"Man of Steel" hits theaters this weekend bringing Superman back to the big screen for the first time since 2006.
The new film features an all star cast including Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Henry Cavill, and Kevin Costner. It also was directed by Zack Snyder, who worked on other films such as "Watchmen" and "300." Zack's wife, Deborah Snyder, who was a producer on "Man of Steel," recently spoke to The Christian Post regarding the film and its creation.
The Christian Post: How were you able to create and execute an origin story for Superman that followed a different format than other superhero films?
Deborah Snyder: Originally [our story] for the film was much more linear. And we felt that his origin whether it was on Krypton or even just him growing up on Earth with the Kent's, all the things whether it was the sacrifice of Jor-El or what his Earth parents taught him really just shaped who he is. This is Clark's journey of self discovery. We wanted to show the responsibility of these other people in how they impacted his life.
I think when we were reading the script we said what if as [Clark's] about to make a decision or has to move forward we see his train of thought and what he's going through. Then when we started editing it we realized how powerful it was to go back to these flashbacks.
CP: Was it important for you to make it different from other superhero origin stories such as "Batman Begins"?
DS-I don't think we looked at it that way. When we looked at it in terms of other Superman movies we pretended like none of them existed. We wanted to start from scratch. And then we really didn't compare ourselves. We did what served the story the best. We felt like [our direction] was going to be the best way to tell this particular story.
CP-How were you able to make the invincible Superman character relatable and vulnerable in 'Man of Steel'?
Snyder: That was the hardest thing for me because in some iterations in the past I couldn't connect to him. So our goal was like how do you get at [Superman]? We felt like the way people connect to him, because there are not going to know what it's like to fly or have heat vision or anything like that, but if people could relate to his human side, it would be something to grasp on to. Seeing his struggles and that he's on this journey of self discovery and that he doesn't know what his place is in the world and he's feeling lost and getting picked on. I think that's something, whether you're a kid at school and you've been bullied, or if you're in a job and don't know how you got there and you're asking a bigger question about where you fit in life, those are things [people can relate to and understand]. I think [these aspects of the story] make you care about the character more.
CP: What made Henry Cavill the right choice to play Superman?
Snyder: He looks amazing as Superman. And he as a person has this humility and this kindness that we saw right away when we met with him. And then we did the screen test where we put him in the old Christopher Reeves suit because our suit wasn't available. The moment he stepped out of the trailer [with that dated suit] no one laughed. Everyone just looked at him and were like, "wow, that's our Superman"-- Zack turned to me before we started rolling any film and said that's our guy.
He also did an amazing job with the screen test. He worked so hard. He didn't want a padded suit-- he wanted to really embody this character. He trained and completely transformed his body [for the role]. As he went through this physical transformation he started to become more like Superman with his presence and how he carried himself. It was a really interesting process. I can't say enough good things about him. Because the shoot days were really long and in order to keep up that physicality, it's about discipline. [Even] when we had a celebratory dinner he would stick to his meal plans. He's a special guy in person [as well].
CP: There were a lot of Judeo-Christian faith based themes in "Man of Steel." Where did those come from?
Snyder: I think these things are touched upon within the canon of Superman. I think they are why this character has existed for 75 years, because there's depth to [his story]. David Goyer did an amazing job with the script. Zack then took the script and created imagery to support some of these ideas of sacrifice, doing good, family and what it means. The struggle to do good is something [I take away] from it. Sometimes it's very hard. Those are things that resonate with me.
[Zack and I] were in the process of adopting our two children during the process of this movie and the social worker told me Superman is the greatest adoption story of all time. It was right in front of me and really took notice of it. It really is! How he adopts Earth and how the Earth people adopt him and the choices of his father to give him up and for the Kent's to take him in. I think there's a lot of depth there which I think is really interesting. It's going to be surprising because people are expecting great action and spectacle but I don't know that they're expecting the emotion and heart.
CP: How did you manage to snag such an all-star cast for the film? Did they come to you, or did you go out and recruit them?
Snyder: We went out and got them. I think because the script, the character development, and themes that we were talking about were so rich and deep that they really liked the material. We keep pinching ourselves. We can't believe that we got this cast. Everyone took it really seriously.
CP: Could your Superman and Christopher Nolan's Batman exist in the same universe for a future Justice League film?
Snyder: They are both characters in the DC world so I guess it's not out of the question. We've seen Frank Miller's comic where they coexist. They're modern. They were both updated and made relevant.
Read the exclusive Christian Post "Man of Steel" review here.