Back in 2006, Superman Returns paid serious homage to the Christopher Reeve incarnation of the man in blue. Five years later, Zack Snyder and David Goyer are working hard to bring us a very different kind of Superman with Man of Steel and we may have the first details on what that movie will be like.
Production Weekly gave this little hint of what's to come:
"Clark Kent is a freelance reporter in his early 20's, traveling all around the world covering various news stories. However, Kent is forced to fly back into action to attain a fleeing assassin instead of covering an ethnic conflict between the Ghuri and Turaaba clans in West Africa. Upon his return to form, Kent returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins and become the hero he was born to be."
If this story sounds familiar to you, it's because it's very similar to a comic series by Mark Waid called Superman: Birthright. In that story, we meet Clark in West Africa while he's covering a conflict between, you guessed it, the Ghuri and Turaaba clans. In the story, Clark grows close with activist and leader of the Ghuri, Kobe Asuru. As Kobe seeks to gain equal rights for the Ghuri, he comes into conflict with the representative of the Turaaba who wish to keep the Ghuri subservient to them.
Clark feels a kinship with Kobe, a man who isn't trying to be a hero, simply someone who changes things for the better. When Kobe is assassinated, Clark becomes enraged and decides it's time he learn more about his own origin and make a difference himself. He returns to Smallville where he learns about his past and, with the help of his mother, formulates his future as the Man of Steel.
That is where the similarities in story will likely end, since Birthright involves Lex Luthor as a primary villain and Man of Steel will have General Zod in the part instead. We hope one additional element will remain, however. In Birthright, humans are wary of Superman, seeing him as an outsider, someone with too much power who shouldn't immediately be trusted. That feels like much more likely a scenario to us than people immediately embracing a man with near god-like power.
If the synopsis can be trusted, Man of Steel seems like it will be a very different animal from its predecessors. It feels much more grounded in reality, but is it the Superman story people want to see?
What do you think?