Plot Synopsis for MAN OF STEEL

     August 17, 2011


We’ve been wondering what the plot would be for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel.  At one point we heard that Supes (Henry Cavill) would be traveling to Africa to settle a dispute between warring tribes.  Thankfully, as villains General Zod (Michael Shannon) and Faora (Antje Traue) came into the picture, it looked like the movie wouldn’t have a plot that freaking stupid.  Now a new plot synopsis has gone online and while’s vague on the details, it looks like the movie will follow a predictable storyline.

Hit the jump to check out the synopsis and my thoughts on the plot.  The film also stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Julia Ormand, Harry Lennix, Christopher Meloni, and Russell Crowe.

superman_alex_ross(2)Here’s the plot synopsis [via ComicBookMovie]:

In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Cavill) is a young twentysomething journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as “Superman,” not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves

While I tend to take what CBM reports with a grain of salt, this synopsis comes from a seemingly authentic open casting call in Vancouver.  Provided this synopsis is accurate, there’s nothing particularly appealing in the plot synopsis beyond Superman feeling alienated because of his powers.  The question “will his abilities be used to maintain peace of ultimately used to divide and conquer?” is ridiculous.  He’s Superman.  Unless this is an Elseworlds tale, he’s not going to use his powers to divide and conquer.

Also, while I know this is a reboot, do we really need an entire fucking movie for Superman’s origin story to get him from being a good guy with superpowers to “Superhero”?  Superman is the most well-known superhero in history.  Who doesn’t know his origin?  Why can’t we just bang out the origin story in five minutes and start in on a new tale that ignores the previous movies?  I would like to see a good Superman movie from Snyder and co., but I have serious doubts if the plot is this vanilla.



  • Caboose

    To be honest I kinda agree that rebooting the Superman story into another ‘origin’ is kinda lame, but the studio is clearly going to want to franchise/trilogy the crap outta this, and if they want to distance themselves from the other films, taking time to put their own look and spin on Supermans origin is the only way to make sure their ‘universe’ is deep enough

    • JaredXXIV

      Agreed 100% . I mean how can the studio sell this as a complete overhaul and reboot without starting from the beginning ? If they want us to forget the other Supes movies they need to go back and start from the beginning and construct a new Superman universe.

      How many people disliked how they handled telling Batmans origin story in Batman Begins ? Nobody because it was done with a new angle and set within the new Batman world they wanted us to buy into.

      So they want to do the same thing with Superman, it actually makes logical sense and I have a feeling it will not be a linear origin story movie. I expect more of a flashbacks approach considering Clark is struggling with who he is and the powers he has. At least thats what i am taking from it all.

      • Jamie

        Due to the aforementioned rights, Smallville was limited as to what it could show. Then When Singer brought out ‘ Superman returns’ it crippled it’s progress even more. Saying that it still had a huge worldwide fan base due to some top class character development and story lines. I my self am a huge superman fan and I watched smallville up to the end. Yes I was let down to at times as I felt they dragged it on, but after watching the show for so long, it was only natural to see Tom Welling’s transition to superman.

        Also Smallville had to take certain paths to enable it to stay on air. Due to these rights, WB couldn’t depict the story portrayed by reeve’s character,so just like ‘Spawn’ lead on to become ‘Medieval Spawn’, Smallville was loosely based on that. Also taking into consideration that Smallville messed about with time travel, it could be easy to believe that Smallville could be set in a different reality. You might wanna lighten, some of us are more enthusiastic than others, Smallville was no f**king Dawson’s creek!

      • Jamie

        Sorry that reply wasn’t meant for you :s

  • Strong Enough

    Matt calm down man lol. This is the plot for every freakin super hero movie. I mean this is what you get from them. Their never deep or anything like that. its the same formula over and over again. But it looks like this is just a vague synopsis and that their saving the real big one for later on. But really do you even need one? We know Zod comes down Superman fights and wins thee end. I mean the movie doesnt come out till 2013. It probably going to be the biggest superhero movie THAT year. This is going to be huge. and i cant freaking wait. I want Superman to melt someone with his laser eyes!

  • NoScreenName

    Am I the only one who thinks it’d be awesome to see Superman teeter back and forth between becoming a superhero or a super-villain? Not just a scene of him thinking about how easy he could take over the world, but like scenes of him committing crimes? That wouldn’t be very Superman but at least it’s not a version of him I’ve personally seen before.

  • Brenno

    “will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer?” I like it! Reboot with a difference. Heroes are like chivalrous knights in shining armour… know the dudes who used to cut your fucking head off for not paying your taxes.

    Imagine a super hero who served the greater good, but didnt mind getting his hands dirty, gnome what im super sayain?? Yeah you like it, i can tell ;)

  • jamie

    Not to offend anyone,but I see a lot people asking for a new storyline… It would be good to cut his origin short as he is the most renowned hero of al time, but must remind you all of the path ‘Superman returns’ took. It produced a story that pissed off hardcore fans, so, you have to be careful what you wish for.

    Also there are complications to the rights of the superman franchise and thus have prevented certain things related to superman being made throughout the years, most noticeable ‘Smallville’. Smallville suffered greatly due to these rights and After reeves spin on superman, the franchise hasn’t been able to flourish.
    Also, Snyder wanted to revamp the franchise for the kids of today, these new super heroes being created don’t compare to the memories we all have as kids when we all wanted to be superman…who have kids got today? Justin Bieber?? I’ll conclude by saying that we would all like to see certain things happen for the big guy in tights, we’ll just have to settle for the memories we have of the true superman…Christopher Reeves.

  • J.R.

    Lets wait and see, probably the origin will last only 1/2 hour and since this is a reboot is necessary if the applied some changes that i think there would be some, there has to be some because the Siegel’s and Schuster’s demands of the character look at the new 52 DC is promoting for the next month, is all connected…….

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  • A.

    so basically its Smallville in 2hrs….hmmm….

    • LiamH

      Well hopefully this movie doesn’t suck as much as that show.

  • Sir Ben Queensley

    A new Superman. A new beginning. Times change. We need to change as well.

  • Kristina

    I hope Henry Cavill will be the greatest Superman of all time.

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  • Brandon Gleeson

    They should have fight scenes in the new movie like the amazing one between Clark and a Phantom Zoner named ‘Titan’ played by WWE superstar Kane in the Smallville episode ‘Combat’ and between Clark and Zod in the season 9 finale “Salvation”.
    “Every human, including the woman you love, will kneel before Zod!”

  • Rodrigo

    Apart from Zod and Faora, this still sounds a lot like the graphic novel SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT, which was a retelling of supes origins. Its cool because Clark Kent doesn’t struggle with choosing between being good or evil, he struggles with the fact that HE IS AN ALIEN, something that none of the films so far have really addressed properly. It would be cool for Snyder to focus on that side of Superman, and I think that can set this movie apart

    • greengarden

      Looks like they decided to try and satisfy Smallville fans which there happen to be plenty of…based on the 10 year run of the show. The synopsis is basically everything Smallville was and still is. Over time, people will come to realize that the limitations the WB and DC put on the TV show still didn’t keep it from telling a pretty good story of the Superman origin. Only reason people think the show stinks is cuz it came off as campy at times. But again, there were restraints that kept the show from going to places it could have gone to. Story-line wise, Smallville is the only and best and truly developed origin story of Clark Kent/Superman. It wasn’t always perfect but in the end, it’s still Superman. Production wise, TV shows that try sci-fi will always have too many limitations that make it imperfect to lousy.

  • Alex–

    Seriously they let Matt “I hate action film heroes’ Goldberg break Superman news.

  • jdstorm

    So basically a new york journalist in his early twenties, discovers that “with great power comes great responsability”

    He then decides to put on red and blue tights and go fight people to protect those he loves, and honor the influence of his adopted parents.
    Also at some point he falls for a redhead, but she only likes him when he wears the costume.

    Sounds Familiar, but from where?

    • snapperhead

      Yeah, I know, right? What a ripoff. It’s like, “Hello guys, we’ve already seen this movie… it’s called ROBOCOP.”

    • Super Scott

      Correct your self sir, there thankfully aren’t any red tights on him anymore in the comics or this movie!

  • Jon

    “A plot this fucking stupid” about Africa?

    Matt, have you ever read Superman: Peace on Earth by Alex Ross?

  • Lesley Snipes

    It would be great if they have a sequence to ground the movie in reality with Superman and the rebels in Libya fighting Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces or Superman and the police in England fighting the rioters.

    • dork

      I swear I’ve seen this same post before. ^Muff Cabbage^

    • Hiro the Eighth Samurai (and 14th Assassin)

      While Superman doesn’t really have political or national ties, he may fight against Gaddafi’s forces (side note: is that how they’re spelling his last name these days? I must have seen at least half a dozen ways of spelling his name over the years), but in the case of the riots in London, he might not necessarily side with the police in this matter.

      Superman protects the “people,” he doesn’t fight on the side of nations, or political groups, or the police. Superman would be sympathetic to what caused the riots. He’s nowhere near the nationalistic fascist that some have made him out to be.

      • Super Scott

        Hello, Have you actually READ SUPERMAN? He fights a never ending battle for truth, justice, and the AMERICAN way.

  • Kal

    I can’t get over the fact the Clark’s mom is gonna be way hotter than his girl Lois! Diane Lane vs Amy Adams, no contest really.

  • JLC

    When Snyder announced his sequel was going to be similar to Wrath of Khan, I figured Zod would be the villain. Then they gave it to Nolan and Snyder and it looks like we’re going to get Return of the Jedi, with Zod as the Emperor and Supes as Luke.

    Captain America showed that you don’t have to change the basics of a character to make it work. There’s a reason Superman has been popular for 70+ years- people like the character. If Snyder’s version proved nothing else, it’s that if you modernize the character too much, you turn people off. If you want a modern take on a character struggling with being a god, make Miracleman.

    • JLC

      Sorry, I meant when “Singer” announced his sequel.

  • Ty

    Smallville was my superman movie. I’ll wait to see this crap on dvd.

  • Ty

    Smallville was my Superman movie. I will wait to see this crap on dvd.

    • joe kerr

      that my friend, is sad.

  • joe kerr

    who says it’s superman who may willingly divide and conquer? maybe it’s the goverment who wants supes as a weapon to divide and conquer and he has to ponder if that’s the best for him to be given his abilities or defend the values he learned from his parents. sound like a formative story to me and i won´t judge it until a see the movie.

  • Rango

    Well thats what i want. The superman story was never told right. Theres a lot of potential in it. What would you do if you are the most strong man in the world. How the world will react to you, who try to take advantage from you and who is really a good advisor, you will presume, abuse or do good with your powers?. Are you a god?. It can show that special feeling that every young man has when is growing, that you can take the world in your hand if you want it. I hope that snyder will try to incorporate elements from Mr Manhattan story ass well. I hope that he will follow that path but doing the character more likeble.
    Sorry for my english

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  • Conrad The Great!

    Obviously there is going to more to the storyline that what is mentioned above!! I mean, they’ve already confirmed that General Zod will be in the movie. – So relax, I’m sure that Superman will have some ass-to-kick = )

    Stayed jonzed all…

  • brosephqballs

    Matt Goldberg, you suck.

  • Luis

    This doesn’t sound like SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT anymore. It sounds more like SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE.

  • SS

    It makes me smile with glee to see other people blowing up on Matt. :)

    • Conrad The Great!

      Me too!! hahahahah! =)

  • storm

    I think the problem is: this is what they should have done with the last Superman film, yet now we have to wait all these years to see it rebooted at square one. We all know the origin story, so to have to endure it all over again is a snoozer. I think it’s a good business move in the long haul but this film won’t be that exciting because there’s nothing new introduced.

  • peapod

    this is typical Nolan a super hero that doesnt want to be the hero i mean cmon!!! if i was a super hero id do loads of cool shit why the hell wouldnt you want to be superman.

    better make this good snyder

    • Conrad The Great!

      Well said buddy

  • Mr. Rich 316

    I sincerely hope they take this origin story and fix the problems that Donner had in his first Superman movie. First: Don’t kill your villain (or at least leave his death debatable). Second: Lex Luthor must be in this film. He is Superman’s primary antagonist. Don’t make him a second tier crook and comic relief. He should be the genius scientist/businessman that we all know and love from the animated series’.Third: Give us a villain we haven’t seen in a movie before. It can’t be that hard, there are dozens of Super Villains and not so super villains to choose from. Can we get a great looking cgi Doomsday? How about an Andy Serkis mo-cap Brainiac? Fourth: Don’t make Zod a friggin idiot! He was the guy to fear in an advanced civilization. I don’t think he’d stand around in the fortress of solitude waiting for his powers to be drained from him. He’d have a plan,and probably an army of human followers or hostages to protect him. I hope for a really cool movie with a descent story. Nolan found the piece of the Bat mythos that had never been really explored. That’s why it was so cool, it gave us the how and didn’t really bother with the why. I don’t think Snyder will have that chance,the material has been too well covered. Superboy comics and Smallville have seen to that.

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  • Dr. H

    I disagree those folks with the ignorant notion that we don’t need to see his origin story again, if anything were pass due for another take.

    1. This is a reboot.

    2. The Superman origin has not been done since the original Donner film was released in theaters in the late 70′s. This film will be released 35 years after the original Donner film came out, (which was the first to depict the Supes origin on the silver screen) on June 13 2013. Its been over 35 freaking years since the origin story has been depicted on the silver screen, its time for a new version of it, this shouldn’t even be a valid argument .

    3 You people should have expected they redo the origin, they’;re trying to nail into the fact that this is a different version of Superman, and it will be treated as its own animal separate from the retro Donner films of old.

    4. Just because he’s the most well known, does not mean squat just because his basic origin is well-known does not mean don’t need to see a fresh interpretation of it. You can make an old this new, its little thing called execution. Let them refresh the origin for a modern audience story, and lets see their take on it.

  • Mr. Rich 316

    Blah blah blah 35 years…time to re-do origin… bull. They just finished re-doing Superman’s origin on the CW. It was called Smallville and it took them 10 years to tell the story of young Clark/Kal-el. Why would anyone say its not a valid argument that the Superman audience has just gotten done with an origin re-boot? That’s just an asinine statement. Lets not pretend that this is anything but what it is. Warner Bros. have to make this movie because if they don’t the rights to the origin will go back to the estates of Superman’s creators. They are just pushing this out to maintain their claim. Of course if it turns out to be another turd like Green Lantern then we won’t have to discuss a Superman film for at least 10 more years. I feel kind of sorry for Snyder( if feeling sorry for a multi-millionaire director is acceptable), If he hits it out of the park Nolan will get all the credit for “godfathering” him, and If he fails he will get the blame for killing the Superman franchise as well as the future for a Justice League movie.

    • Dr. H

      Smallvile is mostly a small TV show, that took ten years to tell the whole origin, it took him ten years to put on that damn suit this film will take considerately shorter.

      And doesn’t Smallville suck? and is basically Dawson creek meets Superman? People still actually bother watching that? Not to mention Smallvile was still in the mold of the Donner films of old.

      Pretty big difference sorry.

      Also this film will have nothing to do with that the Justice League, also keep in mind this is something just to nail into folks head, this is a different take on Superman than done before, and their trying to put their own stamp on the character so I don’t personally mind seeing a refreshed origin.

      • Jamie

        Due to the aforementioned rights, Smallville was limited as to what it could show. Then When Singer brought out ‘ Superman returns’ it crippled it’s progress even more. Saying that it still had a huge worldwide fan base due to some top class character development and story lines. I my self am a huge superman fan and I watched smallville up to the end. Yes I was let down to at times as I felt they dragged it on, but after watching the show for so long, it was only natural to see Tom Welling’s transition to superman. Also Smallville had to take certain paths to enable it to stay on air. Due to these rights, WB couldn’t depict the story portrayed by reeve’s character,so just like ‘Spawn’ lead on to become ‘Medieval Spawn’, Smallville was loosely based on that. Also taking into consideration that Smallville messed about with time travel, it could be easy to believe that Smallville could be set in a different reality. You might wanna lighten, some of us are more enthusiastic than others, Smallville was no fucking Dawson’s creek!

  • ozzie

    Superman doesn’t translate to live action worth crap.

    prepare for Superman, The Man Of Suck

  • Terry

    Nothing will be better than Donner’s first Superman. Jackie Copper, Reeves, Kitter and other Hollywood legend.
    This Superman looks like a fucking guido.
    Paula Dean could fry chicken in that mother******s greasy pompadour!

  • carl

    For all the people whining about another origin story alot of you sure shelled out big bucks to see Punisher War Zone which ignored the 1st movie, X Men 1st class which, again ignored the first THREE movies, Incredible Hulk,AGAIN ignored the first movie, and that complete suck-fest Wolverine which pretended the first 3 X men movies never happened! What made the Batman revamps goo was that they TOLD an origin story and you didn’t just get to see the how but the why. Also alot of the people complaining on this post probably hated the idea of the late Heath Ledger playing the Joker and what happened? He won a FREAKIN’ OSCAR! So before you judge why don’t you wait and see the movie! And BTW take a look at all those Marvel movies that people seem to adore….A good majority of them sucked! X men 3, Wolverine, Daredevil, FF1 & 2, Ghostrider, Blade 3, Elektra, Hulk, Spiderman 3! All terrible! And FYI you wanna bitch about retelling origin stories look no further than the Spiderman Re-Boot which completely retells his origin, effectively negating the first 3 movies!(Though in the case of Spiderman 3 that’s probably a good thing!

  • Anthony

    I think an origin story is just what is needed the comics suck at saying why he protects the weak he just does, that’s BS, If I were writing I would turn him into a complete devil around 10 because no one can stop him. Make him a huge bully by abusing his powers by having him steal kids lunch money and puting kids in the hospital, a prick who abuses his powers then when things look bleak let Jor-El be a father too by stripping Clark of his powers. Give him bad eye sight and let him be a nerd and picked on so he knows what it feels like to be bullied.Let Zod come and crush people have Lex say all the aliens must die. Have Clark beg for his powers back saying the world need a savior. 1 hour of good writing and acting, 45 min of fighting advance technology from Kryton and have Zod pissed he cant kill Superman that he will transport him to hell. have Superman throw him through portal to see Zod knelling before Darkseid= blockbuster and must see sequal

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  • JEFF

    The best thing, Lex Luthor is not involved in this movie. Luthor made Supes movies boring. I hope he won’t appear in the future 10 sequesl of Man of Steel. Well, I hope.

  • Gene DeAngelo

    I’m one of those people that want an entire reboot. It’s been 35 years since the original superman for fucks sake…It’s time! Superman is is a fucking superhero more importantly for KIDS not adults. Why not give the kids the full story of superman?

  • Drinsane

    Now y would u want this movie to be for kids. They would take out all of the language they would have to make it have like no violence or death. How gay would that be? it would be a waste of money.

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