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  • Darren Aronofsky, Duncan Jones, Ben Affleck, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves and Jonathan Liebesman were considered to direct the movie before Zack Snyder was later chosen.
  • Natalie Portman, Charlotte Riley, Anne Hathaway, Dianna Agron, Kristen Stewart, Malin Akerman, Rachel McAdams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kristen Bell, Lake Bell, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis and Jessica Biel were considered to play Lois Lane.
  • Ben Affleck turned down directing the film because he wasn't experienced in VFX shots: "A lesson I've learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they'll spend on effects or where they will shoot. Story is what's important."
  • Matthew Goode, Armie Hammer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Zac Efron and Colin O'Donoghue were on the final shortlist for the lead role. Henry Cavill was finally cast. He was the front runner to play Superman in another Superman movie (working title: Flyby) but the movie failed to be green lighted and Brandon Routh was cast in Superman Returns instead. Cavill was also runner-up to Daniel Craig for the James Bond role in Casino Royale, Christian Bale for Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Begins.
  • Due to his success with the Batman franchise, Christopher Nolan was brought on to help develop the reboot of Superman along with screenwriter David S. Goyer. This was merely as a creative consultant, it was never intended for Nolan to direct. When Zack Snyder was later brought on as director, Nolan chose to hand all creative control over to Snyder and focus on The Dark Knight Rises. According to Nolan's wife/producer Emma Thomas, "They [Nolan and Goyer] brought it to an appropriate screenplay and it's now Snyder's picture."
  • Julianne Moore, Lisa Rinna, Jodie Foster, Amanda Seyfried, Sela Ward and Elisabeth Shue were considered for the role of Martha Kent.
  • Viggo Mortensen was considered to play General Dru-Zod.
  • Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood, Michael Biehn and Kurt Russell were considered for the role of Jonathan Kent.
  • Both director Bryan Singer and actor Brandon Routh expressed interest in reprising their positions from Superman Returns on this film; Singer had originally outlined several sequels to follow his story, and Routh was contracted as well. When Warner Bros. announced this film as a "clean reboot" from Singer's film, Routh still expressed interest in returning before Zack Snyder declared that this movie would have no ties to any previous cinematic incarnation of the character.
  • Kevin Costner's role as Jonathan Kent was previously played by Glenn Ford. Both of them have been involved in competing projects about Wyatt Earp: Glenn was cast in Tombstone but had to drop out, while Costner played the title role in Wyatt Earp opposite Gene Hackman (the original Lex Luthor actor) as his father.
  • Julia Ormond was cast as Lara Lor-Van, but she dropped out, so Ayelet Zurer was cast in her place.
  • Filming in Plano, IL and Chicago, IL in August and September 2011 was done under the code name of "Autumn Frost." It was such a badly-kept secret that on September 6, 2011, the Chicago Tribune published a full article about it. ("Code Name: Go Figure").
  • The character of Whitney Fordham was not in the original DC comics. He was created for Smallville.
  • Henry Cavill is the first non-American actor to play the role of Superman.
  • Russell Crowe becomes the second Oscar winner to portray Jor-El after Marlon Brando. Crowe once had a song with his band "Rus Le Roq" entitled "I want to be like Marlon Brando".
  • Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, who play both of Superman's fathers, have shared the role of Robin Hood: Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Crowe in Robin Hood. Both have also played law officers bringing down mobsters: Costner as Elliot Ness in The Untouchables and Crowe as Richie Roberts in American Gangster.
  • The film was released in June 2013, the 75th anniversary of Superman. The first appearance of the character was in "Action Comics #1" in 1938.
  • The monologue used by Jor-El in the teaser trailer is taken directly from Grant Morrison's "All-Star Superman", widely considered one of the best Superman stories ever written.
  • This is the third live-action theatrical Superman film to not feature Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor. The other films were Superman III and Superman and the Mole-Men.
  • This is the first Superman feature film that doesn't incorporate the word "Superman" in its title. Interestingly enough, the first Batman film to not incorporate the word "Batman" was Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight which like, Man of Steel, is the main character's nickname.
  • This is the first live action Superman movie not to feature the character Jimmy Olsen. Not only was the Jimmy Olsen character in every live action Superman movie prior to Man of Steel but he was also in Supergirl.
  • Both posters for the film are homages to images of Superman from Mark Waid's critically acclaimed 1996 comic "Kingdom Come", which examined Superman's growing detachment from humanity and his place in the modern world.
  • Director Zack Snyder enlisted the services of Gym Jones to get lead star Henry Cavill in shape for this role. Snyder had first worked with Gym Jones on 300 and then subsequently collaborated with them for all his live action films, to get his cast into the right physical shape.
  • Director Zack Snyder wanted Superman to have a big, muscular stature (as drawn by comic artist Jim Lee). Star Henry Cavill had to work very hard to build a big, muscular physique to get the look envisioned by Snyder.
  • According to David S. Goyer, Superman's costume is defined in this film to be an undergarment: "All the battle armor goes on top of the suits. But since Superman's a refugee, his outfit doesn't have that gear, and would make him defenseless on his own Kryptonian turf." This inadvertently continues the running joke that "Superman fights in his underwear."
  • The idea that Superman's S-Shield means "hope" is taken from Mark Waid's "Superman: Birthright" comic: the S-Shield is the Kryptonian symbol for "hope", and Superman created the concept of the Shield being a Kryptonian herald for the house of El.
  • The majority of the action scenes use a CGI cape for Superman.
  • Henry Cavill and Russell Crowe had met years prior to playing father and son when Henry was an extra in Proof of Life and received words of encouragement to pursue acting and an autographed picture from Crowe, who was his favorite actor.
  • This was Amy Adams' third time auditioning for Lois Lane. She first read for Lois Lane in Brett Ratner's abandoned film, then for Superman Returns. Adams has stated that it became ridiculous and this time she had to play Lois and put her stamp on it.
  • The monologue used by Jonathan Kent in the teaser trailer is taken directly from Geoff Johns's "Superman: Secret Origin", considered a definite creation comic story for Superman after the Infinite Crisis Events.
  • According to Zack Snyder, the filmmakers outfitted Henry Cavill in the Superman costume to see how well he fit the role. Despite the outfit bearing a lighter blue color and red trunks, no one laughed at Cavill. Snyder knew then that Cavill was right for the role.
  • According to David S. Goyer, the story's major theme is first contact: "We approached Superman as if it weren't a comic book movie, as if it were real. He's an alien. If the world found out he existed, it would be the biggest thing that ever happened in human history. Just his existence would change the face of the Earth forever."
  • This is the third film where Diane Lane is mother to a "special" child. The first was Jack (starring Robin Williams, the best friend of Superman actor Christopher Reeve) and the second was Jumper.
  • Earlier in the film during one of the scenes at the Kent house, a double tanker truck passing by in the background bears the "LexCorp" brand name. Also, a building in Metropolis and a tanker truck later bear the name as well. This is the company run by Superman's arch rival, Lex Luthor, and hinted at his appearance in a sequel.
  • One of Zod's soldiers is named Nam-Ek. Nam-Ek was a minor Kryptonian who appeared in the December 1974 Superman comic "The Loneliest Man in the Universe" (Superman Vol 1, Number 282).
  • General Zod wears a black astronaut suit. This is based on the Modern Age comics, where he wore a special red suit that filtered sunlight. Throughout the "Man of Steel"/"Action Comics" issues of the early 2000s, Earth had a dictator of the fictional city-state Pokolistan, named General Zod. His warlord uniform had a similar red-and-black color scheme.
  • Production designer Alex McDowell described the Kryptonian technology in the film as "geo-tech, scientifically advanced but also less glossy and more organic than the styles on Earth. There's no rock or stone or metal; Kryptonians had perfected the ability to manipulate DNA, for thousands of years they built almost anything by biological means."
  • The Fortress of Solitude in this film is a Kryptonian spacecraft secreted in the Arctic. This combines various comic versions of the Fortress of Solitude: an Arctic location with a key (the Silver Age comics (1958)), an artifact from previous Kryptonians ("Adventures of Superman" (1989)), and an abandoned ship (the New 52 comics (2011)).
  • A boyhood photo of young Clark and Jonathan standing at a science fair project (a volcano) has a small sign behind them that reads "Weisinger Public School" - a nod to longtime "Silver Age" Superman comics editor Mort Weisinger, who introduced many science fiction elements to the Superman canon.
  • To completely distinguish this film as a new film separate from previous ones, the iconic "Superman Theme" by John Williams wasn't heard. This is the first Warner Bros. Superman film since 2006 to not incorporate Williams' score from Superman.
  • Mackenzie Gray, who portrays Jax-Ur, previously played an adult clone of Lex Luthor in the TV show Smallville.
  • The Superman costume in this film is based on the costume seen in DC's New 52 comics.
  • Richard Schiff (Professor Emil Hamilton) shares a few scenes with Alessandro Juliani (an army officer), who had previously played Emil Hamilton in Smallville.
  • Diane Kruger, Rosamund Pike, Alice Eve and Lindsay Lohan were considered for the role of Faora-Ul.
  • Along with multiple images indicating the savior-like nature of Superman, he tells Dr. Hamilton that he's been on Earth for 33 years - the widely regarded age of Jesus Christ when he died.
  • Many scenes were taken from the Superman graphic novel "Superman: Birthright" written by comic book writer Mark Waid.
  • This is the first live-action Superman film or show to feature the character of Steve Lombard, a Sports journalist at the Daily Planet who often bullies and insults Clark Kent.
  • Distributed to cinemas under the title 'Skyrim'.
  • Superman's flight montage includes a flyby over the White Cliffs of Dover and the English Channel. Henry Cavill is from the Channel island of Jersey.
  • Henry Cavill embarked on a special four-month training regime by his trainer Mark Twight to get the appropriate physique for his roles as Superman. He gained weight by drinking 5 1,000-calorie protein shakes a day, then he did cardiovascular workouts to burn away the fat and build muscle, and finally he underwent a grueling two-hour workout to build up his muscles and abdomen. According to Cavill, the real problem he faced was the workout's intensity: "Mark based his technique on going beyond yourself. Instead of slowing down towards the end of the workout, he asked me to actually work harder and harder for the body to reach its limits. His point was that if his client is able to walk out of the gym, he had not worked hard enough..."
  • When Superman and General Zod are fighting in the construction area you can see the sign that says "Days since last accident" go from 143 days to 0 when Superman is hit up against it.
  • After Clark rips the door open on the oil rig, the oil/soot forms a distinct "S" symbol above his abdomen.
  • According to costume designer Michael Wilkinson, the Kryptonian outfits are based on the wardrobes of the Versailles aristocracy, prior to the French Revolution. The designers etched into velvets and embroidered and screen-printed on fabrics to create over-elaborate indulgent costumes.
  • The filmmakers hired Professor Christine Schreyer, an expert in anthropology and linguistics at British Columbia, to create the Kryptonian language. She developed an object-subject-verb sentence structure, contrasting the subject-verb-object structure of English (e.g. "I see him" in English would be "Him I see" in Kryptonian), to reflect that people on Krypton had become selfish and materialistic.
  • The robots in the House of El are named Kelex and Kelor. These were the names of robots that aided Superman at his Fortress of Solitude. In the 1979 mini-series "World of Krypton" Kelex and Kelor were assistants in the House of El at the service for Seyg-El and later for his son, Jor-El.
  • Zod's ship is named the Black Zero, after a Kryptonian antagonist of Superman. In the comic "World of Krypton" Black Zero was a terrorist organization that destroyed Kandor, Krypton's capital, during a revolution about the rights for the clones that kryptonians used as mindless sleepers in order to repair their physical damage.
  • Henry Cavill said that the most difficult part of making the movie was definitely his two shirtless scenes. He had been training for months prior to filming began but for his shirtless scenes, he specially went on extremely difficult calorie restriction diet and training regime that cut his calorie intake from 5000 to near 1500 for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks he reached a body fat level of just 3% which is the level achieved by professional bodybuilders during competitions. Henry said this was done because he wanted to make his abs as pronounced and his muscles as defined as humanly possible to create the best possible Superman physique. Cavill returned to a more manageable routine after the scenes were shot but felt his effort was rewarded when audiences and critics alike praised his physique for the true embodiment of what Superman would look like. After he had shot his shirtless scenes, director Zack Snyder gave him a tub of ice cream and pizza to reward him for his Herculean effort for the shirtless scenes.
  • When Nathan Hardy flies in helicopter above Smallville, he uses the nickname "Guardian". In DC Comics, Guardian was a superhero and Head of Security of a secret organization called Project Cadmus.
  • Henry Cavill refused to take steroids to muscle up for the role. He also refused any digital touch-ups or enhancement to his body in his shirtless scenes. He said it would have been dishonest of him to use trickery while playing Superman and he wanted to push his body to the limits to develop his physique into one that was worthy of the character.
  • In Perry White's office at the Daily Planet there is a bugle trophy on top of the shelf. This is a reference to the Marvel Comics newspaper office the Daily Bugle (most famously seen in the "Spider-Man" comics).
  • While coming up with the aesthetic of how the Superman physique should look, trainer Mark Twight said the he wanted the classic V shape - broad shoulders and narrow waist, which Henry Cavill naturally had, he just had to pack on more muscle to his frame. Additionally, he said he looked to Steve Reeves's physique in the film Le fatiche di Ercole as a model for Superman, as to attain a Greek God ideal. Zack Snyder instructed Henry Cavill that his physique should look so great that in his shirtless scenes, he had to look like a "freak" and be in "absolutely crazy shape". Zack Snyder was subsequently very impressed with the results of Henry Cavill's 11 month hard training and called his physique "a great accomplishment". Henry Cavill said that even he was surprised by how big he looked in the film.
  • According to Zack Snyder, the Superman shield is designed after post-World War II versions, specifically the 1950-60s shields: "I feel he was born again in that era, he came to represent the American fighting machine and the way America exported its morality to the world. I was drawn to that, and I wanted to get back to a more elegant and sophisticated shield."
  • According to designer Peter Mitchell Rubin, Krypton's look was majorly influenced by the 19-20th century Art Nouveau style ("Art Nouveau designers assumed that nothing could ever be as beautiful as what nature creates, so we tried to be as true to that ideal as we could.") and electron scope/macro/micro-photographs of biological systems (primarily bones, bark, fungi, insect shells and dried plants).
  • According to Christine Schreyer, the inscriptions in Krypton's Ruling Council Chamber read: "The Light of Rao warms us / The four Moons of Yuda protect us /The Wisdom of Telle guides us / The Beauty of Lorra inspires us." It was the first four Kryptonian phrases Schreyer formulated, and are her favourite phrases.
  • Zod's broadcast to Earth is made in the languages of English, Chinese, Portuguese, Esperanto and Star Trek's Klingon.
  • The Kent family dog is named Shelby, a name also applied in Smallville and Superman Returns.
  • Laurence Fishburne based his performance as Perry White on CBS correspondent Ed Bradley: "Ed was a friend, a mentor, and a role model for me. Particularly because he worked in journalism, and he was the kind of guy who walked with kings, but he had the common touch." In homage to Bradley, White has an ear piercing.
  • The VFXperts described the Kryptonian computer displays as liquid geometry: "It's a bunch of silver beads suspended through a magnetic field; the machine is able to control that magnetic field so that the collection of beads behave like 3D pixels, and create a surface that floats in the air and describes whatever the thing is you're supposed to be seeing."
  • When Clark talks to Father Leone, there is a stained-glass window behind him, which contains a painting of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. This was where Christ prayed for strength to undergo the ordeal he will face, and parallels Clark's own need for support before his surrender.
  • Christina Wren's character is called Carrie Farris. In Green Lantern, Blake Lively's character is called Carol Ferris, Hal Jordan's love interest.
  • In the scene when Superman learns to fly, he has a short flyover towards the camera. This is an homage to the previous movies in which Superman would fly over the Earth and then smile at the camera.
  • The character Glen Woodburn (Chad Krowchuk), the blogger who leaks Lois Lane's story about Superman, is an oblique reference to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters who received classified information from a government source revealing the Watergate Scandal.
  • During Jor-El and Superman's first conversation and 3D history of Krypton, Jor-El tells Superman about how he was sent away. In the background, a pod with the "S" and spikes can be seen flying away. This is not the way it looks in this movie but how it appears in the Christopher Reeve's version of Superman.
  • Aaron Smolinski, who plays a communications officer, previously played baby Clark Kent in the 1978 Superman film.
  • Both Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and David Paetkau (Northcom Threat Analyst) appeared in one episode of Smallville each.
  • Costume designer Michael Wilkinson said that while the Superman suit emphasized and highlighted Henry Cavill's muscular physique, for the scenes where he is playing Clark Kent, they tried to hide his physique by giving him layers of clothing and baggy clothes so that he could blend in more. Only in once scene does Clark wear a form-fitting T-shirt which reveals that he is powerfully built, but that is when he is with Martha who knows his identity.
  • Superman's conversations with General Swanwick were based on scenes from the graphic novel "Superman: Secret Identity" written by Kurt Busiek.