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Ten Mantras of Man of Steel: or How to Make a Blockbuster




By Matthew Sorrento.

  1. The prologue on Krypton, detailing Superman’s birth, will play as the start of an intriguing science fiction adventure – and then shall be exploited in a bizarre sf-horror invasion of Earth.
  2. Zack Snyder should take his title too literally and pack his film with imagery of steel – Krypton could be called Planet Metallica.
  3. The film must cast a lead based on his looks alone, even if he seems alien to the humans around him.
  4. Russell Crowe has refused the minor but essential role of Jor-El, so he must haunt the remaining film as a bizarre blend of ghost and computer file.
  5. To combat the “haters,” the film must cast an age appropriate Lois Lane, even if the female star completely lacks chemistry with her romantic lead.
  6. The film must crowbar in a role for Lois Lane to defend Earth against Zod, even if the role is beyond credibility.
  7. The production will hand talented actor Michael Shannon some of the most embarrassingly bad lines to date, to prove that a sizable check will win over his demands to change lines on the set.
  8. Superman’s human parents will be played by two talents, even if their roles remain requisite Lucas/Spielbergian mentors. Superman’s Christian traits will be forced onto his human father, too.
  9. The film must use a submerged alien presence on Earth a la 2001: A Space Odyssey with all the flair of Prometheus.
  10. And if these science fiction allusions aren’t enough, the film will add human engineering a la Brave New World with the flair of the Wachowskis, and resort to Independence Day when all else fails.

Matthew Sorrento teaches film at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ. He is the author of The New American Crime Film (McFarland, 2012) and a contributor to the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the War Film.

Read Cleaver Patterson’s review of Man of Steel here.

3 Comments for “Ten Mantras of Man of Steel: or How to Make a Blockbuster”

  1. Wheeler Winston Dixon

    Perfect.

  2. Thank you, Wheeler — this is all I could muster, but I feel it covers things.

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