MOTW: A Look at the Actors in "Man of Steel"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
June 10th, 2013

MOTW: A Look at the Actors in "Man of Steel"

"Man of Steel" is the long-awaited reboot of the popular DC Comic's character Superman. This American icon was first introduced to the world in 1938, when he was created by Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster. Since then, the role of Superman has been played by many famous actors over the years, including George Reeves in the 1950s, Christopher Reeve in the late seventies and early eighties, and Dean Cain in the mid-nineties. However, the newest actor to play Superman in the 2013 "Man of Steel" movie, Henry Cavill, has the potential to be the best one yet. Since fans have always felt Christopher Reeve was made for the role of Superman, he has been the benchmark that all other actors have tried to reach. Reeve has hard shoes to fill, and most fans would agree that no one else has portrayed Superman as well as he did.

Before "Man of Steel" was released, rumors already started flying around that Henry Cavill did an amazing job in the role of Superman. In fact, his costar Michael Shannon reported to MTV that he felt like he was in a scene with the real Superman, not just a guy pretending to be the beloved superhero. This is a guy who puts his heart and soul into the role of the Man of Steel, and it shows. As he flies across the silver screen to fight for truth, justice, and the American way, could he be the new benchmark that the next Superman actors try to reach for?

No Superman movie is complete without the lovely Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams. She does a world of wonder to the character, bringing an element that fans might never have realized was missing in previous portrayals of Superman's true love. In "Man of Steel," Lois Lane and Clark Kent's relationship is much more realistic and, according to Amy, raw. Although Amy Adam's look is a little different from the dark-haired beauty the audience is used to see working hard to get Clark Kent out of trouble, she brings a fresh perspective and much more depth to Lois Lane.

Everyone knows that Superman would not be who he is today without the guidance of his parents, Jonathon and Martha Kent, played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. Kevin Costner is polite, often considered engaging, and is a direct shooter. He has that fatherly appeal that commands gentle respect while also giving it. These are the same characteristics that you'd expect to come from Jonathon Kent, making Kevin perfect for the role. He was hesitant to accept the role in the beginning, but he did, and he did his job extremely well.

Martha and Jonathon Kent have commonly been portrayed as mature and sometimes elderly parents, with a simple devotion to family and a strong belief in responsibility. This is why it was a surprise for many people to hear that Diane Lane was cast in the role of Martha Kent. Barely twenty years older than Henry Cavill, Diane brings a more modern take to the modest mother. A younger mom is easier to relate to today than an older one, according to experts in the film industry. When Zack Snyder was asked about his decision to cast Diane Lane as Martha Kent, he said that he chose her because she perfectly conveys the wonder and the wisdom of a woman whose son has imaginable powers.

Russell Crowe's appearance as Jor-El, Superman's biological father in the "Man of Steel," is limited but powerful nonetheless. He tapped into his own experiences as a father who had to leave his son to work when he played the role of a father needing to deal with sending his son away to another planet. The only alternative was to keep him to perish with the rest of the ill-fated planet. Jor-El is a prominent person on Krypton, and this movie proves that the "Gladiator" star can be strong and domineering while also being loving and caring, whether he's an alien or a human.

Now, Superman isn't all that super unless he's defending the planet against evil. In "Man of Steel," that evil is General Zod, played by Michael Shannon. No stranger to the role of the bad guy, Michael embraces his role as Zod. Taking the film to the next level, Zack Snyder portrays scenes with General Zod and Jor-El on Krypton, showing a bit more history to the relationship between Zod and Jor-El, and ultimately Superman. Michael Shannon's unrelenting drive to be the best villain he can be might earn him an award, and he certainly deserves it for this movie.

Another surviving Kryptonian portrayed in "Man of Steel" is Faora, played by German actress Antje Traue. This dark-haired blue-eyed beauty is Zod's evil partner in crime. Growing up in another country, she wasn't exposed to Superman movies and comic books, and she wanted to keep her information limited. Without any preconceived notions, she was able to bring a breath of fresh air to her character, even if she is an evil warrior woman. During the filming of this movie, Antje remained focused on her training and her lines, not becoming very socially involved. She took the role of soldier to heart, which paid off with her superior performance of a little-known character in the Superman comic-book universe.

Perry White has been one of the most recognizable characters in the Superman comic books since the early 1940s. As Lois Lane and Clark Kent's grouchy boss at The Daily Planet, it was essential to have a strong actor play this character in the movie. Laurence Fishburne is the man chosen to take on this role. Although some fans may play the race card, there is no doubt that Fishburne has the will and the presence to portray Perry White better than anyone else had before.

There are many more talented individuals who come together to make "Man of Steel" a success. With all the hype about the movie and without leaking any secrets, this movie is gearing up to be the best Superman film ever made. However, only time will tell.