There are five huge comic book movies next year... And I'm most excited about the one coming last.
Superman: Man of Steel
Directed by Zack Synder (300/Watchmen) and starring Henry Cavill (The Tudors) as Superman, this movie sounds like it could finally restore Kal-EL to the top of the comic book movie world. Not since watching Christopher Reeve don the Superman suit have I been so excited about the prospect of another film staring the Man of Steel. I'm not dismissing Superman Returns, it just didn't really work for me. For starters, Superman should not have a child, but that's only one thing this Superman film needs to make sure of. Here is how I would direct The Man of Steel.
1) Get him in the suit quickly. People have little patience these days. Aside from the destruction of his home planet Krypton, Superman's origin isn't really that exciting. Whilst his origin should definitely not be ignored, it should be dealt with at a quick pace. With Russell Crowe announced as Superman's father Jor-El however, things might move along a bit slower than expected.
2) The movie should go dark, but to a certain extent. They need to draw upon how Superman is an outsider, and will always be a loner because of that. Superman is not Batman. He isn't trying to avenge the death of his parents by installing fear in his enemies. He's just trying to help a world in need. Warner Bros need to remember that. Don't have Superman moping after Lois in a depressing love deprived fashion (Superman Returns). Instead they should have him refrain from a relationship because of the fact that he is incapable of living a normal life. Superman has often been criticised for being un-relatable. The fact that he is an outsider trying to help people is what makes him more relatable than people think. He can't have normal relationships with human beings and Man of Steel needs to showcase this.
3) Superman needs someone to fight. Now Michael Shannon has been cast as General Zod, the film needs to make sure they create some impressive fight scenes. For all their might, comic book movies never seem to pack epic boss fights. General Zod has proven to be an incredible villain on screen and I can't wait to hear the famous line: KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!
4) CGI Suit. Yes, I know that risks infuriating fan boys across the globe, but if Man of Steel is going to have any hope of succeeding it needs to move away from the nostalgic classic suit. Plus using CGI may actually give us a suit that looks like something an alien would wear. This also means there would be no more Clark Kent ripping his shirt open to reveal the S logo.
5) A new role for Clark Kent. Surely working as a journalist would allow no time to be Superman? What decent newspaper would allow one of their staff to keep running off in this day and age? If Man of Steel is going to draw from reality, it needs to bring the tough job climate into account. Whist Clark should still work in a newspaper firm in some capacity; he should definitely not be a reporter. I would go the Peter Parker route and have Clark as a free-lance photographer, with his powers enabling him to capture pictures from all over the world quickly.
6) The movie needs a new sound score. Throw out the John Williams score for if this Superman film is to succeed, it needs to establish a new identity and move away from the nostalgia vest that plagued Returns. Much like what Batman Begins did with the score by Hans Zimmer. In fact, a Hans Zimmer score would work perfectly well for this film. It would be dark when necessary but it will add some real gravitas to proceedings.
Finally... The movie needs to set up a sequel. It needs to get people excited at the prospect of seeing Superman again. I think they should set up Lex Luthor for the sequel. Luthor should not be seen however, instead they should just hint at him. (Similar to what was done with the Joker card in Batman Begins). Audiences now want superhero franchises with consistency that delivers every time. Warner Bros are no strangers to creating on going franchises, so Superman should be marketed heavily.
These are just my ideas. If you're reading this and disagree about how The Man of Steel should play out then please feel free to comment.