Back in August 2011, ComingSoon.net/SuperHeroHype was invited to Plano, Illinois, an unlikely location for a large-scale movie production, but it's the place that director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan had chosen to double as Smallville, Kansas, the boyhood home of Clark Kent aka Superman in the Man of Steel!
You can read an excerpt from our comprehensive set report below and then go to SuperHeroHype to read the rest including interviews with Superman himself, Henry Cavill, director Zack Snyder, screenwriter David Goyer and producer Charles Roven.
When "Superman Returns" hit theaters in 2006, one of the main criticisms fans had about the film was the lack of action. What Bryan Singer's movie had in melancholy emotions it lacked in the spectacle that audiences have come to expect from comic book movies. So as I and other members of the online press visited the set of "Man of Steel" way back in August 2011, that was the big question – was Zack Snyder going to deliver the Superman action that fans have been craving?
Walking into the middle of downtown Plano, Illinois where shooting was taking place, it didn't take long for us to get our answer. As we walked down the street which doubled for Smallville, we saw the smoldering wreckage of an A-10 Warthog spread down the road. The street was filled with craters and the shops along the way such as "Kansas State Bank", "Payne's Toys & Comics", and 7-11 were utterly destroyed. What caused the carnage? Past the smoke and flames we saw it – a Kryptonian battle on a scale we hadn't seen since 1980's "Superman II".
In the middle of the street Henry Cavill as Superman is having his face smashed into the pavement by Antje Traue as Faora and a stuntman in a motion capture suit – possibly General Zod in CG armor? Possibly a Kryptonian robot? We were never told. As they grind his face into the asphalt, Superman lets loose an enraged yell and a blast of lasers from his eyes. (Well, the heat vision would be added later, but you get the idea.) Faora and the unknown assailant are blasted back and Superman jumps to his feet. As they prepare to face off again, all three combatants turn to the sky to see two Army helicopters fly overhead with machine guns blazing. As Superman and Faora flinch from the bullets, the unknown character grabs a U-Haul van and hurls it into the sky. One helicopter dodges it but the other is hit. As a soldier falls from the helicopter, Superman prepares to take to the sky to save the falling human, no longer concerned for his own safety.
And with those few moments alone, we realized this was a very different Superman film from "Superman Returns". This was, truly, Superman unleashed.
You can read the rest of Scott's set report over at SuperHeroHype or click on the links below for individual interviews.