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Preview: 'Man of Steel' begins to take shape

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Joss Whedon's The Avengers (2012) may well be brawling for box office glory this summer, but long after these two superhero movie behemoths disappear from cinemas, the last son of Krypton will will be returning to the screen with 300 (2008) director Zack Snyder's Superman film Man of Steel (2013), starring British actor Henry Cavill. It's been six years since Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (2006) was released, and though it made around $400 million at the box office, it was critically savaged and audiences were less than impressed. However, it was confirmed that Snyder was the man Warner Bros. had chosen to direct Man of Steel.

With David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan on executive producer duty, Man of Steel bares all the hallmarks of a potentially classic comic book caper in the making. Here is the lowdown on what we know about the next Superman flick.

1. Brit actor Henry Cavill (The Tudors, Immortals) will be slipping on the cape and taking on the lead role of Superman/Clark Kent. Previously dubbed "The most unlucky man in Hollywood", Cavill was seriously considered to play the Caped Crusader in Batman Begins (2005), 007 James Bond in Casino Royale (2006) and the Man of Steel in Superman Returns, but narrowly missed out on all of the roles.

2. Amy Adams will play reporter and love interest Lois Lane, whilst Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) will be stepping into Terence Stamp's shoes as the villainous General Zod. With Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent and Russell Crowe as Jor-El, get set for some high quality acting.

3. Man of Steel's budget of $175 million is less than the $200 million-plus spent on Superman Returns.

4. Man of Steel will have no connection to any of the previous Superman films. In 2010, Zack Snyder told a French film site "It will not have links with the other films. This will not be a remake. Again, even though I can't talk about the story, I can assure you that this new Superman will not be based on any particular comic book".

5. The red underpants are officially history, and pictures from the set have revealed an all-blue suit.

6. Henry Cavill trained two hours a day for eight months to get the physique required to play Superman.

7. Bleeding Cool reported a possible plot leak earlier this year. According to their source, the film might be based on Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright series, which tells the story of a young Clark Kent roaming the world and covering various news stories. When he is forced to use his powers to intervene in a crisis in West Africa, he returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins.

8. Principle photography began in August 2011 under the codename 'Autumn Frost'. Filming has also taken place in Chicago and Vancouver.

9. It is unknown if the movie is being shot in 3D. In an interview with the Press Association, Snyder talked about the limitations of the technology, but when asked if that meant Man of Steel would not be filmed in 3D he replied, "No, I didn't say that".

10. Following 2011 fantasy epic Immortals, Henry Cavill's last performance was as Will Shaw in Mabrouk El Mechri's thriller The Cold Light of Day (2012) - alongside Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver.

Zack Snyder's Man of Steel is due for release in UK cinemas on 14 June, 2013. 

Lee Cassanell
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