Synopsis for MAN OF STEEL Confirms Superman is Headed to West Africa?

by     Posted 3 years, 1 day ago

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Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have spent recent weeks casting their Superman reboot, Man of Steel.  Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent.  Amy Adams as Lois Lane.  Michael Shannon as General Zod.  Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent.  The inclusion of Zod and hiring big names for Clark’s adoptive parents give some indication of where the story — conceived by David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan — takes place in the Superman lore.  And Lane claims Man of Steeldoes cover the entire range of years, from infancy on.”

But these are just nuggets.  What will the film actually be about?  A new synopsis has emerged that may confirm Superman is headed to West Africa.  Read more after the jump.

Late last year, a character breakdown issued to casting issues included plot details:superman_alex_ross_01

The plot involves Clark getting involved in some sort of battle between two tribes in West Africa.  When he is compelled to use his secret powers to intervene in a crisis in West Africa, Clark returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins and the hero he was born to be.

My understanding is this logline was somewhat dismissed, perhaps a victim of time out of sight.  This weekend, however, Bleeding Cool found this synopsis listed in the Baseline Studio System:

A young reporter named Clark Kent roams the world covering various news stories. When he is compelled to use his secret powers to intervene in a crisis in West Africa, he returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins and the hero he was born to be.


These are clearly from the same source.  The more recent synopsis suggests Clark is a reporter at the Daily Planet from scene one and omits any mention of a tribal battle.  But otherwise: practically verbatim.

It is common to release false details to casting agencies to provide the actors a sense of tone for the auditions without leaking the real story.  I am not aware of any motivation to do the same with Baseline.  And Bleeding Cool vouches for the system’s reliability, citing the instance last year when they discovered the top secret Devil synopsis on Baseline.

If this is the true synopsis for Man of Steel, this brings us back to the Mark Waid-penned comic Birthright.  From the Wikipedia synopsis:

superman-birthright-comic-book-cover

The story begins with a retelling of the destruction of planet Krypton. Jor-El laments the fact that his world accomplished “miracles no one will remember” while he is busy preparing infant Kal-El’s voyage. Kal-El’s shuttle pod fires into space moments before the planet’s destruction. Jor-El and his wife Lara regret that they will never know if Kal-El survives the journey.

Time winds forward to present day West Africa, where an ethnic conflict between the fictional Ghuri and Turaaba clans is claiming lives (this conflict is very reminiscent of the Hutu and Tutsi wars in Rwanda). Clark Kent, a freelance reporter in his early twenties, arrives to cover the conflict…

Clark returns to Smallville, determined to learn more about his alien heritage. He tells his mother Martha that he wants to unearth his spaceship. He and Martha use the data tablet that came with Clark from Krypton to examine holographic records of Kryptonian history.


Birthright hits all the same beats.  West Africa.  From infancy on.  A return to Smallville.  The one big discrepancy: Where does Zod fit in?

Can you do me favor, WB?  Can you release the official synopsis?  Like, really spell it out.

The Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel is scheduled for release in December 2012.




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  • Lauren Champness

    As General Zod will be in Man of Steel, they have to include Non, Ursa, Faora, Quex-Ul, Nam-Ek and Aethyr-Ka.

    • Snugaloo

      Okay. We get. Now SHUT UP.

    • Johnny B

      How do you figure they have to include all of them. Ursa and Non didn’t exist in the comics until 2007.

      Yeah I know some tard is going to say “Duh… I saw them in the movies back in the 70′s and 80′s. But they were made up for the movies and Ursa was given Faora’s personality traits. Another useless change made in those films.

      Since Zod and Faora were announced I think if they choose to use a third it will be Quex-Ul, the one Zod and Faora appeared with. Zod didn’t appear with all those other lackeys at once so why does the movie have to include all of them? Not only that but it is a new script. They can omit or include anyone they like.

  • Urszula

    One of the following actors will probably play Perry White:
    Chevy Chase, John Cleese, John Goodman, Steve Martin, William Shatner, Robin Williams

    We should expect one of the following rising young actors to play Jimmy Olsen:
    Anton Yelchin, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Adam Brody, Emile Hirsch, Michael Cera

    They will probably cast Leighton Meester, Jessica Szohr or Evan Rachel Wood as Ursa or Faora.

    • Wolstenholme

      Will you please stop saying that in every Superman news bit…with exception to Anton Yelchin, those actors/actresses all suck

      • Wolstenholme

        Meant to exclude Emile Hirsch too

      • Mathieu

        Shatner is a god.

    • Jesse

      Collider: can you please find a way to track this guy’s IP address and block him? He’s trolling every news story and people haven’t figured out that it’s the same guy commenting on everything. Obviously he’s looking for a reaction but your site would maintain a higher integrity if you could remove his nonsense.

      • Wolstenholme

        You may have time to do that buddy but maybe not everyone else is a loser like you…

        If you don’t like that I’m opinionated then go kill yourself buddy cause the world is gonna be a tough place for you

    • Johnny B

      God damn I hope you’re wrong. Because those are just god awful picks for those roles.

  • KneelbeforeZack

    Smallville hasn’t extensively chronicled Superman’s origins at all, in fact if he put on a Captain America suit or became the Green Goblin in the final episode of that terrible series, it wouldn’t seem out of place.
    Oh the fanboys, all enraged and furious about rehashing Zod, burning up the Internet with their meltdown.

    Whaaa, whaaa, whaaa– we want a green robot in tights! Jax-Ur is a better Phantom Zone villain! In issue 270-whatever, Superman fought the Kryptonite Man, use him! And I suppose JJ Abrams should never use Khan in any Star Trek sequel, and any Batman reboot should never use the Joker.

    Get over yourselves. If they use Brainiac or Darkseid and the movie sucks, I suppose you’ll be happy because it’s a “fresh villain.” And a fresh villain apparently trumps a good movie. Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin was LOADED with fresh villains, how did THAT work out for you?

    • dogg

      So it’s fresh Villain OR good movie? Those are the choices? I’ll take door number 3.

    • deshawn

      Your an idiot smallvilles no different than an alternate universe comic I’m so sick of everyobne treating anything liveaction in a different league than cartoons or comics if you can accept the ultimate universe or the multiverse then shut up and think of smallville the same.

  • Lance Costa

    West Africa is a wide area in the African continent and not particularly specific. West Africa or Western Africa countries include:
    Benin
    Burkina Faso
    Cape Verde
    Cote d’Ivoire
    The Gambia
    Ghana
    Guinea
    Guinea-Bissau
    Liberia
    Mali
    Mauritania
    Niger
    Nigeria
    Senegal
    Sierra Leone
    Togo

    I guess Colonel Gaddafi and his forces won’t be in this.

  • jokerface

    “Diane Lane as Martha and Jonathan Kent” Lol

    • http://twitter.com/#!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

      Oops. As cool as that would be… fixed.

      • baldowl

        Indeed, Ms. Lane would require a good deal of fixing to portray Jonathan Kent as well, and probably some mirrors and CG!

  • drew

    that makes sense cause when he activates his pod it sends a signal to zod who comes for the second half of the movie sounds like it could be a pretty good story but it will still rely heavly on visuals cause any story is better than superman returns

  • Rhiannon Greene

    This premise could actually be interesting if done right. It would be good if the film is based on current affairs and aside from fighting rogues gallery villains, Superman also battles a real world threat such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Iranian extremists, North Korean extremists, Somali pirates, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, etc.

    • Wolstenholme

      Real world threat? Hello, you forgot to mention the Jews

      • dogg

        I think you mean “The Jooooooos”.

      • sam

        You are disgusting.

      • jcd

        You do realize that 2 Jews created superman right???? I didnt think so…

      • jcd

        Bottom line this not going to be good you can take big name actors and give them a POS script and all you get is a POS movie with big names attached. They have shown us no real evidence that this will even take off or that there is even a story to go along with it. I myself have several superman movie ideas. should i just post out there that i am going to be shooting one too? with a hollywood budget in the middle of the use that is roughly based off of the original superman movies and will give a story for all of us inbetween the originals and superman returns? because i have those ideas outlined…. Hell no! Why? because there are hundreds upon thousands of movies that get just to this stage and then never even see the set. I am not saying i know for a fact that this will happen but you need to think Nolan is no where near as close to this thing as he used to be. HE WAS THE DRIVING FORCE!!

        They are trying way to hard with the Superman movies and if they didn’t kill it with the lack of story or back story for that matter with returns they will do so with this. i dont trust it and i dont see the point in it. its not a reboot. it could simply be the last superman movie ever made for a very long time because its going to screw the series. its overrated and under publicized.

  • Spock Jenkins

    RE: KneelbeforeZack’s “Smallville hasn’t extensively chronicled Superman’s origins at all”.

    LOL. it is clear from your statement you do not even watch Smallville, to even have come up with such an entirely proposterous statement.

    Seasons 5 – through 7 extensively explored Kal-El’s Kryptonian heritage, and has continued through the subsequent seasons.

    If you do not recognize the story or episode arcs which deal with this, then you are A) watching an entirely different program, B) not watching at all, C) asleep.

    Either of the above positions betray your ignorance and exposes the typically ‘fanboy-esque’ manner with which you are bashing a program you know little about, and a program that has almost entirely, over the past decade been the foremost live-action torch-bearer of the rich Superman mythos.

    • groupthinker1984

      Oh please. Smallville has utterly neutered Superman. Thank goodness that the continuity they’ve set up clearly makes this a different Superman that we can ignore. I mean, Clark is getting married to Lois before he even becomes Superman, that fundamentally alters a dynamic that worked for fifty plus years and altered it without reason. Green Arrow inspires Superman to become a hero? Lana is Super Kryptonite Woman? And you call this the torch-bearer of Superman.

      The only writers that get the character at all are Grant Morrison and Kurt Busiek.

      • mango

        see your problem is that just cause it doesn’t follow the superman mythos exactly it sucks. Honestly, a lot of smallville does suck. But even i think the past couple seasons have been pretty fucking cool. and i will definitely be tuning in for the darkseid battle and when he puts the suit on in the finale.

        yeah he does all this stuff before he’s superman, but seriously who gives a shit

      • RommelS

        Apparently, you are not aware of DC’s All-Star Imprint. It allow writers to create new story lines about superheros without being restricted by the continuity of the DC Universe.

        You can say that Smallville is in same boat since it has its own interpretation of the Man of Steel …or maybe DC got that idea from Smallville since the series has been running for a decade now, and the All-Star Imprint started in 2005 with All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder.

    • groupthinker1984

      All Star Superman is metro? Are you kidding. He’s the only version of the character to have any balls in the last decade (aside from the Red Son incarnation which isn’t the way you’d want to go.) Granted, he’s still a little neutered but thats the way the character has been.

      I want a return to form with a Man of Steel that lives in the truly fantastic, is bold and has some joy in his work.

      And look at how he dealt with his death. He took it in stride. Nothing metro about that. He never fussed or angsted about it. He just set his affairs in order. I mean cmon, he armwrestled Samson and Atlas at the same time and made love with Lois on the moon. Doesn’t get more manly than that.

      But I will agree that the cartoon didn’t capture the essence of the comic.

  • groupthinker1984

    This had better not be the synopsis of the movie. After decades of waiting for another decent Superman (and ignoring Superman Returns because it should be ignored) hollywood has once again proven to have no imagination. I hated the super-vegan with the soul vision, an attempt on Waid’s part to twist Superman into something he wanted him to be.

    They should be looking at All Star Superman for inspiration. Would it kill them to do a Superman movie that actually deals with the fantastic? Last time they tried to do Preachy-Man on screen Supes got scratched by Nuclear Nails Man. It seems he still hasn’t recovered.

  • pat

    They should make a movie where Superman is played by a black person. Jus saying.

    • Johnny B

      Hell no they shouldn’t! Why the hell would they do that? It adds what? He’s been a white guy for over 70 years and then he’s just suddenly black for no good reason?

      The idea is moronic.

  • Edward Lee

    Good grief, no way. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN is tripe (sp?). The comic book was boring at sh@t, and the direct to DVD was even worse. I don’t WANT a metrosexual Supes searching to find meaning in his life; they already tried that in SUPERMAN RETURNS, and everyone knows who “well” that turned out. We need a serious return to form for Supes, and, while some of the casting for this film sounds interesting, these plot details sound disappointing.

  • Spock Jenkins

    Group Thinker 1984,
    Sure Smallville has taken liberties with The Superman Mythos, but every permutation of the character be it in film, cartoon, comics, etc, has added something different.

    That shows the elasticity of the mythos and its abilty to be adapted in many different media, in different ways. There is a core canon for sure, but it is maleable.

    Even the decades long and oft-ignored Silver Age aspects of the Superman character have recently have been re-worked into the comics lore.

    You don’t have to like Smallville, but it has had a deep influence on the overall Superman mythos of today. I hope Zack Snyder’s new version can not only reference the fundamental aspects of this timeless character, but also add a new twist on the proceedings.

    • groupthinker1984

      I agree with most of what you said but you could use that same argument to defend “Batman and Robin” starring Capt Ice-Pun.

      A good example is Mask of the Phantasm. Its hailed as some of the best work to come out of the DC Animated Studios but theres a little detail in the story that turns the character on it’s head.

      We learn in MotP that Bruce has dedicated his youth to becoming the man we’re familiar with only to discover love. He was ready to walk away from his mission before he had even begun for some tail and he would have done so if his girlfriend hadn’t dumped him. So now, Batman is no longer vengeance or justice. Batman is plan B. Batman is an embittered bachelor.

      Smallville is very much like that. We see him a bunch of times want to just settle down and live a simple farm boy life with Lana only to be forced back onto the path by others whining and lamenting it the whole time. This stands Superman on his head. Superman is supposed to be passionate about helping people and grateful he has the ability to do so. Every incarnation of the character before this one sought this destiny rather than chickening out and having to be told over and over again to man up.

      So in short, you can play with a lot of the details of the Superman mythos but theres only so far you can go before what you have left is not really the same character.

      • Spock Jenkins

        Hm, interesting point about Smallville but surely your comments are surely only relevant to first four seasons ( where you comments about Lana is concerned anyway ).

        Additionally, pre-Superman – Clark’s character – within certain defined parameters – can be whatever you want it to be. And (aside from the Superboy persona ), his pre-Superman years have never been clearly defined in the comics, at least in manner that has been easily recognised remembered by most fans.

        Perhaps in Smallville he has been a person who IS wavering, unsure, not ‘passionate’ yet as you put it, but for televisual drama, it is dramatically necessary to start out a character from a point in their life where they are vulnerable, different or ‘removed’ from the point where they become the character you know them to be.

        Slowly, over ther period of 10 years, in spite of his trials and tribulations, Smallville’s Clark is moving towards his destiny – towards being Superman.

        There is character conflict and drama because of this – if he was already the unwavering, resolute Man-Of-Steel at the beginning of the series, you couldn’t span out this series across 10 years, and there’d be little scope for drama, save for ‘who-is-the-next-villain-to-fight’.

      • Spock Jenkins

        Glad Collider and no other decent site is reporting the ‘news’ that ComicBookMovies has been peddling over several weeks about this guy ‘Adam Harris’ being the new Lex Luthor in Snyder’s film.

        Clearly this is a bogus story and a piece of promotion for some nothing actor ( just look at the pics of him posing as Lex Luthor )…

  • Spock Jenkins

    Rhiannon Greene,
    Yes real world villains, and a real world scenario to test Superman’s mettle would be interesting…however, I do find your choice of villains ( though they quite rightly are ) beautifully nieve.

    Perhaps this is due to a concentrated diet of Fox News, Toby Keith and MSNBC?

    You may find the trail of some of your real world villains lead back to governments and political shenanigans closer to home…now THAT would be an interesting situation for Superman to deal with…

  • B

    What would really set this movie apart would be the filming style. If they filmed this like a war documentary for the africa parts, and not a comic movie, it would be great. Gritty handheld shots would be perfect. It would make it a far more serious movie, that wouldn’t have to be a slave to what it is.

  • Alex H

    “Can you do me favor, WB? Can you release the official synopsis?”

    HA! This is a Christopher Nolan production, so I think it’s safe to say tha we won’t be getting an official synopsis until Summer 2012…if at all!

  • groupthinker1984

    Heck. Depending on how much Nolan is involved, we may well have no idea what the plot is until well after the movie is released. ;)

    But what we do know is that Superman will inadvertently be responsible for the death of one of his love interests and will carry this guilt throughout the rest of the franchise.

  • groupthinker1984

    @Spock Jenkins

    They could have easily created drama for the character without resorting to breaking him. You could have started with a young man with a desire to do good who doesn’t always know the right way to do it. You see, by the time Superman emerges on the Metropolis scene, he is not only confident in his desire to do good but he has almost impeccable judgement about what is right and wrong. Smallville could have focused on him figuring that part out which is a lot more believable for the character than the idea that he whined and moaned about his destiny until he got enough slaps upside the head.

    It would have been a good symbolic struggle for the character that would have also dealt more firmly with a reality that the mainstream comic character implicitly faces. Clark Kent is beyond the control of authority. First, he is beyond being disciplined by his parents and later as his powers more fully develop, he is beyond the law. He can do whatever he wants and no one can stop him and when you couple that with his desire to do good and lack of experience in making hard judgments about what is right and wrong, you could have a much richer conflict and an overrall deeper series. One that would have added to the substance of the character all while exploring something he doesn’t really explore much in the comics (because he already has that figured out by then.)

  • J.R.

    I didn’t like the Birthright plot but anyway hope they dont cast an older Jimmy Olsen (older than Cavill as Lois Lane) 3 months left!

  • felliniboy

    i think the story is actually cool. it reminds me of Batman Begins where Bruce is out of Gotham for the first half of the picture. and THANK GOD! a realistic Journalist. a CNN type reporter traveling the world! that’s a journalist.

    interesting concept. i can’t wait when people gets slammed in the face with a definitive SUPERMAN film.

  • Rev. Slappy

    This sounds a lot like Batman Begins, especially if they use a similar flashback structure. Begins opened with Bruce Wayne traveling the world trying to find himself, too.

    • Yahzee Skellington

      Indeed, that was my first thought, and that worries me… not that I really care for Superman, but THIS Superman I was getting excited about…

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  • JRColvin

    I’d like a synopsis too, but Man of Steel comes out six months after The Dark Knight Rises and we don’t yet have a synopsis for that one, do we?

  • Jackson

    The biggest worry is none of this…the biggest worry is that
    Zac Snyder is directing….now thats something to be concerned about.

  • James Collinge

    If they DO bring in Non and Ursa along with Zod, they need to be really careful how they handle Non. If they have Superman beat up who’s basically a mentally disabled person without some consideration, it could be really bad news.

  • Johnny B

    I’m a little surprised no one is mentioning this but I have to wonder if they’re going to meld the Birthright story and the Action Comics 472 story where Faora first appeared.

    It could be interesting if properly done but could just as easily be a terrible mess.

    For those that don’t know when Faora first appeared Superman had to escape her because they were roughly equal in strength and she was a master of the Kryptonian martial art Horo-Kanu.

    I suppose that instead of Lex opening up a communication between present day Earth and Krypton of the past he could open up a communication to the Phantom Zone then Faora, Zod and somebody or nobody else jump through. From there Superman either has to learn to fight or come up with a clever plan.

    This could be fun or a huge over the top Superman martial arts mess.

  • Christopher

    I command you all to cease being douche-bags and begin being fair-minded, Derrida-esque, but still somehow compassionate, kind and friendly human citizens of the internet. Begin.

  • Jeff

    The latest “Inside” news I’ve picked up is this. This Superman film script has Superman and Zod fighting epic battles. You will see heat vision, super breath, and incredible super bunches that destroy buildings and landscapes. It will also feature psychological twists and the toll it takes on Superman mentally to have to fight the only other survivor(s) of Krypton. There will still be romance between him and Lois, because it is an important piece to the overall story, and it’s appealing to women who will be watching. Although I haven’t been able to obtain the specific storyline yet, I have been able to get that the amount of special effects on this film is huge, but the story line is not going to suffer or be overshadowed by it.

  • Jim

    Hollywood has put out too many comic book movies in the last 10 years. With the intial success of batman, they went nuts and are now putting out crap to the likes of green lantern and thor. Its just stinkwood trying to make another buck, and this retread pos will be no different. What else can be run to death, transformers, where is the next spider man, blah blah blah, all crap.

  • Emy

    @ Wolstenholm, how dare you call the Jews a threat. You must be anti- God and anti-Christ to say such a thing. Jesus came to this world as a Jew. Jews are constantly being attacked by all the suurounding nations. They have the right to defend themselves. I am a christian. What u said is so stupid considering that the creators of superman are jewish and they used judeo-christian concepts to create his story.

  • Emy

    @ Wolstenholm, how can you call Jews the threat, you must be anti-God and and anti-Christ. Jesus came into this world as a Jew and Jews are constantly being attacked by extremists from all the nations in the middle East who also hate us Americans. The children of Israel have the right to defend themselves from their attackers. So you don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you even know that the creators of superman are jewish ?

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  • Drouse

    @ the vvanka that didn’t think smallville did justice to the main character. ‘Hello’ are u fxxkin thick? Itz not JUST about superman you obviously don’t have a clue N i’d lend ya money ta buy one but I know it’d just go on crack u deluded mutant. Green arrows there because they weren’t allowed ta use batman FACT! Itz gotta be the ONLY Ten year old series that tells the DC world(s) from supermans perspective and at the same time, includes LOADS of other DC characters, it delvs into most of their pasts.. Not an easy story ta tell considering they know itz gonna be watched by everyday ppl AND die hard superman\comic fans, so pull ya fxxkin head goose

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