Superman returns…in a very serious way.
A new trailer for Man of Steel has been unleashed, and anyone thinking director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan's take on the superhero would be a strictly cartoonish affair is going to be in for a real treat.
Here are five moving moments from the teaser that not only plumb the emotional depths of the DC Comics character much more than before but, with all due respect to the late Christopher Reeve, will have you rooting for the actor who's inherited the iconic role, Henry Cavill.
1. The Journey Begins: Like 1978's classic, Superman, the trailer for Man of Steel starts out with Superman's dad, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), looking out at his dying planet of Krypton. He and his wife, Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer), place their baby son in a spaceship bound for Earth and so begins an epic, almost biblical voyage. We then hear Crowe's regal voice asking the big questions regarding what Kal-El, as he's known on Krypton, will face on his new home as the steady march of drums by composer Hans Zimmer kicks in and eventually builds to a rousing climax.
2. Super Abilities: Unlike the Richard Donner-helmed original, Superman puts his unique powers to use helping people much earlier in Man of Steel as a young Clark Kent saves his fellow teenagers from drowning after their school bus ends up in a body of water.
3. Meet the Kents: Upon his arrival on Earth, Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) are the ones who discover the infant Superman and end up adopting him. He may be raised as a human, but the Kents know there's something otherworldly about their boy. As Jonathan tells him, "You're the answer to 'Are we alone in the universe?'"
4. Exploring His Birthright: After telling him in a heartfelt, quivering voice, "You are my son," the elder Kent advises Clark to seek out the reason he's been sent here. And with that, Clark sets out on a mission of self-discovery, which eventually takes him north where he signs up to work on a fishing boat and manages to save a crew from disaster.
5. An Outcast or a God? As Jor-El states, "You will give the people of earth an ideal to strive for." The trailer doesn't reveal too much about how he dons the "S" shield and cape and becomes the Man of Steel, but it's clear Clark Kent at last knows his true identity. And just in time, as he will be tested like never before by the megalomaniacal General Zod (Michael Shannon), a Kryptonian villain with the same powers as Superman who escapes from exile in the Phantom Zone and makes his way to the Milky Way to conquer Earth's inhabitants. Let the battle begin!
6. Enter Lois Lane: One human who gives Superman a reason to fight for humanity is Lois Lane. Amy Adams is perfectly cast as the hardnosed reporter, only instead of she and Clark working together at The Daily Planet, in an interesting twist the preview finds her interviewing the superhero while he's apparently in the custody of U.S. authorities. "What's the S stand for?" she asks. "It's not an S. In my world, it means hope," replies Superman. No doubt humanity can use some.
Man of Steel hits theaters on June 14.