snyder has said that he included shirtless scenes 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, so it was important to show them it was indeed all real and Henry Cavill’s body in that suit.


Henry Cavill refused to take steroids to muscle up for the role and he also refused any digital touch-ups or enhancement to his body in his shirtless scenes. He stated 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 has stated that the most difficult part of making the movie was definitely his two shirtless scenes. He had been training for months prior to filming began but for his shirtless scenes, he specially went on extremely difficult calorie restriction diet and training regime that cut his calorie intake from 5000 to near 1500 for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks he reached a body fat level of just 3% which is the level achieved by professional body-builders during competitions. Henry said this was done 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.



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 the film Le fatiche di Ercole (1958) as a model for Superman, as to attain a Greek God ideal. Snyder was subsequently very impressed with the results of Cavill’s 11 month hard training and called his physique “a great accomplishment”. Cavill said that even he was surprised by how big he looked in the film.


Cavill naturally has a hairy chest and left it untouched for the shoot of this movie. He insisted that Superman have chest hair in this film and 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.


About his role as Superman, Cavill has stated: “There’s a very real story behind the Superman character.” He explained that everyone’s goal has been to explore the difficulties his character faces as a result of having multiple identities, including his birth name, Kal-El, and his alter ego, Clark Kent. Cavill also stated that, “He’s alone and there’s no one like him,” referring to Superman’s Ashlin. “That must be incredibly scary and lonely, not to know who you are or what you are, and trying to find out what makes sense. Where’s your baseline? What do you draw from? Where do you draw a limit with the power you have? In itself, that’s an incredible weakness.”


Henry Cavill and Russell Crowe had met years previously when Henry was an extra in Proof of Life (2000) and he received words of encouragement to pursue acting and an autographed picture from Crowe, who was his favorite actor.


On the search for Lois Lane Snyder the filmmakers stated: “There was a big, giant search for Lois. For us, it was a big thing and obviously a really important role. We did a lot of auditioning, but we had this meeting with Amy Adams and after that I just felt she was perfect for it.” Before Amy Adams was finally chosen, these are the actresses that were considered:

  • Natalie Portman
  • Charlotte Riley
  • Anne Hathaway
  • Dianna Agron
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Malin Akerman
  • Rachel McAdams
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead
  • Kristen Bell
  • Lake Bell
  • Olivia Wilde
  • Mila Kunis
  • Jessica Biel


This is Amy Adams’ third time auditioning for the character of Lois Lane. She first read for Lois Lane in Brett Ratner’s abandoned Superman: Flyby movie, then for Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006). Adams has stated that it became ridiculous and felt that this time she had to play Lois and finally put her stamp on it. Adams was confirmed to play Lois Lane in March 2011. While announcing the role, Snyder said in a statement, “We are excited to announce the casting of Amy Adams, one of the most versatile and respected actresses in films today. Amy has the talent to capture all of the qualities we love about Lois: smart, tough, funny, warm, ambitious and, of course, beautiful.”



On portraying Lois Lane, Adams stated that the film would feature a Lois Lane who is an “independent, feisty woman, but set in a more identifiable world.” Adams said that “She has become more of a free-ranging journalist, someone who likes to be hands-on. The nature of the newspaper business has changed so much. There is so much more pressure.”


Viggo Mortensen was considered to play General Zod before Michael Shannon was finally cast.


On choosing Michael Shannon for the role of General Zod, Snyder stated: “Zod is not only one of Superman’s most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant, because he has insights into Superman that others don’t. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role.”


When David S. Goyer was asked about why Zod was chosen as the villain for this movie, he stated: “The way (Christopher) Nolan and I have always approached movies as well is you never say, ‘Hey, which villain would be cool for this movie?’ You start with the story first. What kind of story? What kind of theme do you want to tell? So we worked that out. Then, usually the villain becomes obvious in terms of who’s going to be the appropriate antagonist for that. When you guys see the movie, the only villain we could’ve used was Zod and the Kryptonians. I mean, when you see what the whole story is, nothing else would have even made sense.”



Michael Shannon commented on his portrayal in comparison to Terence Stamp’s original take on Zod, “To follow Terence Stamp’s iconic performance in the original, it is daunting, but I just focused on one day at a time. It’s interesting that when we started with this, we did a lot of training together and I think that kind of helped loosen things up a little bit. It is a very physical movie at the end of the day. That’s a good way to find your way ‘into it’ as an actor.”


Sean Penn and Clive Owen were considered for the role of Jor-El before Russell Crowe was cast.


Russell Crowe becomes the second Oscar winner to portray Jor-El after Marlon Brando.


Crowe incorporated how his own fatherhood informed his reading of the script to portray Jor-El, stating that “It was one of those things where that’s how it was connecting me. That’s the question that Jor-El faces, that’s the situation that he’s in.” Crowe also comments on his preparation for the film stating that: “When I signed on… well, one, I didn’t realize that I would be wearing Spandex, ’cause you know that’s Superman’s costume, I didn’t realize that I’d have to fit into it as well. But, I also didn’t realize the type of organizer that Zack Snyder is, ’cause this was really old school prep. This is sort of David Lean-level preparation, and I really appreciated him. And I was on the movie for three-and-a-half or four months before I even got in front of the camera.”



Both Russell Crowe (Jor-El) and Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent) have shared the role of Robin Hood: Costner in Kevin Reynolds’ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and Crowe in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (2010). Both have also played law officers bringing down mobsters: Costner as Elliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987) and Crowe as Richie Roberts in American Gangster (2007). The connection continues as Kevin Reynolds would later direct Henry Cavill in his first major film role in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) starring James Caviezel, who was once a frontrunner for Superman. Caviezel currently stars on the series Person of Interest created by Jonathan Nolan brother of Christopher Nolan.


For the role of Superman’s biological mother, Lara Lor-Van, initially Connie Nielsen was considered for the role but then Julia Ormond was cast, but when she dropped out then Ayelet Zurer was cast in her place.


On casting Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent, Snyder explained his reason for his casting the on-screen couple was solely for the realism: “I think the thing you realize when you look at Diane and Kevin, in our decision to cast them so far, you sort of get a sense of how tonally we’re looking at the movie, and what you realize is that those guys are serious actors, and we’re taking this movie very seriously in terms of the tone of having those guys. You’re talking about having a situation where whatever the action is or whatever the drama of the movie is, our first priority is to make sure it’s rendered in the most realistic way we can get at.”


Before Kevin Costner was cast as Jonathan Kent, these are actors that were considered for the role:

  • Dennis Quaid
  • Bruce Greenwood
  • Michael Biehn
  • Kurt Russell


Before Diane Lane was cast for the role of Martha Kent, these are the actresses that were considered for the role:

  • Julianne Moore
  • Lisa Rinna
  • Jodie Foster
  • Sela Ward
  • Elisabeth Shue


Diane Lane was the first cast member to join the film since Cavill. Snyder stated in the release: “This was a very important piece of casting for me because Martha Kent is the woman whose values helped shape the man we know as Superman. We are thrilled to have Diane in the role because she can convey the wisdom and the wonder of a woman whose son has powers beyond her imagination.”



Laurence Fishburne is the first African American to play Perry White in a live-action film. Fishburne based his performance as Perry White on CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, he stated: “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. And so he was my inspiration for Perry.” In homage to Bradley, White has an ear piercing.



The following actresses were considered for the role of Faora, which was played by Antje Traue:

  • Diane Kruger
  • Rosamund Pike
  • Alice Eve
  • Lindsay Lohan


Christopher Meloni (Colonel Nathan Hardy) was the voice of Hal Jordan / Green Lantern in the animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight (2009) which is another character from DC Comics and fellow member of Superman in The Justice League of America.



Alessandro Juliani, who plays Officer Sekowsky also played Dr. Emil Hamilton on the Superman TV series Smallville. Richard Schiff who plays Dr. Emil Hamilton in this film actually shares a few scenes with Alessandro Juliani in this film.


Actress Christina Wren caught the attention of Zack Snyder after her role in a memorable commercial for Athenos Hummus, after which she was cast in her role as Major Carrie Farris, one of several military officers monitoring Superman’s activities. Also her character’s name is a slightly modified version of Caroline ‘Carol’ Ferris, who is also the longtime love interest of Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.


At least 5 actors from this movie played in at least 1 episode of Smallville. Amy Adams (S1, E7), Mackenzie Gray (S5, E15 & S10, E1), Tahmoh Penikett (S6, E19 & E21, & S3, E15), Alessandro Juliani (S8, E15 onwards with 14 episodes in total), and David Paetkau (S8, E15).


This is the first live-action Superman movie to feature the character of Steve Lombard (Michael Kelly), a Sports journalist at the Daily Planet who often bullies and insults Clark Kent.


Apparently Amanda Seyfried auditioned for a role but was turned down.


The character of Whitney Fordman was not in the original DC comics but was created for the Superman TV series Smallville, which was based on Clark Kent’s time in high school.


Mackenzie Gray, who plays the role of Jax-Ur, previously played an adult clone of Lex Luthor in Smallville.


Aaron Smolinski, who plays a communications officer, previously played baby Clark Kent in Richard Donner’s Superman (1978).


This is the third theatrical Superman movie to not feature Superman’s arch nemesis Lex Luthor. The other films were Superman III (1983) and Superman and the Mole-Men (1951).


This is the first 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 but he was also in Supergirl (1984).



Screenplay & Production                        Casting


In June 2008, Warner Bros. took pitches from comic book writers, screenwriters and directors on how to successfully restart the Superman film series. Comic book writers Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer were among those who pitched their ideas for a reboot. Morrison stated: “I told them, it’s not that bad. Just treat Superman Returns as the Ang Lee Hulk.” Waid stated: “The Incredible Hulk has proven the audience will forgive you and let you redo the franchise.” Morrison’s idea was similar to his work on All-Star Superman (2011), while Waid’s was akin to Superman: Birthright. Mark Millar, teaming with director Matthew Vaughn, had also planned an epic eight-hour Superman trilogy, each installment released a year apart, similar to The Lord of the Rings. Millar compared it to The Godfather trilogy, in which it would chronicle the entire life of Superman, from the early days of Krypton to the finale where Superman loses his powers as the Sun starts to supernova.


In August 2008, Warner Bros. suggested a reboot of the film series. Studio executive Jeff Robinov planned to have the film released either by 2010 or 2011. He stated: “Superman Returns didn’t quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to. It didn’t position the character the way he needed to be positioned. Had Superman worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009. Now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all.” Paul Levitz stated in an interview that Batman holds the key to the Superman reboot. He went on to explain: “Everyone is waiting for Nolan to sign on for another Batman, once that happens, the release date for Superman and all other future projects will follow.”


In February 2009, McG, who previously planned to direct Superman: Flyby, expressed interest in returning to the Superman franchise. August 2009 saw a court ruling in which Jerry Siegel’s family recaptured 50% of the rights to Superman’s origins and Siegel’s share of the copyright in Action Comics#1. In addition, a judge ruled that Warner Bros. did not owe the families additional royalties from previous films. However, if they did not begin production on a Superman film by 2011, then the Siegel estate would have been able to sue for lost revenue on an unproduced film.


Due to his success with the Batman franchise Christopher Nolan was brought on to help develop this reboot of Superman 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 then decided 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.”


Christopher Nolan, recalling the moment when Goyer presented the idea of a modernized Superman: “He basically told me, ‘I have this thought about how you would approach Superman’, I immediately got it, loved it and thought: That is a way of approaching the story I’ve never seen before that makes it incredibly exciting. I wanted to get Emma Thomas and I involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way.”


The plot of Man of Steel has a nonlinear narrative which tells parts of the story in flashback. In 2010, during story discussions for The Dark Knight Rises (2012), David S. Goyer told Christopher Nolan his idea regarding how to present Superman in a modern context. Impressed with Goyer’s concept, Nolan pitched the idea to the studio, who hired Nolan to produce and Goyer to write based on the financial and critical success of The Dark Knight (2008).


Nolan admired Bryan Singer’s work on Superman Returns (2006) for its connection to Richard Donner’s version, stating that: “A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us, that’s what I know how to do.” He emphasized the idea that Batman exists in a world where he is the only superhero and a similar approach to the Man of Steel would assure the integrity needed for the film. “Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other.” Nolan, however, clarified that the new film would not have any relationship with the previous film series.


Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, spoke to Entertainment Weekly, and allowed a peek over the wall of secrecy surrounding their DC Comics plans: “It’s setting the tone for what the movies are going to be like going forward. In that, it’s definitely a first step.” Plans included for the film to contain references to the existence of other superheroes, alluding to the possibility of a further DC Universe.


Apparently Guillermo del Toro, with whom Goyer worked on Blade II (2002), was considered to direct but he turned down the position on the reboot because of his commitment on a film adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness.


Before Zack Snyder was hired in October 2010, these are the directors that were considered:man-of-steel-26

  • Robert Zemeckis
  • Darren Aronofsky
  • Duncan Jones
  • Ben Affleck
  • Tony Scott
  • Matt Reeves
  • Jonathan Liebesm


Ben Affleck turned down directing the film because he felt he wasn’t experienced in VFX shots. He stated: “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.”


Casting began in November 2010. Zack Snyder also confirmed both Booster Gold and Batman references in the film, furthering the DC Cinematic Universe possibility.


According to Goyer, the story’s major theme is first contact, he stated: “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.”


Many scenes were taken from the Superman graphic novel “Superman: Birthright” written by comic book writer Mark Waid.


This is the first Superman feature film that doesn’t incorporate the word “Superman” in its title. Interestingly enough, Christopher Nolan’s second Batman film did not have the word “Batman” in its title and like the Man of Steel it uses the main character’s nickname.


Zack Snyder expressed reluctance to shooting the film in 3-D, due to the technical limitations of the format, and instead chose to shoot the film 2-D and convert the film into 3-D in post-production, for a 2-D, 3-D, and IMAX 3-D release. Snyder also chose to shoot the film on film instead of digitally, because he felt it would make the film, “a big movie experience”.


In August 2011 Principal photography began at an industrial park near DuPage Airport, in Chicago, IL under the codename “Autumn Frost”. But 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”). Production then took place in Plano on August 22 to 29, 2011.


The production filmed in the Chicago area, California and Burnaby’s Mammoth Studios was transformed into Superman’s home planet of Krypton and myriad extraterrestrial aircraft. Filming took place in the Chicago Loop from September 7 to 17, 2011. The Chicago shoot was a unit project, meaning that filming could partake numerous establishing shots as well as cutaways and may not necessarily include principal cast members.




Total Trivia Entries: 123



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