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Michael Shannon and Henry Cavill discuss Superman reboot 'Man of Steel'

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Henry Cavill diplomatically tackles one of the controversial aspects of his character’s new costume design, best summarised as The Mystery of the Missing Red Pants, by saying that the change happened naturally as part of the character growing up within the franchise:

“We have absolute respect for what was then. But now is now. Even Superman in the new comics doesn’t have the briefs – he has the red belt, but not the briefs. It’s time for a change.”

It’s been said before that Man of Steel is not going to be based on any particular comic book story arc, and will in fact be something of a departure from the established canon and tone. Cavill admits that he is unfamiliar with the comic books, but that he was still able to get a good feel for the character in the context of the story that Goyer and Snyder wish to tell:

“Having gone to boarding school, I didn’t have a comic book store nearby. But as soon as I was cast in the movie, that’s when I got my full, real introduction to Superman. I managed to piece together this character, maintaining that baseline and having all differences and nuances that our script adds. This is our own thing, standalone. It’s about Superman, but we’re not copying from any one comic book in particular. And that’s a good thing, because its an origin-story.”

Snyder does not speak explicitly mention Superman Returns – which did okay at the box office and earned mixed responses from both audiences and critics – but he alludes to it as part of what he considers to be a “broken” string of Superman characterizations:

“It’s amazing what [Superman] is capable of but [Henry's] a slightly more down to Earth version of the character. I don’t think he can hold up a continent… Superman has been broken for a little while.”

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