The Second Man of Steel Trailer Lends a Much-Needed Human Side to Clark Kent

A second trailer for the upcoming Superman epic Man of Steel was released earlier this week, giving us a better idea of what the plot will be centered around and what we can expect from the film itself. See the trailer below:

Now, for starters, there’s a very apparent tone shift from this movie versus the litany of other Superman adaptations that have released over the years. And of course, I think part of that is due to the fact that you have two very talented storytellers at its helm in Zach Snyder and Christopher Nolan.

There’s a certain amount of weakness and vulnerability to Clark shown off in this trailer that looks to build him into an interesting and deep character. You see him exhibiting fear as a child, see him conflicted about his decision to save his fellow classmates as a boy, see him struggle as he decides what he wants to do with his life as a grown man. Essentially, the trailer captures something about Clark that is so important, yet typically overlooked; he’s special, and he knows he’s special. What he doesn’t know is how far he can go with that, or even how far he wants to.

I don’t know how involved Nolan is in the creation of this film or its story, but I like to think he’s right alongside the top brass of the film crew with it, and this trailer gives me even more of a reason to believe in its likelihood. Nolan has done a great job in his past films with exploring the depths of his characters and giving them depth and conflict to make them interesting and continuously build them.

And now they’ve taken on perhaps one of the most classic and iconic superheroes of all time in Superman. But for a man perceived to be practically invincible, it’s thanks to the emotional portrayal of this trailer that I have reason to believe we’re finally going to get the compelling and more human story of Superman we deserve.

Probably the most interesting and important line of this entire video is the exchange between Clark and his father. Clark’s father tells him he needs to keep his abilities a secret, to which Clark replies with a defiant, “What was I supposed to do? Just let them die?”

His father’s response is the most hard-hitting, with a cool “Maybe.”

Here we see conflict at its pinnacle; Clark has the ability to save lives, but in so doing, he risks being branded as a freak and bringing unnecessary attention to himself. But is that more important than the lives of his friends and family?

While we don’t see a lot of other developments that give us any more idea of what the actual story will be, we do see this theme arise several times throughout the trailer. Ideas of justice, of destiny, of doing things for the greater good. Ideas of being a hero, but at the same time giving up any hope he might have had for a normal life.

It’s still pretty far away, but I’m confident in the direction of this film and the pedigree of the ones creating it. If they can manage to keep this tone and these ideas consistent throughout the entire film, it might be one of the best versions of the Superman story ever made.

Man of Steel releases in Summer 2013.

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